Phone: (09) 817 8655
Open: Wed/Thu 5pm-10.30pm,Fri noon-11.30pm, Sat 9.30am-11.30pm, Sun 9.30am-10.30pm
Cost: $57 for two adults
If you head west, through Titirangi Village and wend your way up Scenic Drive, you'll happen upon The Refreshment Room. It's located in the former Montana Winery complex, which has stood for nigh on 80 years and at one time was reputedly a motorcycle gang's workshop.
The location is magnificent, nestled just off the main road, with a million-dollar view - a majestic sweep of mountain and sky and, if you sit outside on the large, sunny deck, you can literally see for miles.
In keeping with its roots in the wine industry the decor is well, woody. But it's nice, polished wood, with a proud nod to its past. It makes a change from the endless whitewashed walls which trouble many an Auckland eatery these days.
SUSTENANCE & SWILL
Brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays 9.30am-2.30pm and the menu is a procrastinator's dream, with only five savoury and one sweet dish (brioche french toast with roasted plums and hokey pokey icecream) to choose from. The menu is updated regularly, depending on the season and availability of produce. We ordered baked eggs with pepperonata, ricotta and basil ($18) and bruschetta with pancetta, smashed eggs, rocket and chilli ($18) with a side of chickpea and parmesan chips ($12), just because they sounded interesting, plus a flat white and a Hakanoa chai latte.
Our order was delivered in a timely manner. The coffee was very good and the chai latte was comfortingly creamy without being sickly. The baked eggs were a delight in a rich, smoky tomato sauce, complemented by deliciously sharp ricotta and a slab of fresh bread.
The bruschetta, if we're being picky, was a little on the spicy side, but was nevertheless devoured with much gusto. The chickpea and parmesan chips were subtly flavoured and very moreish. No surprises that they're a regular feature on the brunch and dinner menus.
We were greeted as soon as we walked in the door and shown to one of the outdoor tables. Our waitress was friendly and attentive, without being over-familiar. She was also unflappable, remedying our botched attempt at hoisting the sun umbrella with good humour and not missing a beat when we requested chips a good 15 minutes after the rest of our order. Locals have been celebrating this place for years and no wonder, the food and the view make this one of Auckland's best.