On the menu

It's a lovely winter day in the Bay and I am enjoying a waterfront lunch on Tauranga Harbour at popular restaurant Harbourside.

Sitting out on the deck, I begin to relax after a hectic morning and peruse the menu which proudly serves the finest, freshest ingredients that can be sourced locally.

I am taken with the diversity of the menu and pleased to see a couple of the meals Harbourside is known for like the Harbourside Chicken Thigh Stack, Beer Battered Fish and Chips, and the Chinese Style Roast Duck.

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Dishes that have been on the menu since the restaurant opened and are firm favourites of the regular clientele who have been dining at Harbourside since the late 1980s.

The menu is broken into five sections to cater for everyone's appetite. Starters include the Harbourside Seafood Chowder, Grilled Ciabatta Bread, Seared Tuna and Smoked Kahawai.

Or you can choose from the Starters to Share which has the Peking Duck with Steamed Pancakes, Assiette of Seafood Entrees or Cider Braised Pork Belly Buns. Light Meals include Steamed Coromandel Mussels, Deconstructed Roast Pumpkin Cannelloni and Roast Cauliflower Carrot Salad or the Harbourside Chicken Thigh Stack.

And for the larger appetites the mains have mouth-watering Seared Venison Short Loin, Agresto Crusted Lamb Rack or Wild Mushroom Risotto to name just a few. Or From the Grill choose from Savannah Angus Eye Fillet, Wakanui Sirloin or Rump or the Harmony Free Range Pork Cutlet served with either a truffle mash and your choice of sauce.

This is just a snapshot of what is available on the Harbourside menu head chef Cameron has spent more than 10 years developing flavours and that make his dishes sing.

The buzz
There are very few restaurants in the Bay where you can sit over the sparkling waters of Tauranga Harbour. That is one of the features of Harbourside Waterfront dining. We were seated on the outer deck, which was fully booked with several groups enjoying this magnificent setting. The restaurant also offers a private room for private functions.

I'll have
One thing I love about the menu is its presentation. It comes to you in broadsheet form, like a newspaper, with historic photos of the restaurant from the 50s when it was the Tauranga Yacht Club.

Open the menu and you are faced with an incredible selection.

I chose the Dukkah Crusted Lamb Lollipops as my starter, $23.

This tasty lamb cutlet came with a beetroot relish, goat's cheese and a baba ganoush sauce. The presentation was fantastic and they tasted divine. For my main, after much deliberation, I went with the Miso Glazed Salmon, $24. These came with sango sprouts, mung beans and pickled ginger with a miso dressing. The flavours were incredible. One of the nicest salmon dishes I have ever eaten.

We were offered the dessert menu, but sadly I hadn't left any room for a tasty treat. Had there been I would have gone for the blueberry cheesecake with a wild berry sorbet. Never mind, there will be a next time.

She'll have
After deliberating on the entrée and light meals portion of the menu she finally settles on the Mushroom Parmesan Pine Nut Balls served with Napoli sauce, walnuts and basil pesto ($18) which not only looked yummy, they tasted even better.

For her main she chose the Chilli Prawn Linguine with Pernod butter sauce, fresh herbs and shallots ($25). The buttery Pernod sauce over the linguine and prawns was absolutely divine. She struggled to finish the generous Light Meal portion.

The verdict
Whether you are dining at Harbourside for a special occasion or for a lovely, relaxed evening out, you will enjoy stylish waterfront dining, delicious cuisine and warm friendly service from Peter and Anita's team. We will return - perhaps for dinner next time so we can have a glass of wine on the deck and watch the lights over our Tauranga Harbour.