We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“You cannot blame the staff...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Matakana Market Kitchen

Matakana Market Kitchen
2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana, New Zealand
09-423 0383
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #2 of 16 Restaurants in Matakana
Cuisines: New Zealand
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“You cannot blame the staff...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

The setting promises good things are about to happen to you. Our table sits beside a small and pretty stream flowing lazily past, the restaurant is full of seemingly happy Sunday brunch diners and after a week of heavy rain the sun has even shown up. I am happy.
Our friends are already at the table and have ordered a bowl of fries and aioli to nibble on whilst we make our choices. They arrive in a cute wire basket; steaming hot on the inside with just the right amount of crunch. I am very happy now.
The young man whom we first meet is a delight. With a trace of an accent, possibly Irish, he has that wonderful conversational manner and humour that tells you “I love what I do, I enjoy my customers and I am passionate about food and wine”. Waitstaff like this add another dimension to a good meal.
But then our waitress arrives and the real comedy begins. She takes my order and Mr Man’s but stops there. The naked hunger of our friends has alluded her. As all hope of a meal starts to disappear with her turning to leave they cry out in desperation. OK I am exaggerating but her comment; “well I assumed you had ordered as you don’t have a menu” brought a swift retort from our hungry pals as the table for four had only ever been brought one menu.
My friend has been eyeing up the fish special but our young waitress cannot tell her what the risotto is under the fish. “It is risotto and the fish comes served with parmesan on top” After asking a few times my friend changes her order to fish and chips, much simpler.
Still full of bonhomie or could that be the excellent house Chardonnay, we look forward to our meal. Three of us have ordered two entrees each and ask our waitress that they do not all come out together which sadly they do. So now there are 7 large plates on our table and horrors! almost no room for our wine glasses. We of the entrees eat fast so the second dish does not go cold. Mild grumblings of discontent now.
The food had highlights but overall was fairly average. My crumbed mushrooms stuffed with a rich blue cheese were superb. By contrast the char-grilled squid was bland and although quite tender did not deliver the taste I was expecting from the description on the menu; the mango chilli dressing was hardly in evidence. The ribs, whilst generous in their portions and cooked so they were falling apart were paired with an overly sweet barbecue sauce.
OK we thought, not great but we are mainly here to catch up with mates we have not seen for a long time so we will order another bottle of the Chardonnay (it really was that good) and carry on our conversation. So we tried to order, looking around for someone to take our order and then looking some more. Mr Man was beginning to resemble a nosy meercat flagging a cab when our waitress finally caught sight of him and put in an appearance. There were shades of Oliver Twist when we asked for some more of the fine drop we had finished some time ago as our young lady looked at us and exclaimed “you don’t want another bottle?!” And that really summed it all up as we came to the conclusion that what we really were experiencing was a gross lack of training. I don’t blame the waitress, I blame the negligent restaurateur who owns the establishment.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

230 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    111
    71
    25
    12
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Good. Definitely worth a visit”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

If you don't set your expectations too high, Market Kitchen is a fine place. It would easily be worth a 3.5 from me but Tripadvisor forces a 3 or a 4. The food is good, the portions generous and the wait staff try their best. But it is an out of town restaurant so don't expect The French Café.

I had a special: kingfish with prawn and citrus risotto. It's great to see kingfish on the menu–I generally avoid snapper as I catch plenty and there is nothing like your own-caught fish–and it was nice. It was a little underdone (better, in my view, than the other way) and eating the raw middle proved this was a nice, fresh, piece of fish. The risotto was a little sloppy. My dining companion's snapper was enjoyed and the local wine can be beautiful (Brick Bay pinot gris is not cheap but worth every cent). The place was very busy, an encouraging sign, and the atmosphere is good, If you are looking to eat out in Matakana region, you should definitely consider Market Kitchen.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Did not live up to expectations”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

a group of 4 of us from Australia were in Matakana in April, 2013. Having read the many rave reviews of MMK we were very pleased to be able to get a table at the last minute. The hotel is beautifully positioned on the banks of a river and we sat and watched the sun set. Unfortunately that is where the pleasurable experience ended as the food was definitely of inferior quality.. Two of us ordered the fish which ended up overcooked, dry and tasteless. One ordered the pasta with meatballs which, whilst the meatballs were tasty had almost no tomato sauce and left the pasta very dry and unpalatable. The last member of our party ordered the smoked salmon pasta with creme fraiche. The dish lacked taste and was very disappointing. Perhaps this was an off night but 4 out of 4 meals is a very poor average.

Susan and Julian, Sydney

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Good value, stylish cafe, busy but not noisy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Good menu choice, nice buzz, friendly wait staff and efficient service. Outside tables pretty water view.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great location, good food and good service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We always come here when we visit the little market. It's really neat and has a good atmosphere and great decor. The Caesar salad is the best I've had and has optional Anchovies which I love. It's very reliable and does a good range of food. There's a short cut along the river back to the large car park thats always fun to explore

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Matakana Market Kitchen also viewed

Matakana, Auckland Region
Matakana, Auckland Region
 
Matakana, Auckland Region
 

Been to Matakana Market Kitchen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Matakana Market Kitchen, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.