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“Not overly impressed”
Review of Ascension Winery

Ascension Winery
Ranked #8 of 27 Restaurants in Matakana
Price range: $13 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Discover why this family-owned winery has been described by NZ wine author Peter Saunders as "the regional star of Matakana".Just 39 minutes north of the Auckland CBD, Ascension handcrafts critically-acclaimed wine from both rare and well known varieties and is home to a multi-award winning cellar door, Ascension Osteria restaurant and garden bar and a stunning functions centre for weddings, corporate and private events.Relax alfresco with views of vineyards, rolling farmland and the fountain courtyard which is planted with heirloom herbs and vegetables for Ascension's kitchen.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Not overly impressed”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

For almost four years my wife and I have been promising ourselves that "one day" we'll go and have lunch at the Ascension Vineyard between Warkworth and Matakana.
This past Sunday, we finally got to keep our promise to ourselves.

Unfortunately, we have to admit that it turned out to be one of those letdown experiences, and we felt like we didn't miss anything really for the past four years. We will definitely also not go back...

The grounds are neat, the garden beautiful, the restaurant clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. But that's not why you go to a restaurant, right? Surely not. You go for the food.

My wife chose to eat a selection from the cabinets... and found that the selection was actually relatively small. Basically, it's just cheese and salami, with the odd choice of salad. I gave it one look and decided that I wanted "real" food. But since they don't offer any "real" meals, my choice was also very limited... so I opted for a pie and fries.

The pie was delicious, and the chips very fresh (but they put oo much salt on it --- without first enquiring whether I even wanted salt at all...)

And for all this little choice, the price was (in my opinion) very high. I could get a bigger pie and more chips for less, and that I would not even have to drive 50-odd kilometers for it...

In summary, nice environment and friendly people, but very expensive food, and a very small choice of it.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank schalk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Essex, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
344 reviews
160 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“A happy anniversary lunch!”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

The venue is delightful, with Spanish tones (borrowed in fact from the US southern borders); the family hosts (Croatian, 5th generation) could not have been more welcoming; lunch is a delicious platter-style affair, with yummy cheeses and local produce. We enjoyed the wines, which are not mass-produced, bought half a case and generally thought the whole experience memorable and positive. Very likely to return; and certain to recommend.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Roy and Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great food”
Reviewed August 12, 2012 via mobile

Very good food, large portions, and attentive service.

The only downside is the proximity to the road.

Thank Taffyjonah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Good food, nice views, and friendly staff”
Reviewed May 31, 2012

I go to the Ascension Winery quite frequently as it is close to where my parents live. The food is consistently good, the service is friendly (if the restaurant is full, it can be a little slow) and their wines are not world beating but certainly very drinkable. The food is bistro style, plentiful and tasty, using ingredients that are partially sourced from their gardens and the vineyard which is a nice touch. They have tappas style small plates that can be shared and also single mains/entrees. The restaurant is set in amongst the vines, so it has a nice view of them when sitting out on the covered verandas. They also organise events set in the vineyard such as dinners, plays and concerts. I have been to one of their outdoor plays back in the summer (remember we're down under, so your winter is our summer for those of you up north!) and it was excellent! The atmosphere was great and the actors mixed in with the patrons so you felt as though you were part of the play - all good fun. I would recommend this restaurant to visitors, to families on a weekend out in the "country" and really anyone that wants a good meal and good wine at a decent price.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Skiathite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Excellent evening amongst the vines”
Reviewed May 4, 2012

We took part in the first ever "dinner in the vines". It was a superb evening, with fabulous food and (of course) great wines to complement the food. As we left, everyone said that they would be back. Can't get a better endorsement than that.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Whanga_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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