It's dinner time, raining and we're hungry, armed with a six year old Lonely Planet guide book we approached Kaitaia. Beachcombers was the recomended choice in 2008, the note about salad bar was a little off putting.
We drive up the main street thinking newer options might have sprung up, sadly, uninspiring takeaways are the only alternative at this time of the night.
Beachcombers flashing sign now beckons attractively.
Greeted very pleasantly at the bar by the american owner, I check out the salad bar, these set ups can be tired and past there used by date. Lucky for us this is not the case and we decide to take a seat in the bar rather than the empty dining room.
A charming Italian girl settles us in with menus and water. We order a bottle of Marsden Point Chardonnay and decide on the eye fillet with garlic butter with chips for me and the fish of the day with a baked potato for my husband. The bar is busy with regulars and has a cosy feel. The wines delicious and an entree of garlic bread arrives and is eaten quickly.
Due to our hunger we decide to have our salad before our mains arrive. The range of vegetables is good. Beetroot, carrot, mesclum, corn, pulses and cucumber go on my plate. A range of condiments are on the side and I plump for a loose aioli style dressing. The creamy sauce is like magic, I'd like the recipe. It enhances everything on my plate.
Mains arrive in good time, I'm impressed again as my medium rare steak is cooked perfectly and well rested. The chips also good. My husbands fish is also well presented and again perfectly cooked. The portions are large and with a further drive ahead of us we forgo dessert.
We pay the owner who gives us directions for the shortest but scariest route to where we are staying and all the staff bid us farewell.
This restaurant is a little gem, well trained staff, the chef knows how to cook, the owner obviously cares for her business and runs a tight ship. I totally recommend this place, if ever in Kaitaia again I would happily return.