We ate at the Manuka restaurant on our first evening in New Zealand, and we were very glad to have some fresh vegetables after 2 days spent eating in airports and airplanes!
We went for a classic Greek salad and some fresh fruits which is not what you usually eat to test a restaurant, so my opinion is not a complete one.
I can say that the restaurant atmosphere is nice and relaxed, and that food is tasty, but maybe too much expensive...
Situated in the heart of Devonport, Manuka is an experience for it's location, ambience and food. You can make this a short trip from downtown Auckland on the ferry, to Devonport.
The pizzas are very nice, as well as other Italian pasta dishes. By their own admission, Manuka is a nice tasty mix between Pacifica food and Italian.
Favorite Dish: Vegetarian Ravioli with pumpkin, Feta, mushroom and onion.
Chicken Penne pasta with Pistachio nuts.
Both these dishes were absolutely scrumptious. I really did enjoy them very much. Smooth sauces with fine pasta, just a complete experience.
Manuka restaurant is a smart little Italian Restaurant in the heart of Devonport, a historical suburb of Auckland. Manuka is a Maori word for a native tree that you'll see all over New Zealand and, the wood of which, is used to provide fuel for smoking meat and even cheese. Manuka honey is a rich and dark golden treat. So it is appropriate that this restaurant has borrowed the name of this tree that has close links to food, even though when you see one you may think it couldn't possibly have the slightest culinary association!
Manuka Restaurant offers a range of Italian dishes, but wood-fired pizzas dominate the menu. I ate here in August 2006 with a group of other VTers. We had a leisurely lunch, received good service, enjoyed good coffee, and the prices were reasonable and not out of the ordinary. My only complaint would be the music was a bit loud!
Favorite Dish: I had a smoked chiken pizza with bree cheese and cranberry sauce. Yum. For dessert I tried the apple pie. This is the best presented apple pie I've had in a restaurant since I can remember. Quite often this dish is very unimaginatively served, but Manuka presented the best looking apple pie I've ever had. It tasted pretty fine too! Perfect on a cold winter's afternoon.
Great place on Victoria St, Devonport. Double-fronted windows letting in lots of natural light, polished wood floors, orange, umber and contemp paintings on the wall (for sale), huge bar ad serving area, very friendly staff and great choice of food, wine and coffee. Pizzas are the bees-knees here, but so is the fish dishes (scallops to die for).
This was the best meal I had in Auckland.
Favorite Dish: Scallops: pizza: great wine by the glass