We ate most of our meals in our Kerikeri Park Motel room, but we treated ourselves to one very nice dinner out, thanks to a Grab One voucher, at the Ake Ake Vineyard and Restaurant located just a few kilometres from our hotel.
When we first arrived, the hostess/waitress gave us a table in the wine room, stating that the rest of the tables had previously been reserved. (The Kerikeri Park Motel manager, Jackie, had called to make reservations for us, but only a few hours before we arrived at the Ake Ake.) At first, we were a bit disappointed, but after a short time we realised that it was nice having a separate, quiet, semi-private area to ourselves. When the waitress came back later apologising for mixing up reservation nights and offering to move us to a different table, we politely declined the offer.
Ake Ake Vineyard has several hectares/acres of wine grapes, some of which are a decade old but most of which are newer, and they sell several wines made from these very grapes. Andrew ordered one of their wines with our dinner, and he found it to be quite nice.
The restaurant part of Ake Ake is rather small, with only about eight tables, making it quiet and rather intimate even out in the main room. The waitress is nice, and the food is amazingly yummy. We ordered and shared the venison osso bucco. I usually eat only half of a restaurant-sized serving, so I was sure half of this would suit me, but I was concerned that Andrew might not be sated. The serving was rather smaller than what I was expecting, but with the wine and dessert ( the Coconut & Cardamom Rice Pudding Creme Brulee), the meal was sufficient. As with all upscale restaurants, the prices were higher than we usually paid, but with the Grab One voucher, the meal was extremely reasonable.
The venison truly melted in our mouths, and the gravy was startlingly tasty/yummy. The mash was good, and even the veges (some of which are not our favourites) were delicious. The dessert was also very good, though I left the passionfruit coulis to Andrew to devour, it being a bit tart for my taste.
All in all, our time and meal at the Ake Ake Vineyard and Restaurant were delightful. We can recommend the food and wine here, and if you can get a discount somewhere/somehow (and share a meal), it can also be affordable. If you want a upper class experience, you probably won’t be disappointed at the Ake Ake Vineyard and Restaurant.