Early in 2019 my opening paragraph of our feature on The Grange went like this… First of all I must declare that The Grange has me excited. And my good wife. We have some great restaurants on the Shore, but feel that there is a gap for a good quality and consistent European bistro-style restaurant. Our own version of the Viaduct's consistent Soul Bar – at the risk of name-dropping.
Almost 12 months on from its opening I am thrilled to report that The Grange has hit the spot. It still excites me. If you haven’t tried it, you must. It has become popular as an eatery and also as a great place to enjoy a drink with friends, family and work colleagues.
Respected multimedia platform The Denizen had this to say about The Grange recently… “Calling The Grange a restaurant would be an understatement. It’s a cultural space for the local community, striving to fulfil all of our gastronomic needs. The all-day menu is not even a fraction of what this place is capable of, where a refined breakfast can segue into a productive working lunch, and a Friday afternoon BBQ session or elevated yet nostalgic Sunday roast present the perfect ways to unwind after a busy week. Whether it’s a quick drop-in meal or a drawn-out, romantic dinner on the terrace at sunset, the new heart of the North Shore will always be ready to give you a superb experience.”
While thrilled with the first 10 months, Mark Wilson is first to admit they have learnt a great deal during 2019. He says they have been constantly refining things to ensure their offering meets with the clientele. When I met Mark and Linda in October they had just returned from a fact-finding trip to the US, where they were hosted by a number of people involved in the hospitality business. They came back brimming with ideas.
“We are thrilled with how far we have come during 2019,” said Mark in mid-October. “Setting up the brand new restaurant proved to be a big task, but we have consistently grown our numbers throughout the year which is very pleasing, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is a result of us getting to know what our customers want. When we started this journey I did see Soul Bar as a benchmark. Their consistency. Our aim has always been to create a bar and eatery on the Shore that is loved like that is in the city.”
During 2019 Regnar Christensen has been elevated to the head-chefs role. Regnar, who has been with The Grange right from the start, was formerly head chef at popular Wellington eatery Ortega Fish Shack.
In October he was busy refining the new menu for summer. He’s a fan of keeping things simple and using seasonal and local ingredients. New Zealand produce, meat and fish and it has to be as fresh as possible.
While there I asked Regnar to give me a sneak preview of new dishes he is planning for the warmer months. He obliged with these… Market fish with green tomato broth, scampi emulsion and grilled cos hearts; Crudo of snapper, blood orange verjuice and ortaga; Heirloom tomatoes with seasoned vinaigrette and barado. Yum.
With berries in season he is also planning some special desserts, like… Macerated assorted strawberries with burnt meringue. Yum yum!
The Goodside venue at Smales Farm is special. Together with clever design, the Goodside precinct has been created as a relaxed and leafy venue. The Grange is at the heart of that venue, combining indoor and outdoor dining in what is one of Auckland's most delectable dining destinations.
The Grange has seating for 130 diners across the main dining room – the covered terrace, private dining room and outdoor dining. The west-facing bar with courtyard area is popular in the afternoons. A prominent feature of The Grange is their Glasshouse, where they grow fresh produce and host special dinners. There is also a private dining room which can hold corporate lunches or dinners for up to 18 people in a private space.
The Grange is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not open for dinner on Monday). If you haven’t been you are missing out.
THE GRANGE – Goodside at Smales Farm,
Open 7 Days – Monday 8am-4.30pm, Tuesday to Friday 8am till late, Saturday & Sunday 9.30am till late.
Phone 972 9060. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Visit: www.thegrangetakapuna.co.nz