With Auckland anniversary weekend upon us, its almost ritualistic that our group of friends visits a vineyard, to be fair we were probably just using the anniversary weekend as an excuse but I was excited to do some tasting and eating at Villa Maria. My experience overall was absolutely fantastic, coming to the vineyard it feels like those moments where as a pauper you are riding into some persons fancy estate as you loop around the field. With some fabulous weather, we were able to clearly see the vineyard in all of its glory. You feel a feeling of peace when you're at Villa Maria, the lush green around you definitely impacts your sensors as you automatically feel more relaxed. Sitting outside the light breeze really made for an epic dining experience. In terms of service, you can’t really get better than the team here at Villa Maria. They are helpful without being overbearing and are well versed in the nuances of sinology. It’s like when your playing chess and you have to use your first moves carefully to set up your strategy, Villa Maria definitely provides you an epic premise for you to dine at. As much as I would love to rave about how fantastic the food here, I have to be honest and say that the food was great erring on awesome but not astounding or mind-blowing. That’s no discredit to the kitchen team because the food was great, it just wasn’t the best that I’ve had nor did it take my tongue to a different world. I had the duck and it was visually pleasing, again credit for the plating. The orange sauce/ puree they used was fantastic, it had a vivid color and went well with the duck, however, although it complimented the duck beast it wasn’t able to elevate the taste of the duck breast. The duck breast was well-cooked and had a solid steak-like texture, but it wasn't juicy and a little dry for my tastes, the skin which is a pivotal part, was barely noticeable, it felt more like an extension of the duck breast than having its own taste and texture. To Villa Maria credit though, my friends who had the lamb rack was ecstatic with his meal and those that had the salmon commented on how flavorsome the salmon was. Although my duck was a little disappointing, this place is still a must eat for everyone in Auckland. I mean it's fantastic to have a vineyard that supplies fantastic wines within a 20-25 minute drive for most Aucklanders! It is definitely an experience here and I would highly recommend patrons to come and experience all that Villa Maria has to offer. Showstopper: Vineyard Experience, Lamb rack, and the wine. Overall Grade: A
Decided to come here since a friend of mine had a plane to catch. We had a bottle of the pinot noir rose to share. I ordered the fish of the day (John Dory) with whipped chive potato, baby fennel and sea asparagus. It was a very delicious meal, not too heavy. For dessert we had the cheese platter. Also they have wine tasting which is only $5 per person! Would definitely go back for that
Very impressed. The wine has always been not bad but the food was very tasty. Eye fillet looked lean but almost melted while eating. The duck was cooked perfectly pink in the middle. Service: 4/5 Food Quality: 4.5/5 Food Quantity: 4.5/5 Environment: 5/5 Presentation: 4/5 Price per person: $50-$60
It’s hard to believe this place is only a 15 minute drive from town. Absolutely beautiful. Service was great and the staff were very friendly and knowledgeable on all the food. Turkish bread is a must for starters! All the mains were perfectly cooked and I can honestly say the fish of the day in buttery sauce was one of the best fish mains I’ve had. Desserts were good my fave being the dark chocolate with sorbet. Only reason I scored this place a 4 instead of 5 was due to the long wait between starters and mains
Dined here with my work team for a set menu lunch meal. Service was excellent. Only complaint was our orders weren't taken for quite a while as we were a group and I assume they were waiting for the last person to arrive, however I think that should have been clarified to us. I had the vegetarian option on the set menu which was gnocchi. It was a nice meal, however I have not had gnocchi before so couldn't compare. We had raspberry sorbet and chocolate for dessert. A very rich combination but very nice nonetheless. I would love to come back here to try their normal menu!