Beautiful food, great service, and fantastic vineyard, didn’t even know this existed 10 mins from the airport! If you haven’t seen much of Auckland and are on your way to the airport, this is a must to get that last taste of NZ experience! Great place for kids too...massive grounds for them to run around.
Beautiful destination close to the airport! A high class cafe/restaurant with excellent service and a lovely ambience! As a group we had the lamb, fish of the day and salmon all 5/5 dishes! All meals had matching wines from vineyard! Kids menu also very good! A lovely experience thank you!
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