The Spruce Goose
Open from 7am-11pm 7 days, with two floors of indoor and outdoor dining, this is a beast of a joint. The same brunch/lunch menu operates from 7am-3pm, then counter snacks until 5pm and then dinner kicks off. No bookings at any time.
I did like that the brunch/lunch menu had an ‘on toast’ section with a good range of things you could choose to complement your toast. And the most impressive thing – on a busy sunny still-pretty-much-holiday Saturday around 11am with the place looking full to the gunnels from the outside – we were seated within 5 minutes and the food came 15 minutes later as promised. I absolutely didn’t expect them to deliver to that timeframe and do it with well presented tasty food to boot (so it just goes to show the big venues can handle it if they’re turning people through and have good systems in place).
Having said that, the first time I called in around 2pm on a weekday I was told there was a 45 minute wait for food and their cabinet was bare, so I carried on down to Maranui Surf Club where I enjoyed cabinet fare in a slightly more peaceful environment. Be interesting to see what impact the Spruce Goose has on the Surf Club long-term (if at all).
The marinated mushroom salad with organic smoked yoghurt was very pleasant (and pretty), albeit I would have preferred a few more dollops of smoked yoghurt to really experience the melded flavours, and the eggs benedict had loads of good quality ham and was proclaimed tasty.
The clientele is mixed between families, cyclists, big groups, couples, young and old, and is fairly noisy at times (depending on where one is seated), so I suspect its a good leisurely group brunch/lunch spot, or a good late afternoon beer/early dinner spot.
The surfers across the road weren’t getting much air on this day (check out some views here on SG’s Facebook page), but there’s plenty to keep one (or one’s kids) amused with plane traffic if the surfing’s a bit flat.
Be interesting to see how these guys are doing in six months time.