It would be easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there. Tucked under the railway bridge and housed in the original historic former premises of the Tauranga Yacht Club, Harbourside Restaurant offers superb waterfront dining with stunning balcony views over the harbour and surrounds. The restaurant is light-filled and spacious and offers a beautiful haven of tranquility for its guests. It’s a place to slow down, soak in the relaxed, yet sophisticated atmosphere, and enjoy exquisite food.
Harbourside is very much a family business. Peter and Anita Ward, who have worked at many well-known establishments, initially managed the restaurant from 2009, and in 2011 became the proud owners. Along with their son Cameron – who runs the kitchen – and his wife, Nicole, they make a dynamic team.
Tauranga turned on a gorgeous winter’s day for our ‘Ladies at Lunch’ get-together, evident by the number of people on the deck enjoying a leisurely midday meal.
The Harbourside team was attentive and helpful and, with an array of menu options to suit all appetites and dietary preferences, we had a number of questions to ask. Sipping Pinot Gris, we finally settled on the Wild Mushroom Risotto, Pan Roasted Chicken Breast, Miso Glazed Salmon and the Fish Curry. Harbourside prides itself on sourcing only the finest, freshest ingredients – organic and local are given special priority – and our choice of mains with tasty vegetables and accompaniments certainly reflected this ethos.
Although the meals are a generous size we just had to make room for dessert. We chose the lemon meringue pie, warm chocolate brownie, blueberry cheesecake and Gelato, and, if the squeaky clean plates were any indication, all the choices were a big hit.
Harbourside is open 365 days a year for lunch and dinner. It’s best to make a reservation, especially if you’re after a table on the balcony.