Herne Bay Local Eatery and Bar
I almost don’t want to post this review, because when I first visited HBL, it was lunch-time on a Sunday and the place was delightfully empty, and I do hate a crowded restaurant, but it was just too good not to share.
HBL is kind of a ‘jack of all trades’, offering a range of asian-inspired tapas, normal ‘pub food’ and daily specials including the likes of Sunday Roasts and curry nights.
Boy and I had another one of our Grab-One vouchers for this place, to the value of $40, so since neither of us was very hungry, we decided to try out a few of the tapas plates.
We ordered vegetarian dumplings for me, spare ribs for the carnivore and bread with dips to share. The food arrived promptly, and beautifully presented.
The bread and dips ($14) were arranged artfully on a wooden board, with bowls of pesto and hummus (both seemingly home-made), the classic olive-oil and balsamic reduction, and a generous serving of tangy dukkah.
The bread itself was lovely, a well toasted mix of ciabatta and wholegrain bread, drizzled in more lovely olive oil.
The ribs ($12) were consumed quickly, and pronounced delicious by the boy, and the addition of a finger bowl on the side was welcome.
And finally, the pièce de résistance, the vegetarian dumplings ($12). The most tender, delicate dough, perfectly seasoned filling, and a soy sauce and vinegar for dipping. I could honestly just eat a big plate of these, but had to be satisfied with 5 (they come as a serving of six but unfortunately I had to let boy have one. there was no way he was getting his mitts on a second though!)
I actually went back the next day to grab some more for lunch, but they were sold out. disappointing, but unsurprising given the quality of those little morsels of deliciousness.
Service: Friendly, attentive but un-intrusive. There were just two people on- one who I assume is the owner, and one waitress, so I’m not sure how they would have coped had it become busy all of a sudden.
Price: Fair prices given the upmarket area it’s in, and they have Grab-One vouchers almost every day at the moment, also, they have specials pretty much every day.
Ambience: it’s a nice place, with an open kitchen and a decent amount of outdoor seating.
Overall: 8/10, can’t wait to go back for more of those dumplings!
Herne Bay Local
170 Jervois Road
Herne Bay, Auckland
(09) 376 5367
Parking: On surrounding streets.