On the 2nd of January Papa M and I headed down on a relatively spontaneous road trip down to the Tauranga/Mount Maunganui area. I was getting super-jealous of everyone’s fantastic beach holiday pictures (even though we were days away from going on our own) and wanted to get out and have some fun in the sun. We were hoping to go to our favourite restaurant Volare but it was closed for the statutory holiday. No harm, no foul; we got to try some fabulous new(ish) dining options. Check them out:
The traffic at the Mount was just insane and we ended up parking a fair way away and just strolling the rest of the way into town. We’d had a light lunch; this combined with the heat meant that we were definitely ready to devour some frozen yoghurt! What we loved about this store is that you paid for the size of the container rather than weight and the serves were very generous for $5. Papa M went for simplicity – mint fro-yo with chocolate chips – whereas I went for a flavor explosion: chocolate fro-yo with chocolate chips, raspberries, roasted coconut and chocolate sauce! They have a variety of seating options, including the cute low-slung beach chairs, and the service was great. They’re located off the main strip on Prince St, a little bit closer to the harbourside, but close enough to grab that lunch-time deliciousness if you are hanging at the surf beach!
Comida just opened in December – so new, it doesn’t appear to have a website yet – and declares itself as a wine, tapas and oyster bar. Papa M and I look like total meerkats whenever we see the word tapas (*heads up* ooh, tapas, where, tapas, yum) and so this seemed like a decent second option for dinner. The place was positively packed when we came in so it did take a short while to get service, understandable in a new business as it gets into it’s stride. Our waitress was delightful and attentive, however; the kitchen was extremely quick in getting our food out, especially given the massive range of tapas available on the menu.
There are a few tables inside but they do appear to be largely reliant on an outdoor courtyard to work to full capacity – it will be interesting to see how this works at dinner. The decor is clever without being overly themed or overly fussy – there are just a few small nods to the spanish flavour of the bar without being over the top. They had a live singer, Tauranga’s answer to Michael Buble, which added to the ambience.
The biggest nod we have to give to this restaurant is the affordability of the meals. We had five dishes for dinner, including the side of potato skins that was simplistic yet amazing. We shared a plate of churros for dessert and had a couple of fruit juices to wash it down for the grand total of $65 – an incredibly decent price, or indecent given how fabulous the food was! Tucked away behind The Phoenix on The Strand in Tauranga, it’s definitely worth a visit!