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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
This is a little fish and chips place on the main drag of the Auckland suburb of Devonport. It's just a 12 minute ferry ride from the ferry terminal in downtown Auckland and it's a charming little place.
Riba probably does as much take-a-way business as those who eat at one of the few tables in the place.
This is a small eatery with 5 or 6 tables max. It's elbow to elbow dining when it fills up.
When we arrived at 12 noon there was only one other table occupied. But the people in the kitchen were working like mad men piling up orders of fish and chips in paper wrappers. All of a sudden a line of about 30 to 40 people streamed into the place. This was just after our waiter took our order. Due to the onslaught there was quite a bit of time before we got our food but it was worth the wait.
The people next to us got their order in before the mob arrived for their take-a-way food. They got a three huge fish filets to share among three diners and a ton of chips. So I was expecting a sizeable portion.
My wife and I each ordered fish and chips. My wife ordered hers with snapper and I went with the local favorite, tarahiki. We also ordered one fish cake and one puau, billed as an abalone fritter. The fish finally arrived and we each got a moderate sized filet. The fish was quite good. The fish cake was very good, too. The puau abalone fritter was odd. It looked like somebody wadded up some cooked spinach, formed it into a patty, battered it and fried it. I wouldn't ever order it again and I like abalone! Before it got too expensive and rare I used to enjoy it at Trader Vic's restaurants.
The tariff for this lunch came to $25.50NZ with two diet cokes. And by the way, you have to pay for tarter sauce. I think it was a buck for about an ounce or two.
This was a pretty good luncheon and tie it in with a pleasant ferry ride and some nice shopping and it made for a good day.
A word of caution about souvenir shopping here, however. We blew about $200NZ on items from a very nice woman at a little shop here. When we got back to Auckland we discovered that the very same items were about half the price we paid even in a touristy area of Auckland.
As far as I can tell the restaurant does not have a web site. But they're right on the main drag (Victoria Road). After leaving the ferry walk up the main drag and keep an eye out to your right for Riba. But look closely because it's not a very big place!
ADDITIONAL NEW ZEALAND