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Our Pick: Astrolabe – Mount Maunganui

It’s unlikely that you can visit Mount Maunganui without paying a visit to Astrolabe Restaurant and bar. The bar is a firm favourite with locals and has become the place to go for the big summer celebrations on Christmas and New Year’s Eve but the restaurant shouldn’t be ignored – though it gets pretty noisy after about 9pm on the weekend nights.

The food is excellent ranging from some delicious tapas bar snacks to brunch, to dinner. The almost fine dining prices are matched by some great quality food that is certainly the best you’ll find locally and the fish, freshly caught, is of course excellent.

It’s a great venue; just minutes from the beach, the busy bar is the perfect place to unwind after a day in the surf or, if you’re staying for dinner, the wide open courtyard is a must on those balmy summer evenings. Astrolabe is not just a summer haunt though, it’s huge fireplace inside is a focal point when the weather’s got a bit wintry and there’s no better way to warm up than sitting by the fire with a drink and something hearty to eat.

The Maitre d’ and staff are friendly and helpful, and kids are made very welcome – it’s definitely a place they can be heard as well as seen! – so make the time to visit this iconic Mount hangout.

17 November 2011

Nick Chidley

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