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“Family celebration dinner at the Riverhead”
Review of The Riverhead

The Riverhead
Ranked #2 of 7 Restaurants in Riverhead
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$27
Cuisines: Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Nestled on the shores of the upper Waitemata, The Riverhead is steeped in local history and was a vital part of the development of early New Zealand. Prior to The Riverhead being built on this site, Thomas Deacon, the original owner, owned a pub on the point just below where The Riverhead now stands. The early Maori used this landing point as the place to disembark and portage their waka across land to the Kumeu River to get easier access to the lands in the Far North. Early immigrants then used this same route to travel north, disembarking at Helensville and continuing by ship north via the Kaipara Harbour.
Reviewed 6 January 2018

We are locals and wanted a special celebration dinner with our family. We arrived early, had a drink and a game of pool in the Portage bar before being seated at a lovely table overlooking the water. The service was excellent, the drinks served by a very polite wine waiter and the meals all proved outstanding. Lovely dining experience, thanks Riverhead. We will be back.

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Thank warrenx5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ribs300, Owner at The Riverhead, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2018

That's wonderful to hear! Meeting in The Portage Bar is a great way to start the evening with a little bit of friendly competitiveness before the meal. We'll look forward to seeing you again soon, cheers Paula

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122 - 126 of 698 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2018

We had 4 starters between the two of us as we couldn't decide what we wanted. Food was delicious, the staff attentive and the view was beautiful. Will definitely be back!

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Thank Kim Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ribs300, Owner at The Riverhead, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2018

Thanks Kim,
Our starters are rather yummy and a good choice when you want to share. Glad the team looked after you well, they're a very good bunch who love what they do... We'll look forward to seeing you again soon
kind regards, Paula

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Reviewed 4 January 2018 via mobile

Lovely setting. Restaurant fully booked but kitchen ran out of two choices on the menu. This was at 6pm. Spoilt the experience. Food was great but serving staff need training in how to order and which tables they are looking after. Holiday surcharge a little steep.

Thank carolls2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ribs300, Owner at The Riverhead, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2018

Here's the response again from your both your email and review:
Hi Caroll,
Running a hospitality business over the Christmas New Year period has it's challenges.
We charge a 15% surcharge which subsidises, but doesn't fully cover the time and a half and day in lieu we pay our staff who have given up their holiday to work. You would probably have noticed that all of the other hospitality venues in this area have worked out that it's not viable to open on these public holidays and remain closed. We remain open, but regrettably have to pass on this extra cost of operating as we only make money on the slender margins made on food & beverage sales.

Running out of supplies is also a tricky one. A good example is that fish needs to be fresh and only very few fishermen go out to fish between Christmas and New Year. This means that whilst we can still have our well managed fish supplies, if there is a high demand (such as with us over the New Year period) , we have limited ability to enable Fish to be available all day and have to take it off the menu. We don't change the menu for every day, but vocalise this as we go. The same goes for oysters and some other fresh ingredients.

I’ll have a word with the restaurant manager regarding the allocation of wait staff to your table. This should have been very straight forward as all our senior wait team have their sections, the issue might be been that they have had some new runners/support staff who have just started and it was their initial integration that caused the confusion. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Thanks for the feedback, we do appreciate it and my apologies for the disruption. We’ll certainly discuss your comments with the team, Kind regards, Paula

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Reviewed 3 January 2018 via mobile

We drove all the way out from the Eastern Bays looking forward to a day out with a pub lunch at "New Zealand's oldest riverside tavern."

There were no vegetarian options on the menu, unless you only wanted fries. I ordered a caesar salad and my husband ordered Nachos. An hour later, after we had been to enquire about our order, a nice plate of nachos arrived and the saddest caesar salad i have ever seen! The cos lettuce was only the tough outer leaves of an old lettuce and was 90% of the salad. (There was also one poached egg and 2 anchovies and a scattering of croutons). The lettuce was bitter and I sent the salad back.

I would like to say that the barmen were very friendly and polite and tried their best under very difficult circumstances. I was refunded the $19 for the "salad." I would commend their waitstaff, and recommend that there is room for improvement with their kitchen staff.

I would also like to mention that the pub wasn't particularly full, in fact, there was nobody inside, only people on the patio. The restaurant side was also empty, with people on the outside patio only, so "a busy restaurant" cannot be blamed for the long wait time for food. I hate to think what would happen if the place was actually busy!

Thank Katie_Coetzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ribs300, Owner at The Riverhead, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2018

Hi Katie, We recommend that everyone who comes to The Riverhead for a meal, makes a prior booking to reserve a place in our restaurant. Our restaurant has comprehensive vegetarian and dietary options. Since you didn't make a booking and the restaurant was full to capacity with outside diners, the only area available for you would've been the Portage Bar and The Boat House venues (both with outside sitting areas). Yes the inside of the restaurant would have looked empty because all those table bookings were dining outside. We can't fill all the inside tables in case of rain. We do endeavour to take walk-ins whenever possible but during the New Year public holiday time we were extremely busy; the number of people sitting outside throughout such a large venue can be quite deceiving. The Portage Bar and The Boat House were offering a casual smaller menu choice but still with a variety of vegetarian options including a Margherita Pizza, Potato Wedges, Nachos, Cheese board, a large Portage Galore Platter with two vegetarian options included on it (albeit this is designed for 10 people) and the Caesar salad which is very disappointing to hear was not up to our usual standards. Interestingly, especially given the number of people and orders of the day, your Ceasar was the only meal returned across all venues for the day and was mentioned in our shift report...My Apologies. Hopefully you'll come again and book in to the restaurant, to avoid disappointment.

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Reviewed 3 January 2018

Surprisingly the restaurant wasn't that busy on Christmas Eve. We were greeted right away when we sat down, and told the specials, and then a few minutes later a different staff member came over and began telling us the specials again. I think the confusion about the staff serving our table continued throughout the night, as we had to ask a few times for some ice for our water - which initially went to another table. Our meal order was easy to remember as we all ordered the same thing, however after a long wait they brought out the wrong meal - this was returned to the kitchen when we said it was not what we ordered. It was 5-10 minutes more before another staff member (someone we had not met yet) came to ask if someone had explained to us what had happened with our meals, and that they had just started preparing what we had actually ordered. We we eventually got our meal it was very nice however we were at the restaurant for around 2 hours and only had 1 course.
Before this visit we have been a few times and chose to go again because it is usually just the right level of fancy - the meal was a gift for my inlaws. This time was a bit of a let down - we paid fancy prices but didn't get a fancy experience.
Not sure we will go back.

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Thank Jessicamay229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ribs300, Owner at The Riverhead, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2018

Hi Jessica, My apologies that your dinner with us did not meet our own high expectations. I will take this on board and have a chat with our Restaurant Manager. Thanks for the feedback. We'd love to see you again, kind regards Paula

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