The Oyster Inn
The Oyster Inn faces the sea on Oneroa Village’s (appropriately named) Ocean View Road, with white and yellow striped awnings that flutter in the breeze. It’s a beloved Waiheke Island landmark, 45 minutes from downtown Auckland via ferry. The cream-coloured, colonial-style building houses a bistro, a private dining room and boutique accommodation, all on the second storey.
Founders Jonathan Rutherfurd Best and Andrew Glenn opened The Oyster Inn in 2012, and its present-day owners Josh and Helen Emett (who also have restaurant Onslow in Auckland) started off as regulars who loved the place so much that they eventually took it over in 2020.
You could just stop in for a meal in the bistro, but three guest rooms are available if you’re tempted to stay overnight. Like the restaurant, the rooms have high ceilings with exposed, white-painted ceiling rafters, and each has its own tiled ensuite. Sink into a crisp, super king bed for the night, and in the morning, head to the 30-seat Pearl Room for breakfast.
If the restaurant is your destination and you’re visiting in summer, try and book a seat on the verandah. In colder months, inside is cosy with the fireplace roaring.
It’s not a cliche to get the oysters. The island’s Te Matuku oysters, delivered daily from the farm six kilometres away, are shucked to order and sublime – large and juicy, and perfect with the Inn’s mignonette.
With head chef Jamie Hogg-Wharekawa on the ground, owner Josh oversees a menu of with a hefty seafood focus; mainstays are the smoked kahawai mousse with grilled sourdough, battered, line-caught fish and triple-cooked chips, and the Te Matuku oyster roll. Dishes such as chicken karaage, miso roasted eggplant, slow-cooked lamb shanks and steak frites cater to those not in the market for fish.