Takapuna is easily one of the best places to be in Auckland, particularly in summer. With it’s long white beach, views of Rangitoto and buzzing foodie scene, we’re already hooked. And now we’ve found one more reason to be in this Shore burb—The Lab.
Firstly, there’s something a little (ok a lot) different about this place. Remember in science class when you had to measure liquids into beacons and flasks? That’s what they do here, but instead of the liquid being a dangerous chemical, they use all types of delicious booze and other goodies to create some epic drinks. Take the Wine Popsicle Love Affair—a housemade peach and vodka popsicle submerged in bubbly champagne. The Aloe-Bomb is a mix of aloe vera, a classic mix of gin and tonic with sunken peach candies. And the kookie cocktail adorned with a test tube of Midori to add as you please.
The Lab is an all-day eatery covering all requests. For that all important first meal of the day, go all out with their vanilla custard pancakes. Drizzled with date syrup and complete with fresh fruit, caramel popcorn and whipped cream, you’ll be wishing you were a morning person everyday. Their eggs bene has an interesting twist. Crab cakes anyone? These soft cakes are topped with either bacon or salmon, soft poached eggs and the mandatory hollandaise.
For a midday-break feast, their take on Mediterranean cuisine brings a raft of options that are sure to satisfy. Their falafel is light and flavourful and paired with crisp salad, hummus and tahini sauce. The ‘Daddy & Me’ burger is a substantial creation, with a wee mini-me version perched on top. The patty is a glorious mix of lamb and bacon and the melted cheddar red onions and salad add delightful freshness.
In the evening, the menu changes to a list of smaller dishes suitable for sharing or ordering as an entree. The pan-fried garlic prawns are cooked just right while the homemade hummus is served along lamb mince, roasted pine nuts, coriander, cumin and turkish bread. To the main affair, their date syrup glazed and baked salmon fillet goes down a treat—it sits atop a beautiful mix of quinoa, spinach crimson beetroot and orange dressing. The eye fillet goes down a traditional route of accompanying roast veges and creamy mushroom sauce, and is delicious.
As the weather warms, relax under the front decks’ looming Pohutukawa trees—their beer-garden-esque set up is the ultimate place to people watch. The indoor dining room boasts a central turquoise banquet where you can happily sit and watch the open plan kitchen and bar.
Come here with a thirst for creative and fun cocktails and indulge in a simple, yet tasty bite. You can’t quite beat Taka’ on a glorious sunny day and The Lab has made it that little bit better.