Where to Eat: Devon on the Wharf

This new eatery is helping to transform Devonport's wharf

Devon on the Wharf's Alex Isik and Nigar Ivgen. Picture / Babiche Martens.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more life-affirming spot than Devonport wharf but until now, the north pavilion was little more than a shell with a smattering of shops.

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Just in time for sun-soaked soirees staring seaside to the city (try saying that after a sauvignon or two) comes the opening of Devon on the Wharf, marking the final stage of a seven-year project to transform the ferry terminal.

The cafe and restaurant is the brainchild of Castor Bay locals Alex Isik and Nigar Ivgen, the Turkish restaurateurs best known for the Mozaik Caffe franchise, Deco Eatery in Titirangi’s historic Lopdell House, and New Lynn’s Bodrum Kitchen. The eatery’s airy $1.5 million fitout by Pennant and Triumph makes the most of its oceanside locale with seating indoors and out and an abundance of light glinting off Turkish copper jugs and jewel-coloured German glassware.

It’s a spot fit for royalty — fortuitous then that executive chef Kevin Blakeman (who Alex met through their Greenhithe soccer team), worked in the British Houses of Parliament where he scrambled eggs for the Queen. Since then, he’s led Kiwi kitchens at Mercure Hotel, Allely House, Waitakere Estate and Como Cafe in Takapuna, and is now overseeing a Mediterranean-inspired menu boasting Deco’s famous mezze platter, dolma (based on Alex’s mother’s recipe), seared scallops with saffron tabbouleh, and tagine.

It’ll make Auckland’s traffic-locked commuters green with envy, but Devonport ferry-goers can pop in to the eatery as early as 5.30am for house-roasted coffee (with beans from Devonport’s Zigana), fresh-pressed juices and takeaway lunches. Everyone else can leave the car behind and let an a la carte breakfast or lunch seep into dinner, before catching the 12-minute weekend ferry back to town as late as 1.15am.

— Devon on the Wharf, Devonport Wharf Northern Pavillion, 1 Queen's Parade, Devonport

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