Jay G. said: "The best pizza in NZ! I’m a regular and always have great customer service with a smile. Steve the owner is awesome and a great entertainer, ask him to sing the dessert menu to you in an italian accent(you will be in…" read more »
- Meals Served:
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Reviews for Fenice Restaurant
by Dean Q.
25th February 2013
Average at best.
Ok, so this is one of those places that thinks it’s the bees knees, charges full whack but underperforms. Its target market are clearly the Remuera style day trippers.
Has potential but currently doesn’t warrant returning.
The restaurant was full when we were there. The welcome was a bit luke warm despite reservations.
After being seated a jug of water arrived instantly, but then 15 minutes passed before I had to grab the waitress to place a drinks order.
The attention to guests by the 3 staff was minimal. What makes me nervous is when waiting staff don’t use a notepad or anything to take down the orders.
Halfway through the meal the bar tender girls secret Italian admirer stood at the bar staring over the diners for the first beer, then for the second beer sat on the outside balcony area playing stupid games on his phone. Does anyone find it relaxing to have those squeaky beeping noises in the background in a restaurant?
Focaccia is not the same as a big wad of pizza dough sprinkled with half the worlds supply of fancy salt. Greasy stodgy pizza dough is not good enough!
One huge c.ock up in the restaurant business… and here comes my free advice… when a customer is still chewing their entrees how dare you slap the mains on the table and walk away!! I wasnt in the mood for an argument so I didnt tell the waitress to take the mains back in to the kitchen… for fear it would sit around and go cold in this place.
Risotto was creamy but lacked any flavour. Reminded me of baby food.
Pizza was bland. I was crying out for tomato ketchup to pimp it up but decided it would be rude to cover their pizzas in the red sauce.
Couldn’t be bothered with desserts.
If youre going to hire seasonal Italian backpackers as staff at least ensure their english is understandable. We had no idea what was on the “specials”.
Summary… there are better places for Italian style food on the island… steffanos would be the direct and better competition here…
When on Waiheke give your customers a warm Waiheke welcome and service, not the pretentious disinterested Remuera style of service.
Invest in a chef that has more finesse, and if your chef has this ability already then get management to let the chef cook to their potential.
Average imitation Italian style food may be adequate for day trippers but guess who pays the wages in the off season… yip, those of us that either live on Waiheke or spend a lot of time here.
by gina t.
17th October 2012
Came over to Waiheke on the weekend, saw the $15 lunch ad outside, the waitress had to check with the kitchen, and then told us they don’t do it on the weekend, after we had ordered drinks, not good. The staff were friendly, and apologetic.
But false advertising is not acceptable.
24th March 2012
My partner and I visited Waiheke last weekend and decided to have dinner at Fenice. We arrived and were told that although a table wasn’t available, we could have a drink and some snacks at the bar while we waited for a table to free up. The woman at the bar was friendly and looked after us until we were given a table. We had the polenta chips while we waited, which were okay, but a little mushy. Once we were given a table, we ordered the rice balls and the bean and peach salad to start, which were both fantastic. We then ordered the risotto and the fish of the day which were equally as good. We were too full to try their desserts, but they looked lovely. The place was very busy, so understandably, the staff were a little overwhelmed, but made an effort regardless to make us feel very welcome. The setting is lovely (if a little dark), the service is really good, but the food was the highlight. Next time we visit Waiheke, we’ll definitely give Fenice another go.
by ParkingSleeping S.
23rd March 2012
I do not accept free meals as compensation……..
Lovely location wonderful service but during the meal a group of men arrived and stood at the bar service area . Loud shouting and boorish behaviour was all I could describe it as . No one could compete customers endured the noise. After a wonderful holiday on the island [wet most of the time] I wished to shout my partner and her friend to a no price limit evening out .$1.00 or $……00 .These men I have been told do it often come and rave up . They are known and I know who they are . Privileged positions and indiscretion is all I can describe it as . I do not recommend this place except to the deaf and battle hardened . I did not enjoy the mans back side moving closer and closer towards the table till it protruded almost across the table , what sods . I have been going to the island since 1956 , the locals identified these men and I was horrified as to who they were . I did not complain because I did not wish to loose my temper . BB money is not a problem …….[Oh the food was wonderful the service was great .....but what a boorish loud group of men who do it often after work according to the locals I must repeat again and again ].I would recommend trying else where .
15th November 2011
A few weeks ago my friends and I came into Fenice on a beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon for a couple of wines and a light meal. The staff seemed very per-occupied even though there was only one other group of guests in the restaurant. We waited a long time before being served whilst the staff chatted amongst them selves.
The only gluten free options was some fries or polenta chips. When we tried to ask the staff member serving us some questions about the food, she walked off, not sure if english was her first language, that’s ok, she just lacked politeness.
My friends pizza’s were nice and my chips were ok. However, we were eagerly waiting to order some more wine and food as we had finished everything else a least 10 mins prior. With empty glasses and empty plates in front of us we then decided to leave.
It’s a shame because the space is lovely and the food is nice, but the service was terrible. Hopefully some more gluten free options become available in the future too.
by Greg D.
22nd October 2011
My partner and I dined here about two weeks ago, and will definitely will be coming back. The Maitre d’ was extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome. We shared the calamari which wasn’t over cooked which I come across at some restaurants. My partner got the rabbit which he said was amazing! I got the pizza with artichoke, mushroom, olives and ham which I enjoyed but found it a little strange that all the topping were on separate parts of the pizza, rather than mixed. Personally I would have preferred them to be altogether. other than that we our experience was very pleasant.
by Kate W.
14th September 2011
What a cute little place. We really enjoyed our meal here. The staff were amazingly friendly and fun. We were served by a very bubbly Italian girl. The wine list was small, but had a good selection of NZ and European wines (by the glass too, which i love!) My partner and I shared some very tasty Calamari and Arancini to start, then I had a beautiful rabbit pasta, (they make all their own pasta there fresh) and my partner had a very traditional looking seafood pizza. Yum, I’m getting hungry again thinking about it. Looking forward to our next visit.
by Secret s.
30th July 2011
Firstly let me tell you if I had wrote this review in the first 6 weeks of this restaurant opening it’s doors then I would have awarded it 5 stars. We have dined here frequently since it opened and only had high praise for it in the beginning.
Fantastic produce, beautiful salads and cup cakes, sublime stuffed crusty baguettes with Proscuitto etc, gorgeous pizzas with authentic imported mozzerella cheese, and small attentions to details like flakes sea salt served in tiny square ramekins with mother of pearl serving spoons.
These are the beginnings of a restaurant that is serious about customer satisfaction. Unfortunately 3 months down the line all this has degenerated. The last time I went to purchase one of there beautiful sandwiches to take away I was offered a cut tiny square of foccacia filled with pallid cold bacon instead of my much dreamt about Proscuitto,,,,nightmare!!!!
The restaurant has been sub zero in temperature on an evening with clients sitting in coats and scarves INSIDE THE RESTAURANT. Also the wine glasses used to have pour marks on them and now they don’t so upon ordering 3 separate glasses of wine in one evening, the first pour was generous with the 2nd and 3rd being decidedly ungenerous, not good enough at $12 a glass
We ate there for the final time this week, a new menu which for us was uninspiring, and the pizzas when arrived were bland and generic, no sign of their lovely signature fresh mozzarella melted over them anymore.
Big shame, seems greed and profit over what they first opened with has taken over. We won’t be back
19th July 2011
Quite a let down. Four of us dined and we all agreed the food was nothing more than very average. A huge shame as the place had the makings of an icon. We wont be going back.
by Low K.
17th July 2011
My wife and I happened upon Fenice on what was a getaway weekend we had long looked forward to for some time. Having recently been bought by the Mudbrick, Fenice came highly recommended, and on this basis we felt it was worth a try.
At the outset Fenice provided exactly what we were after. The maître d’ is lovely, and certainly does her best in what seems to be a very popular establishment. The bar staff are also equally keen to please and personable.
Unfortunately our night was sullied by pure bad luck. The pure bad luck that was being placed in the one section of the restaurant which was, evidently, serviced by a tantruming toddler, who quite obviously would rather be anywhere other than at Fenice that night. Perhaps her rostered shift clashed with a friends 21st, or perhaps she has more personal issues that we weren’t aware of. I guess we’ll never know.
Regardless, the resulting attitude from our waitress and inherent lack of service ruined what may have been a lovely night. Both my wife and I have worked in hospo for many years, both in the Ponsonby Road caffeine front line, and my wife in one of the best and most awarded fine dining establishments, and we know what a busy (and chaotic) night can be like, and I would like to think we are very understanding. And yet, it was not the delays or cock ups we were miffed by, (for as we know these can be smoothed over) but more the appalling lack of service, compounded by out and out rudeness. Basic manners fell to the way side, and frankly this is not good enough. You’d find better at your local chipper. Which was sad given our initial experience. We were left to request the entire evenings proceedings, including cutlery, water and order, which isn’t great is it.
Our personal experience aside, it must also be said that all other staff were professional, personable, and certainly making the whole place hum. And hey, the food was OK. Not great, but OK, and certainly this was all that the lady and I were looking for on a night away from the kids. Their basic fare plus some reasonable hospitality would have more than sufficed.
Would we try Fenice again? Quite possibly, Yes. No doubt the joint is the better for ambience in Oneroa, and most there are doing their very best. Which is important. And as we know, one sub-standard waitress doth not maketh the place. But please, send the tantruming toddler back to playschool. She still has some basic learning to do!
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