THE RESTAURANT

Tantalus Estate Restaurant opened in September 2016. It offers diners a feeling of intimacy and privacy, notwithstanding its 200 person capacity.

HOURS & BOOKINGS

The restaurant is open 11am to 4pm daily. You are welcome to book online – advance bookings are highly recommended. Prior bookings are necessary for the private dining room, which seats up to 22 guests for dining, or up to 50 for a cocktail function.

THE BREWER’S LOUNGE

Located on the ground floor beside our brewery, discover the moody and secretive Alibi Brewer’s Lounge – reminiscent of a speakeasy from the Prohibition era. The lounge gives guests a sneak preview of the brewery and caters for 40 diners or 70 guests enjoying a canapé-style function.

REVIEWS

Within a week of opening we had a terrific review published in lifestyle website Denizen. We have also had many and continual positive online or email diner testimonials.

RESERVATIONS ARE ESSENTIAL – Please note, a 15% surcharge applies on public holidays

MAKE A

RESERVATION

TINO PASSANO

HEAD CHEF

As a boy, Tino jumped out of bed early on the weekends to clandestinely cook breakfast for his parents, delivering it to them in bed.  He’s pretty sure now that the delicious aromas wafting down the hallway were obvious, but he’s glad they played along, receiving their home-cooked delights with complete surprise.

Home for this budding foodie was Parys in South Africa.  His parents ran a catering company part time, introducing Tino to the creative enjoyment of cooking and hosting guests.  At just 18, while training full-time to be a pastry chef, he opened a company selling cakes.  His business skills grew to match his culinary flair and he secured his first Head Chef job.

Keen for adventure and international experience, Tino spent 3 years on two of the smallest Channel Islands: Herm and Alderney – island life beckoned. Tino was only in his early twenties, when we’re keen for the bright lights of a bustling city, but Tino was focused on becoming a brilliant pastry chef.

London called, in the name of Anton Mosimann who had gained 2 Michelin stars at The Dorchester Hotel. He then opened a Private Dining Club where Tino created exquisite desserts for Royalty from around the globe and it remains a career highlight.  After completing a stage at the Michelin starred Plume restaurant in the New Forest, Southern England, Tino headed to New Zealand for a six month contract at Mudbrick Restaurant here on Waiheke.  He moved from pastry to the hotline, was promoted to Sous Chef and remained at Mudbrick for 6 years. He’s super proud of being voted twice Runner-Up to represent NZ internationally at the Dilma Tea competition.  Competitors host an Afternoon Tea for the owner of Dilma Tea and renown Chef Simon Gault.

Tino has been on board at Tantalus from the outset and he became Head Chef in November. His strengths are his loyalty and positivity – he’s not interested in a stressful kitchen and sings at the top of his voice – he’s got a wickedly sonorous soprano creating instant fans of us all.  He treats his staff as he would like to have been treated, maintaining a healthy workplace vibe.

Tino remains deeply engaged with his South African heritage, visiting home annually.  BBQ’s are his go to happy place.  For relaxation you’ll find him making sausages to sizzle on the BBQ 3 or 4 nights a week.  His fiancée Tabitha is a Restaurant Manager and understands the commitment required in a restaurant kitchen on Waiheke.  So with a Cuisine Top 100 NZ restaurants nomination awarded to Tantalus in 2017 within just one year of operation, Tino’s going to lead us quietly and confidently into an exciting future.

 

KRISTIN TUCKER

MAÎTRE D’

Insatiable curiosity about culture and people led Kristin into the world of anthropological studies.  Theory became reality as she travelled the globe, landing on the shores of Waiheke.  She’s worked in many hot spots of hospitality – such as New York City, bringing her international experience and exceptional work ethic onboard.  Kristin guides the restaurant and staff with commanding focus.  If it needs doing, she’ll get it done, while juggling deftly behind the scenes.  She’s smart and sassy with a wicked sense of humour and a love of people… and all things health related. She teaches yoga and pilates; she runs marathons, she paddle boards… hmmm, it’s a relief for our beach-strolling staff to know she enjoys an Alibi beer and asado under the stars.  Kristin has swapped the mountains of Colorado for island life and the bounty if offers her … and she in turn offers Tantalus.

“The only disappointing part of the whole meal was when it came to an end.”

Harriet Johnstone, Denizen

JASON COLLINS

ASSISTANT RESTAURANT MANAGER

The idyllic seaside community of Cornwall in southern England thrives on tourism.  As a young boy, Jason’s parents introduced him to dining in restaurants in their home-town and it wasn’t just the food that captured Jason’s imagination.  Peopled by visitors, locals and eccentric characters, the microcosm of the restaurant intrigued him – a home away from home.  He went on to study hospitality and tourism, working in restaurants and bars across Australia, before returning to the UK.  In the middle of an English winter he spied an advertisement to apply for residency in New Zealand.  Within 3 weeks he was accepted and within 3 months he arrived on Waiheke Island to a job offer at Mudbrick.  That was in 2000 and this island has claimed him and won’t let go.  No wonder – it’s a small seaside community, thriving on tourism, within reach of a large city.  Perfect for the varied live music gigs he regularly enjoys.  Beaches in the summer, movies in the winter and time spent with the many friendships built over the years.  Waiheke has changed and grown, but Jason remains a loyal and much loved familiar face, welcoming the world through our doors.

ANDREW DOWN

BEVERAGE DIRECTOR

Kiwis are renowned for flying off to live and work in London, but Andrew has left that self-same metropolis to live and work ‘down under’.  He had a fabulous job working for the Hospo Company in London, with international connections like Milk & Honey in NYC. That job took him to the ski resort of Chamonix for the winter season.  He developed an addiction to snow-boarding, so when the snow melted in the French Alps, he chose the only other place on the planet to continue snow-boarding uninterrupted, landing in Queenstown. After four years of Beverage Management in Queenstown, he sidled down the main highway to Amisfield Vineyard and Bistro in Arrowtown.  That’s where the fascination in wine production kicked in.  Being able to offer 10 year vertical tastings of Pinot Noir and realise the particularities of vintage variations was a revelation.  Andrew is relishing the opportunity to hop on board our unfolding Tantalus adventure and we are thrilled that he’s traded snow clad mountains for island life.