I must have been about four, because I don't think my sister was there - she arrived when I was five. A few weeks ago, she took me back to Orewa for a late birthday treat. It's changed so much, I don't have any idea where those old beach houses would have been.
The family currently running it are German, so the adults' menu offered interesting dishes from schnitzel and knodel to pancakes and apple strudel. Our two chaps went for pork belly, my niece and niece-in-law had burgers, and my sister and I both chose what was described as "Our Famous Scallop and Bacon Salad". And very good it was too - four kinds of fresh lettuce (no manky mesclun here), crispy bacon, and a generous helping of nicely cooked scallops, with toasted foccacia on the side. So good to find a family cafe serving food that's different and delicious.
For dessert, of course we had to have apple strudel - but mine came with something extra. Thanks to my sister and her family, I couldn't have had a nicer day.
498 Hibiscus Coast Highway (turn down the long drive - the cottage is set in a garden and overlooks the bush and the river)
Open for breakfast, morning or afternoon tea, and lunch, 9.30 am - 4 pm, Weds-Mon (closed Tuesday). I think it's also open for dinner some nights - check. For larger groups, make a booking: phone 09 427 5570.