Dining at Helena Bay
Helena Bay has brought the celebrated Michelin starred Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890 of Southern Italy to New Zealand. Under the direction and the influence of Don Alfonso’s philosophy of respecting the local food culture while incorporating the age-old traditions of the Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast, fine dining will define the hospitality experience at Helena Bay.
Significant investment has been made at Helena Bay to offer guests ‘Estate to Plate’ cuisine. The menus, which change daily, are created following the Don Alfonso philosophy.
“Meals are becoming more about entertainment, to be experienced like theatre, but turning meals into a provocative spectacle is only part of the show; their contents must be a true absolute reference because we are what we eat. Here at Helena Bay, as at Sant’Agata sui due Golfi, we begin from the earth, growing everything that we use in our restaurant. In this new paradise we bring not only our know-how but our hearts.”
Head Chef Michele Martino was born in Southern Italy. He has trained in the culinary art of fine dining restaurants all around Italy and Europe. In 2009 he welcomed the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Iaccarino family at Don Alfonso 1890, sharing their concept of Mediterranean cuisine. After establishing himself as a trusted and respected Chef under the watchful eye of Ernesto Iaccarino, he was asked to Chef at the Don Alfonso 1890 Macau in the Grand Lisboa Hotel. After a very successful period in Macau, the Iaccarino family decided to utilise Michele’s exceptional culinary skills further and asked him to help implement and establish new ventures; first as Chef de Cuisine in Dubai and, more recently, on the romantic Island of Capri.
Ready for a new challenge, Michele has arrived on New Zealand’s beautiful shores with clear ideas: “I think Helena Bay Lodge is a unique and enchanting place where people can deeply enjoy all of life’s pleasures. The organic philosophy of Helena Bay Lodge meets the history of Mediterranean gastronomy with the Iaccarino family. For this reason I believe that guests who have the pleasure to enjoy our beautiful property will have an unforgettable experience.”
Served on exquisite dinnerware by Villeroy & Boch, meals at Helena Bay will never feel repetitive. Each night the choice of dining venue is yours; an elegant candlelit dinner in front of one of the many roaring log fires or on the terrace looking out to the Pacific Ocean. These are just some of the options. During the day, poolside lunches or a picnic on one of Helena Bay’s private beaches are available. Whatever your mood, the Chefs and Lodge Staff are on hand to look after your every wish.
Our talented Chefs prepare a different five-course degustation menu every night, showcasing their signature dishes. You can choose to have a lighter three-course option if you wish – this menu will take you through a beautiful selection of flavours, we often think the dishes look too good to eat! Our reception team will email you a food preference form prior to your arrival, encouraging you to list any dietary requirements and of course any favourites you would like included.
Private Dining – The Den
The Den is our smallest, most intimate private dining area. Comfortably seating two persons this intimate room hosts our library along with a log fire. This is also where our selection of board games is kept. A cosy space to spend a romantic evening with your loved one.
Private Dining – The Formal Lounge
The Formal Lounge is our larger private dining room and has a wide screen television. A great private space to host a business meeting or if you simply can’t miss that game!
Private Dining – The Formal Lounge Loggia
The Formal Lounge Loggia is set up for you outside where you can admire the stunning surrounding sea views. Don’t worry about getting cold as your dining is set up next to our outside fire place. With prior notice, we will have your exclusive evening set up and tailored to suit your requirements.
The wine cellar at Helena Bay houses has more than 240 selections and over 2,100 bottles of carefully selected New Zealand and international wines; some are true finds which, in the hands of our Wine Manager, are the perfect companions for the exquisite meals served in our many dining venues.
We are also thrilled to hold an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator’s 2018 and 2019 Restaurant Awards.
We offer a range of delicious picnics that you are welcome to take anywhere on the property, Mohei Beach is always a popular choice. With prior booking, the pavillion is a spectacular place for alfresco eating. There are lots of great sports to explore on the property including another three private beaches – we recommend taking one of our Polaris 4WD Rangers to find your perfect spot. Alternatively, we can provide the service of preparing a unique picnic setting for you at one of our private beaches of your choice. We have a fully customisable menu, and can cater for your dietary requirements.