Sometimes, when all is said and done, you just want your dinner. After all the fusion this and deconstructed that and pop-up dining and shared plates (sorry, share-concept menus) that, no matter how many of them you order, leave you feeling both hungry and bilious with the resentment about how someone else nicked the last prawn because you said it was all right when really it wasn't: sometimes you just want your dinner and you want someone else to cook it.
That's what they do at Moxie, which has taken over the handsomely repurposed villa that was for so long home to the reliably unreliable Eight . Two (surely the second-most irritating restaurant name in the city after White & Wong's). It's old-fashioned, then, and mostly in a good way. The pastel pink colour scheme is a bit 80s and reminded me that I once had a grey shirt and a pink tie (or maybe the other way round), which I didn't really want reminding of. But they do this really strange thing with the food.
The tables are pale pink. My lemonade is pale pink. There is, possibly, more pastel in this room than a mid '80s Fashion Week.
Moxie Restaurant is not funky or edgy or difficult. The food comes on plates, the drink comes in glasses and the chairs have backs on them. It's Miami Vice meets The Hamptons and also proof that it's possible to open a new restaurant without exposing the heating ducts or forcing the waitstaff to wear plaid.
Shoreites may recognise the Hinemoa St address as that of the frequently feted Eight.Two. This reincarnation stakes a claim in the $32-$36 mains market, but it also does a stellar bowl of properly crispy and fluffy fries (with kewpie mayo and a sprinkle of furikake rice seasoning) for eight bucks. Grab a beer - the list includes a hyper-local IPA from the Birkenhead Brewing Company - and a seat in the front or back courtyards for not-your-average $12 bar snacks - salmon wings with xo sauce, spiced date and pistachio with smoked labneh, etc.