About us

Escape to the country - Come out for a great brunch or dinner with Kopiko Bay Range wine, beers or superb coffee in the peace and quiet of Wellington's hidden valley.

Saddleback Cafe is a delightful 20 minute drive from Wellington's CBD.

From Johnsonville, head for Churton Park or the church on the hill at the second roundabout. Just before you get the church, turn first left into Ironside Rd and meander your way through the delightful countryside - following the sign posts.

Chef Ervin Ybanez Garde of Saddleback Cafe came to New Zealand from Philippines in 1980s, and pursued a career in Professional Catering and Culinary Arts in Rotorua at Waiariki Institute of Technology. Ervin started his career in a fine dining restaurant at the Poppy’s Villa in Rotorua.  From there, Ervin’s culinary journey has taken him from Rotorua to Auckland to Montego Bay, Jamaica and then to the International Cruise Ships as the Chef De Cuisine.

After working several years overseas, Ervin returned to New Zealand and became the Executive Chef at the Prestigious Small Luxury Hotel of the World (SLH), Solitaire Lodge. He also set up the Mokoia Restaurant at the award winning Wai-Ora Lakeside Spa Resort in Rotorua as the Executive Chef and has gained several Culinary Medals, he was also nominated as the 2012 Outstanding Chef of the year for Rotorua Hospitality Award with Restaurant Association of New Zealand. He has also gained the Beef & Lamb Excellence Awards from 2009 to 2013 for Mokoia Restaurant.

Now in Wellington at Saddleback Cafe, Ervin is hoping to share his culinary experience by using the local ingredients with Country flair and family theme with a hint of New Zealand Indigenous Herbs & Spices.

Ervin and the Saddleback Cafe team  are  looking forward to seeing you soon!