I promised that we would get back to New Zealand and here we are, an entire blog week finishing up my stay in Kiwi Land. I thought I would get things started by telling you about the ups and downs of my foodie adventures, and let you know the good the bad and the ugly of Auckland dining.
Because I live on the other side of the world my parents were forced to cram a years worth of parental love into a week of daughter time, all of which somehow meant going to the French Cafe, arguably Auckland’s top restaurant. You know they have high standards as soon as you walk through the door, the service is simply impeccable. As far from the obnoxious European waiters as you can get, the boys at the French Cafe are funny, encouraging, chatty and know when to leave you the hell alone.
Every dish that I had was so well thought out, every single element put on the plate with a purpose. I started with smoked venison, moved onto the legendary beetroot tart, my main was crispy roast duckling and ‘chocolate textures’ for dessert. Even given how awesome the food was, the winner of the night was actually the cocktails, they were just that good. I fully intended to wine match, but that went out the window as soon as I saw the cocktail list. Thank god I was with my parents so could be totally irresponsible and have one too many.
This one could cause some controversy. We went to Ortolana based on a million and one recommendations, I mean seriously not a single soul had a bad word to say about it. It was a warm spring night, the fairy lights were on and all was looking promising. Then the food arrived and disappointment came crushing down. This was a restaurant that loved a micro green, I would even say that the micro green was the focus of the dish because there sure as hell wasn’t many other flavours going on. My lamb and my Mums fish tasted exactly the same, and it is a talented chef who manages that. Especially for the price that they demanded the food was just a bit rubbish.
Now for the ugly, oh how I wanted Teed St Larder to be good. I used to work nearby and when it arrived Teed Street Larder was a breath of fresh air, so I was hoping it was going to be as good as I remembered. I ordered the brioche French toast, because I am a sucker for a good eggy bread. Unfortunately the chef had decided in a moment of fatal inspiration to COVER IT WITH ALL THE THINGS. Literally everything was on top of that French toast; freeze dried raspberries, salted caramel, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, even popcorn…yep popcorn. If Teed Street had just pulled back a little it would have been a good dish and a yummy breakfast, sadly as it was it was just a bit of a mess. I think that with so many amazing new cafes in Auckland I would go as far as to say I wouldn’t be back, life’s too short when Little and Friday is just round the corner.