It’s August and that means Auckland Restaurant Month!
I love this month. I save up all my dining envy from my Facebook feed (pun intended) and roll it out in August when I can make huge savings at the city’s best restaurants.
Last week I kicked off the month in Sofitel style at Lava Dining in the Auckland viaduct. An award-winning chef, a new innovative winter menu AND a restaurant month deal!
Here it is for your drooling edification:
I started with this dish of fresh salmon served with halved grapes, ribbons of cucumber, fresh wasabi (which didn’t blow my head off like I find it usually does), shiso and rice crackers matched with a crisp Nautilus Estate Marlborough Sauvignon. Happy place.
My husband did not do the tasting menu, preferring to go for three courses a la carte. He started with these delicious, warm seared scallops with proscuitto, red onion jam, cauliflower puree and decorated with little beet leaves. Yes I had a taste and yes it was great! *plateenvy
Then he waited while I tucked into this generous serve of melt-in-your-mouth braised ox cheek with crispy beet chips, beet puree, black garlic and parsley and scattered with nuts for some good crunch. Pierre, our French waiter, paired it with the only Australian on my menu, Yalumba Coonawarra Cigare Cabernet Sauvignon. I did share it!
Then it was time for the gnocchi course. Pillows of potato gnocchi on a pumpkin puree with smoky mushrooms, sliced truffle and kale chips. The smokiness was amazing and it came paired with the Nautilus Marlborough Chardonnay which was so good. And I’m not normally a Chardy girl!
Then back together we came with me having this little Raukumara wild venison dish – which was plenty generous for course number four! Hubby had a larger version, served medium rare with parsnip puree, sauteed leeks, red cabbage gel, hazelnuts and cocoa nibs on a rich jus. But the Nautilus Pinot Noir made the whole thing come together on a romantic rainy Auckland night!
This carrot and orange sorbet served on Greek yoghurt was a sneaky little dish in and of itself! One you should definitely serve at home – but for pudding not just a pause 🙂
No I didn’t have room for this dish so we shared it! Valrhona chocolate mousse with salted caramel, macarons, and peanut butter ice cream paired with the delicious Greywacke Marlbough Late Harvest Riesling. I managed the sticky all by myself 🙂
And just to be sure we were absolutely satiated, hubby ordered this yummy coconut panacotta with poached rhubarb, berry sorbet and pistachio.
So there you have it. Hungry?