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IMG_7092 IMG_7045 IMG_7086 IMG_7053 IMG_7085 IMG_7069 IMG_7073 IMG_7084 IMG_7080 IMG_7087 IMG_7089 IMG_7095Boy & Bird is great, open from 11am till late, 7 days a week. They also take bookings (!) – you can probably stop reading now. That’s all you needed to know, right? Because there’s a 40-minute wait at Dear Jervois, 45-minute wait at Rosie, and don’t even think about Depot on a Friday night. The half bird ($19) came with chunky chips and gravy. Double thumbs up to the chips. More gravy, more ($3). We also had some coleslaw which was refreshing and delicious (small $5.50). First class combination right there. I wouldn’t recommend the Chilli Satay Chicken ($10) no matter how good it sounds on paper and stay away from the soda selection. There are of course non-chicken dishes available but for now the chips, gravy, and coleslaw are enough to take me back.

Boy & Bird
222 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

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Mt Eden Village has been graced with so many new openings the past few months, including this new number – Scarlett Slimms & Lucky. Scarlett is a gastropub replacing Eden Cloakroom. It’s rather smoky inside so the courtyard is the better option. We had the calamari with chorizo and papaya ($14). It was delicious, refreshing and full of flavour. The battered snapper with soft shell crab and shoestring fries ($28) were surprisingly well done too. The green pea tartare was on point, not too heavy nor too sour. We didn’t enjoy the mushroom risotto ($23), the radicchio (a type of white veined red leaf vegetable) was too bitter for us.

We missed the breakfast menu i.e. Whitebait omelettes with hash browns and creamed spinach, but we’ll make it next time – weekend sleep-ins are overrated anyway.

Scarlett Slimms & Lucky
476 Mt Eden Road, Auckland
Mon-Fri 12pm – late
Sat-Sat 9am – late

I think I turned all of my friends into food critics. No harm having a little bit of expectation, right? We are doing this for the greater good, right?

Thankfully the cuts at JSH were amazing. They were tasty on their own but the sauces were equally as great. Our favourite was the SG’s Choice Wagyu Sirloin with the truffle chipotle and horseradish bearnaise (300g, $59.50). There’s not much to say about presentation but it doesn’t matter because everyone is too busy focusing on the steak. Also, where can you get that excellent knife.

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JSH is another Simon Gault restaurant along with Euro and FISH.

Entree Special Pork ribs – these were surprisingly very delicious, definitely recommended.IMG_4199

Entree Salt and Pepper prawns $24.50 – yeah, no.

It was suggested that we order 5-7 partners between 5 people because the steak does not come with any condiments. We were reasonable and ordered just 4, which was more than enough (don’t overestimate yourself!).

Special Cauliflower with aged cheddar $7.50 – super tasty and rich.IMG_4204

Mac and cheese fritters $7.50 – this was an interesting dish, which was enjoyable. Essentially mac and cheese rolled together, crumbed and fried.IMG_4202Truffle fries $7.50 – I’m not too sure whether they’d got the order wrong and these were actually steakhouse fries because there didn’t seem to be a hint of truffle in them at all. Based on the ones we got, I wouldn’t recommend.

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Creamed spinach $7.50
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Signature prime rib queen cut (24 hours notice) 300g, $45 – crazy smooth, to the point where it was maybe a little too much and reminded us of corned beef rather than steak.IMG_4215

Jervois cut eye fillet on the bone, 370g, $42.50 – beautifully cooked to medium rare. The porcini jus was clean and matched well to stronger flavoured cuts.IMG_4213

The service at JSH is a bit off. You know it’s not going to go very well when they forget you had pre-ordered a steak the night before and also puts down the wrong drink and comes back to offer it to someone else.

Creme brûlée $16.50 – classic vanilla just how I like it. Though it would’ve been better if all the vanilla bean hadn’t sunk to the bottom.IMG_4228

Baked Alaska $16.50 – beautiful dessert with hokey pokey ice cream. The egg whites themselves however were a bit of a let down.IMG_4221

Chocolate fondant $16.50 – nothing too astounding. We were put off by the rhubarb sauce, which had poor consistency and reminded us of the bright red strawberry sauce you get at Denny’s.IMG_4220

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So we’ve heard The Grill does it better, what do you think?

Jervois Steak House
72 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 

I realise this is late. It’s now the first day of spring (though that’s arguable considering the weather outside) which means Restaurant Month is well and truly over. But better late than never, right?

Soul Bar is among the Viaduct cluster, so expect waterfront views to accompany your dinner if you choose to sit outside.

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I won’t bother telling you about the Restaurant Month deal since there is no use crying over spilt milk. But a few of the dishes are well worth going back for the full price.

Spicy tuna tartare, crushed avocado, jalapeno peppers, warm jou jou bread – we enjoyed this dish but have had better elsewhere.

Salt & pepper squid, roasted garlic and saffron mayonnaise, parsley and mint gremolata – fairly standard, nothing too out there.

Atlantic scallop risotto, roast parsnip, mascarpone and truffle – this is it, the great winner of the night. This risotto was delicious in every way. The scallops were fresh, the rice creamy but not too heavy. Everyone wanted seconds.IMG_3128

Braised wagyu beef short rib, pumpkin and verjuice puree, honey roast yams – we were looking forward to this dish the most. Yet it was synonymous round the table that this was the most disappointing of them all. The beef was dry and not quite as flavourful as we were expecting.

Duck breast with green papaya, coriander and mint salad with mango dressing, toasted pinenuts – super tasty, another highlight of the night. The duck was tender and the salad refreshing. Get this one!IMG_3135

Milk chocolate mouse, chocolate nib crackling, dark chocolate jelly, creme de cacao ice cream – I didn’t personally taste this dish but the others raved on about how rich and amazing it was. The desserts are fairly small but it was enough to impress.

Lemon and yuzu tart, coconut meringue, yuzu caramel puree, passionfruit sorbet – the sorbet was great, so was the meringue.

Soul is a great place to go for a quiet, relaxing dinner or for a drink at the bar/fireplace then dinner afterwards.The service is prompt and friendly, you won’t find your glass be empty very often. The only thing that I didn’t quite understand was why the bar needed to be lit up bright red and purple, surely this was not the place for these outrageous colours. With that aside my fellow diners had enjoyed the dinner so much, Soul was now one of their favourite restaurants. Never fear that Restaurant Month is over, Soul have Ladies Lunch for the month of September (sorry lads) which is $32.50 including a glass of Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc (more details here).

Soul Bar & Bistro
Viaduct Harbour, Auckland Central

IMG_2569LOGOMany nights ago we dined at FISH inside the Hilton Hotel down at Princes Wharf. It was a 5-course meal and cost us $55 each with a voucher.IMG_2622LOGO

1 – Mussel and tio pepe cappuccino – probably our least favourite dish of the night. Though bonus points for the cute coffee cup. This was our first encounter with foam for the night.

2 – Pepper cured kingfish with beetroot, crisp rice and crème fraiche – the fish was fresh and delicious with its beetroot friends. The peppercorns were a bit overwhelming purely because there was just so much of it.IMG_2588LOGO

3 – Mushroom and spelt risotto – I enjoyed this dish, minus the foam (sense a pattern here?). It was creamy and rich, and the risotto was cooked al dente. I prefer risotto that still has a little bit of chew to it, so if you like softer rice this may not be your cup of tea.

4 – Akaroa salmon with a herb crust, prawn and spring onion mash potatoes, and spicy pistachio butter – Both my mum and I agreed that the prawn and herb potato mash was the best thing on the plate. Since salmon is relatively rich and oily itself, I didn’t enjoy having it coated in crust. Also, go away foam!

4 – Pepper rubbed South Island venison loin with parsnip puree, roasted carrots & courgettes, and orange citrus jus – there can be no wrong said about this dish. Even our dad couldn’t stop saying how good it was – picky eaters all round. The meat was cooked medium rare and had a subtle honey taste to it. It was simple, but well done.

5 – Buttermilk panna cotta Earl Grey poached figs with hazelnut biscotti and vanilla ice-cream – this was a good way to end the meal. The vanilla ice cream is the refreshing kind, and the hazelnut biscotti perfectly crunchy. Being made from buttermilk, the panna cotta was slightly sour.IMG_2617LOGO

Service was mostly quick and attentive. A lot of the time the hotel can also validate your parking, just make sure you check with the concierge on arrival.IMG_2623LOGO

Restaurant month is almost here, get excited. We have our eye on a few menus in particular Depot serving up clams/oysters with sliders at just $25 all up! Can’t wait. Check out the menus and events here.

IMG_0959 copyThe Auckland food scene caters for everybody. Even those that wake up and vow to eat healthy all day everyday but end the day munching down on delicious burgers (yeah, we’re guilty as charged). Tucked down a driveway in Kingsland is Mondays, the brainchild of Eleanor from Petite Kitchen and Hannah from Health,Yeah. The place is small, very small. It can probably seat about seven people inside, so don’t go on a rainy day? There’s a courtyard but again, space is limited – so you’re best to takeaway.IMG_0935 IMG_0938

We don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on Mondays (but that’s the good thing of having two of us right, there’s a greater chance that one of us may have the same taste as you). While we both loved the salmon salad. I had about two sips of the drinks we ordered. Boni liked both the berry smoothie and the vanilla, honey, almond milk. She is an advocate for almond milk, while I am not. Clearly she is the health-food junkie and I the burger fiend – we cover the best of both worlds.IMG_0977 IMG_0964

When we visited, Mondays had just recently opened and it was a Saturday morning so the line was out the door. It’s best to follow them on some sort of social media (Facebook, Instagram) to get an idea of what they’re cooking up in the kitchen that day before going. As with all healthy wholefoods places, the quality is good but the prices are higher for less. The above three things cost a total of $31.IMG_0926 IMG_0952

Parking – the usual horrible Kingsland scenario.

Oh, and they’re open every day except Wednesday – not just Mondays.

Mondays
503B New North Road, Auckland

IMG_1158Have you caught on to the latest burger craze yet? There’s Burger Burger in Ponsonby, Pinky’s at Tyler St Garage, some gourmet restaurant burgers at The Grill, and Better Burger at Britomart Country Club.

BCC have sectioned out one end of their restaurant to house Better Burger. The menu is quite simple, it’s either the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger, or Vege Special.IMG_1166IMG_1159

(Double) Cheeseburgers – at $5/6.50, I’m not complaining.IMG_1171

Fries – these were rather cold, sad and soft. We have heard of others having hot crispy fries though so maybe we were caught in a bad batch.

Vanilla shake – a true thickshake. This was so thick it was like almost like ice cream.

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Better Burger seems to be Auckland’s own In-N-Out (though we haven’t had the real thing before so can’t tell you how they compare). I wish you better luck with the fries. But be here, instead of McDonalds.

If you ask us to measure Burger Burger up against Better Burger, we’d say they’re in different leagues. Better Burger is more of the quick, non-fussy, to-go burger you can buy with spare change that still tastes good. While Burger Burger is gourmet at a higher price point ($10-12), has the worst soda you can ask for, but also the most amazing sizzling hot potato skins.

Better Burger
Britomart Country Club
31 Galway Street, Britomart, Auckland Central

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