To celebrate Boni graduating, being employed and turning 23 (triple the joy!) we dined at Sails. The restaurant is nestled in the Westhaven marina, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest harbour and is well positioned away from the city noise. Inside, its all quite breathtaking with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing its perfect location. For entrees we chose Salt and pepper squid, two sets of Fresh oysters with Forvum Chardonnay vinegar, Duck leg confit and some Tiger prawns. I was a big fan of the squid as well as the oysters. My main, the Grilled market fish was incredibly fresh and delicious with its crispy skin. For dessert I had the baked lemon cream, of which I am still reminiscing about. It was smooth and creamy, had the right amount of tang to it and just glided in my mouth. I also had a taste of my fellow diners’ dishes but you could also tell how delectable they were as everybody soon became reluctant to share. The restaurant is seafood based but they are also award winning in lamb and beef, I do suggest you stick with these options. Service was impeccable. Overall, it was perfect in atmosphere, interior, location, service and food. This is definitely something special and a must-visit of Auckland. Honestly, we give it full points.
On a Sunday night we decided to go for a stroll along the Yarra River in search of some good food. We were told that most of the decent restaurants would be closed so it was really a hit or miss with what was open. As we walked along we checked out the menus which were conveniently displayed outside their respective restaurants (it’s like Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter but with about 100x greater of a selection). We settled on The Breslin Bar & Grill after having been lured in by the wonderful smoky smell that was drifting out of the restaurant. That, and we were getting hungry halfway down the river. I must say, we were pleasantly surprised. My favourite would have been the Pork Ribs which were grilled to perfection and was obviously the dish that created that oh-so-tasty smoky air. We also had a Char-grilled Wagyu Rump to share between the three of us. Tasty, yes but I had better steak at The Meat, Wine & Co. which is actually located further down the river. The only real disappointment was the dessert, being a lemon meringue pie. It was extremely runny and too sweet, having lost that tang which seals the deal. With a great atmosphere and classy interior we were three extremely satisfied sisters. After having seen so many other delicious-looking dishes popping out of the kitchen, we were so very tempted to come back another night, but maybe next time!
Also, next post will be about Boni’s birthday dinner at the one and only Sails restaurant in Westhaven. Hurrah on turning 23. Follow us to stay updated on Instagram @twohonesttruths or click the +Follow button at the bottom right hand corner to subscribe by email or WordPress.
On Friday night, to start off the long weekend I visited Ortolana with a friend. It was a delightful meal and I just couldn’t wait to share with all of you (don’t worry there will be more Melbourne photos still coming). If you haven’t been to the Hip Group’s cafes here in Auckland, you are missing out. Big time. Ortolana – meaning market garden has indeed lived up to its name and its raves, many of the ingredients I believe come from the Group’s own garden. Service was impeccable, as always across the restaurants. We started off with drinks Tamarillo and Pear Frappe, and Lemon and Feijoa Homemade Soda. Both excellent fruit combinations, fresh and simply delicious. I was looking forward to trying the Watermelon and Mint Frappe that I saw on the menu before but since watermelons are out of season right now I guess I’ll have to wait. For the mains we had Beetroot, cumin, feta, hazelnuts, lasagnotte and Market fish with garden harvest. I loved how colourful the lasagnotte was, food looked amazing and tasted amazing. I even had a girl a few tables across walking over and peering at what I was having, after telling her it was the Market fish, she promptly got back and ordered the same. There is nothing on the dishes that are ingredients just for show, everything is essential and everything goes well. You would have your fish with some beans together with some sauce all in one bite and it would be perfect. There was nothing left on our plates. I think the most prominent feature of the restaurant is the freshness. Everything tastes fresh, looks fresh. You won’t feel bogged down with heavy food, it makes you light and happy. It would be better if they offered more dessert options from Milse though.
We decided to pop over to Milse ourselves and after having been told there was 40 minute wait we put our names down and had a stroll around Britomart. It was going well past the hour so instead we decided to try again another time and have takeaway for now. Going back to the restaurant, it was as hectic as ever. The corridor was full, people were waiting outside and the standard of service was lower. People waiting to pay, people wanting to get desserts and people standing there with their popsicles just not sure what to do. It was all very crazy. Nevertheless we managed to buy a few a la carte items, the Lemon, Blueberry and Thyme cake, the Mango and Coconut Popsicle, and the Valrhona Chocolate, Armagnac and Salted Caramel cake. Amazing desserts. The lemon cake was soft, had the right amount of tang to it and also a surprise crunch. (I’m not too sure about the pricing, the girl charged me $8 for the lemon cake but having just looked at the patisserie menu online it says $7.) These are honestly at the next level, you can tell they draw inspiration internationally as its nothing you would expect having here in Auckland. You have to try it to experience it yourself. Hopefully they will figure out how to deal with the night rush but I will be back during the day for some beautiful dessert food art.
Ortolana and Milse.
The Pavillions, Britomart, Auckland Central.
Half Moon Bay has seen some extensive revitalisation in the recent year or so, now trendier and livelier than it had been two to three years ago. Being lured in by their rustic décor, my friend and I decided to give Grangers a try. The restaurant reminds me of The Depot Eatery in town – another highly raved about and excellent dining place (read my review here). We exchange devious city parking for free, widely available spots and the base of the Skytower for the boats and water. There are even bicycles outside for you to take a casual ride around the marina, or if you ate your heart out you could always take it for a high calorie burner, I guess.
The restaurant was filling up fast at 4:30 on a Friday night. Having read some reviews beforehand I was excited to try their sliders, which sadly weren’t available that night. Instead, we ordered the Grangers Burger, chicken with couscous ($29) and potato skins ($8) on the side. To drink we had Rekorderling Cider in strawberry and lime ($13). The couscous was cold upon arrival and the chicken was a chore to dissect and eat. The potato skins however were absolutely divine. Our burger had not seemed to make itself on the bill so we decided to cancel seeing as we were quite full already. The staff offered us a complimentary dessert – a pear and date pudding as an apology for the mistake. This was a courteous gesture from the restaurant and we left on a good note. I will be back for those mouthwatering potato skins and to give the burger and sliders a try.