Euro Bar and Restaurant, Princes Wharf

Euro Bar and Restaurant, Princes Wharf

Euro Bar and Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant month is running for the month of August, so there is still some time to take advantage of this amazing special!

To take part in Auckland’s restaurant month, we headed down to Princes Wharf to try out their 3-course, NZD 40 dining experience offered by Euro Bar and Restaurant. The restaurant is in a great location along the waterfront and the weather was perfect for a night out!

We were offered bread for the table which came with the most decadent, silky smooth burnt butter (be warned, they charge NZD 9 for it), something I would order again given the opportunity. The set menu came with 4 options for starters, 3 for mains and 2 choices of dessert. Our waiter was courteous but to the point, so we quickly got on to ordering our meals.

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To start we ordered the Jerusalem artichoke, egg, pecorino and buffalo curd as well as the salt and chilli squid. The artichoke dish was outstanding with an oozing soft yolk, creamy and rich cheesy flavour and a burst of crunch and sweetness – it was not something I have tried before, and was my favourite dish of the evening. Overall the squid, which had quite a bite, was the least exciting dish of the evening but good nonetheless.

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Jerusalem artichoke
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Squid

For mains we opted for the chicken and the fish of the day. The chicken portion was hearty and the chicken was soft, pink and juicy. It was accompanied by lots of different flavours – roast mushrooms, thinly-sliced fresh mushroom, mushroom puree, rich gravy and roasted, baby onions with the layer of chicken skin in-between to add a hint of salt to the dish. The fish of day was the overall winner for my husband who did not stop raving about the flavour combinations. Crispy skinned fish, thinly-sliced celeriac, a celeriac puree and a pernod butter sauce – divine!

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Free-range chicken
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Market fish

The restaurant is split between a more relaxed outside area and a smarter interior. The kitchen is off to the side but incorporated into the setting of the restaurant, so one can see the head chefs and their team at work.

For dessert we shared a deconstructed cheese cake and a chocolate tart with salted, milk ice-cream. Both dishes were fantastic! The carrot cake tasted different with each bite, as there were so many elements on the plate – dehydrated pineapple for crunch, walnuts, pickled raisins, cream cheese, pineapple sorbet, and a concentrated puree. The brownie was my favourite dessert with a salted-milk ice-cream that was a perfect accompaniment to cut through the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel blobs on the plate.

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Deconstructed carrot cake
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Chocolate tart

To say that we indulged, is an understatement. It was fine-dining at its finest!

  • food – 5/5
  • price – 4/5
  • service – 4/5
  • atmosphere – 4.5/5

Fabric Cafe Bistro, Hobsonville Point

Fabric Cafe Bistro, Hobsonville Point

Fabric Cafe Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It feels to me like a destination location when I get out to visit Hobsonville Point. A quickly expanding suburb that is part of Auckland, yet is more like a small town with cosy farm surrounds and a distant view of the ‘big smoke’.

The new kid on the block is Fabric Cafe Bistro, located on the water’s edge near the ferry terminal. I’d describe the interior as minimalist-contemporary with a high ceiling and a gently-lit interior which was rather inviting on a cold winter’s evening.

The menu is a one-pager that offers 3 courses and a few options for sides. Starters (NZD 17 – 23), mains (NZD 24 – 36) and desserts (NZD 12 – 18). Having only opened a few weeks before, our waitress was polite but lacked in-depth knowledge of the food when we asked her questions about the dishes. We eventually decided on our choices and settled in for the evening.

To start we shared some confit mushrooms with some parsley, basil and pumpkin seed pesto (NZD 10). For mains we tried the Potato gnocchi with ricotta, mushroom drizzled with sage and almond burnt butter (NZD 25), Duck leg ragu with homemade pappardelle, rocket pesto, pine nuts and pecorino (NZD 28) and Lamb rump, pumpkin, baby carrot, dukkah, coriander and goat’s cheese (NZD 32).

We were absolutely blown away by our main meals! Every detail was carefully thought out and the taste and presentation of the dishes could not be faulted. The gnocchi was the overall highlight for me, as they were the lightest and most fluffy gnocchi I have eaten, ever. The portion sizes aren’t big though and I was rather disappointed to still be hungry at the end of the meal.

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Gnocchi
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Lamb Rump
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Lamb Ragu

We decided to draw out the evening with a cheese board and it was pretty much what one would expect from a standard board (NZD 18).

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Cheese board

For dessert, the highlight for me was the Rosemary creme brulee served with lemon sorbet (NZD 14) (a rather odd combination which somehow worked). The Chocolate profiteroles (NZD 12) looked the part and were pretty good. I had high hopes for the Panna cotta, poached rhubarb and thyme crumble (NZD 12) but it didn’t deliver the rich flavour I was expecting and I was equally disappointed with the Manuka honey ice cream (NZD 12) which was soft and had started to run by the time it got to the table.

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It wouldn’t be considered a cheap night out but the quality and taste of  the food will have me spend the money and definitely pay them another visit. As the restaurant is just in its early days, my hope is that they focus on producing desserts that match the flavours and finesse of the main meals as well as increase the portion sizes of a few of their signature dishes.

If you haven’t been, it is seriously worth trying and I look forward to returning to test out their outside deck when the sun is shining!

  • food – 4/5
  • price – 3/5
  • service – 3.5/5
  • atmosphere – 4/5

FishSmith, Herne Bay

FishSmith, Herne Bay

Fish Smith Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Our very first meal in New Zealand was good old Fish and Chips or should I say ‘Fush and Chups’ like the Kiwis do. Auckland is surrounded by water, in-between and all around so you can literally find fresh fish anywhere and at any time. Being on a tight budget during our first month here, this fishy takeaway became a bit of a staple so we’ve sampled a number of places.

The first reason for the this review is just to brag about our little local gem that makes a killer fish and chips which is consistently good. For a while I was a snob and stuck to only Snapper but I’ve started branching out and now I usually just grab the fish of the day. FishSmith is a thriving little business that never lacks clientele – you may have to order inside the shop or online as they may not answer their phone during peak periods! The shop is inviting and clean and the staff are friendly. If you’re lucky you can grab a spot in the window or at their one table outside but it is not a sit-down restaurant unfortunately.

The second reason for this post is because we veered off from our staple meal yesterday and opted for the fish tacos – one of the most simple but absolutely delicious meals I’ve had all year! Battered fish, soft shell taco, coleslaw and hot sauce (NZD 13 – for two of them).

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If you haven’t tried them, just do yourself (not your hips) a favour!

Chinoiserie, Mt Albert

Chinoiserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I am telling everyone I know in Auckland about this delicious food. What a fantastic recommendation for dinner (they are only open in the evenings every day of the week)!

Do not let its rather quiet location, next to a filling station fool you. It was packed by 7pm and they don’t take bookings, so we got ourselves a drink and settled in for a 15 minute wait. It was totally worth it!

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Their specialty is bao’s – Chinese steamed buns. The menu is small and inexpensive with the majority of dishes priced at NZD 10 or less (absolute bargain for Auckland). The atmosphere is cool and far from fancy with décor that is rather out there – luminescent lighting and a large dragon across the back of the service bar.

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We tried 4 dishes and they were all delicious. Coconut crusted squid rings (NZD 14) which was great to share as the portion size was really generous. Then for mains we ordered a Pork Belly with crushed peanuts bao (NZD 8) and Japanese Karaage Chicken (Deep-fried chicken) with sesame mayo, ginger and cabbage bao (NZD 9). The bao’s were not short of fillings and left us feeling very satisfied.

I am a huge fan of pork belly bao’s but in saying that I think the chicken bao is inspired as the combination of flavours was mouth-wateringly amazing! The pork was tender and really tasty but to get a 5/5 from me I would have liked crispier crackling.

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For dessert we had to go with our second choice of deep-fried, black sesame ice-cream bao (NZD 8) as they had sold out of their matcha ice-cream, condensed milk bao (NZD 8). Carbs and sugar overload but a rather tasty ice-cream sandwich!

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  • food – 4.5/5
  • price – 5/5
  • service – 3.5/5
  • atmosphere – 3.5/5