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

Casita Miro, Waiheke

Casita Miro, Waiheke

Casita Miro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Getting across to Waiheke is an absolute treat and there are loads of places and wineries to choose from to eat. I was recommended Casita Miro and it was hands down the best part of our day on the island! We were really lucky to manage to get a booking 2 days before but if you’re planning a trip to the island, I wouldn’t recommend leaving it that late.

You access the restaurant on a small section of dirt road and pass by the grapes you may well drink. The main restaurant boasts high ceilings and beautiful glass windows that look out over the vineyard. The first thing I noticed was the mosaics on all the walls. It’s colourful and vibrant and definitely adds a unique touch to the décor.

We kicked off the afternoon with a seated wine tasting. The waitress was friendly and knowledgeable and the wines were pretty good too. It’s a nice way to extend lunch and really make the most of what the place has to offer. I’d recommend trying a glass of their bubbles if you enjoy sparkling wine.

The menu isn’t huge but I prefer it that way as more effort can be put into each dish. The overarching idea is tapas although there are a few options for mains as well. So we opted to share a starter and a main as there were two dishes that really caught our attention. The Goats Cheese Croquetas to start (NZD15) were mouth-wateringly delicious and all over far too soon. Topped with lightly toasted almonds and drizzled with some honey – it’s a must taste dish for sure.

Before leaving South Africa I tried to find the perfect pork-belly with little luck. So on having the waitress reassure me that it would definitely be crispy crackling and tender meat, we dived right in (NZD32). The belly is served on a tomato and chickpea broth that is smoky in flavor as they incorporate some ham hock into the dish too. Hands down the best pork belly I have had in years! And to top it off… we also ordered some freshly baked bread, crusty and delicious to mop up the broth.

There is a buzzing atmosphere and if the weather is good then you can choose to move to one of their picnic spots on the lawns surrounding the restaurant, which we did as soon as lunch was over.

I usually do some research before heading out to eat but ran out of time before going on this trip. What I have since learnt is that it won its place in Top 50 Best Restaurants in Auckland, which it well deserves after trying it with no bias in mind at all.