Monthly Archives: December 2013

VOP: Ostro, as good as we hoped it would be

Well we finally managed to get a table at Ostro last Saturday night after booking 4 weeks ago! So our party of 8 fronted to Josh Emett’s latest offering in the Britomart precinct on Saturday night at 7 o’clock high on expectation based on what we’d heard. Yes and it was VOP (Venturing Outside Ponsonby)!

We were one of the larger parties and scored a great spot in front of the glass wall which allowed the first 4 to arrive the get the seats with a view out over the wharf area/car storage area!!! Gorgeous early-summer evening and with the gentle breeze zephyring through the open panels on the glass wall we were set for what turned out to be a most enjoyable night.

Service was prompt and in fact pleasantly attentive throughout the evening.

To the menu. I hate it when there are about 3 items for each course that you’d love to have. Normally I then spend the night looking longingly at other people’s plates and thinking “I wish I’d had that”!

I started with the SMOKED KAHAWAI OMELETTE with hollandaise and watercress

Smoked Kahawai Omelette

Smoked Kahawai Omelette

while others had the OX TONGUE TWO WAYS with mustard, cornichons, sauce gribiche and grilled sourdough, MARKET FISH CEVICHE with meyer lemon, avocado, red radish and cucumber

tongue croppedMarket Fish Ceviche

and the  ‘CURIOUS CROPPERS’ TOMATOES with fresh herbs, compressed watermelon, avocado and cucumber. All were declared very tasty. I particularly liked my omelette which was light and flavoursome. I was dying to try the two way ox tongue and tried to put the evil eye on Tom but there was no offer forthcoming. Had it been Deb I’d have nicked a bit off her plate; but she’d never have had it in the first place. Al wanted me to specifically refer to his curious croppers tomatoes – curious choice is all I’d say!!

For mains we covered a fair bit of the field. The ROAST SCAMPI RISOTTO with Marlborough saff ron and parmesan was one of the dishes that I could easily have had but I felt like a steak so went for the Grain fed, 250g WAKANUI SCOTCH with béarnaise and a jus which I just loved.

steak 2rissotto

Others had the HONEY-GLAZED GRILLED POUSSIN with harissa and blackened tomato, the BRAISED DUCK AGNOLOTTI with Parsnip, pickled pear and duck crackling, RICCOTTA & SPINACH TORTELLI with Tomato, basil and parmesan and the LINE-CAUGHT TARAKIHI Candied grapes, fennel and toasted almonds

We shared sides of MIXED LEAF SALAD with lemon and avocado oil, FRENCH FRIES with fresh herbs and STEAMED ASPARAGUS with picada – all passed the test.

Verdict on mains? Well I’ll leave that to my fellow dinner guests. Tom said the Scampi risotto was scrumptious, Marie said the fish was gorgeous, Deb declared the poussin “perfection on a plate”, Lena loved the rissotto, Murray said the duck was excellent, Juls rated the tortelli really nice and I can’t remember what Al had haha. Ah yes I can after texting him, it was the tarakihi which he pronounced very nice!

For dessert there was a fair bit of couple-sharing going on with the BOMBE ALASKA with Orange & mascarpone parfait with lemon sorbet and the CHOCOLATE & COFFEE MOUSSE with Hazelnut beignet and milk sorbet. No sharing for me though!! I had my own Bombe Alaska and it was gooood. Of course with me not sharing there was no chance of getting a taste from anyone else!!  Both desserts were declared very yummy.bombe alaska croppedDessert mouse cropped

So all in all it was a most enjoyable evening and Chef Cobus Klopper and the team at Ostro did a fine job.

And here’s the party of 8! Merry Christmas to all.

Party of 8 - has been having pot luck dinners for over 30 years!!

Party of 8 – has been having pot luck dinners for over 30 years!!

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VOP: Food Truck Garage: a very pleasant surprise

Shall we go out to brunch on Sunday said my friend Al. Good idea. Where? How about the Food Truck Garage? Quick check of the menu. Uh oh! No eggs benny!! Looks like it’s more lunchy! Alright let’s give it a go.

So we arrived at 11 just as they were opening – scored an outside table. Waiter arrived promptly with water (always a good sign), coffee orders placed. So far so good.

A quick squiz at the menu confirmed my worst fears – no eggs anything!! However my eyes were drawn to the Tokyo Slaw and I started to feel better. Good coffee arrived and we settled in for what turned out to be a very pleasant experience.

Al & I had the Tokyo Slaw with poached free range chicken. The slaw was a ripper – red & green cabbage, snow pea shoots, edamame beans, crushed almonds, green apple & teriyaki dressing – and the chicken plentiful and tender. A most enjoyable eating experience.IMG_2154

The girls had the “Chilli Chickette” meet pattie (not a typo if you don’t mind). They call it a sandwich, we’d call it a burger!!  It was free range chicken & courgette pattie with spicy harissa, red cabbage, rocket, red onion, cucumber, coriander, mint and Greek yoghurt – sound a mouthful? It was, and a tasty one at that. Oh and the buns are made of spelt flour!IMG_2157

Sides of Bakes (chips) being skin on agria potatoes, golden kumara & beetroot w. homemade tomato sauce and Little Tokyo – a smaller version of their Tokyo slaw. All delicious.IMG_2153

So I went from doubter to believer in about 4 bites!!

Michael, you’ve done a great job in keeping faith with the concept. And thank you for not having eggs benny on the menu. It meant I had to try something else and I loved it. As lesson for us all!

Excellent healthy food, friendly & attentive service. You’ve gotta go there!