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Global Feast : WAuckland, NZ

Best of Auckland
February 28, 2013

I visited Auckland, New Zealand for the first time. The weather was gorgeous, the people were friendly, the scenery fantastic, the coffee delicious, and most importantly... the food was great. Even though we were only there for less than a week, I have to declare Auckland as a one of my favorite destinations. Here were some of my favorite food experiences:

Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar

Depot
Depot

Depot is a very popular spot in Auckland. It is owned by the celebrity chef, Al Brown. His food at Depot was very homey and rustic. All the food we tasted were fresh, flavorful and not overly pretentious. The atmosphere was fun and friendly and laid back. Although it was our first night, we already felt at home in Auckland just by spending the evening at Depot.

Fresh Cowell Bay Oysters Angel hair pasta with blue manna crab with spicy creamy tomato sauce
Pan-fried potato gnocchi with rabbit, portobellow mushrooms and green olive tapenade Bread pudding

Top left : Orongo Bay Oyster;
Top Right : Lamb Ribs with skordalia and cumin paprika oil
Bottom left : Squid ink linguine & Cloudy Bay clams with ficelle, Akaroa chorizo & Sauv blanc sauce;
Bottom right : Cumin battered warehou with tomatillo sauce & coriander

Four people shared three main plates, some oysters and few side dishes. Everyone gave two big thumbs up to the lamb dish including two Auckland natives. My husband, a major lamb fan, declared it to be the best ever - a superlative I have never heard from him before. It was very unfortunate that I don't like lamb and I could not enjoy the dish they said the best. However, I enjoyed the squid ink linguine very much. It was like a twisted "bongole bianco" and it comes with the baguettes for you to dip with sauv blanc sauce. So good!

The only dish that I did not care for was the sweet corn with chipotle sour cream & chevrego cheese. It was a little heavy on the cheese. Some liked it and some didn't.

We were in Sydney before we came to Auckland so everything in NZ seemed cheaper, but even then, the price at Depot was very reasonable for the quality of food, I thought.

They don't take reservations so go early and relax and have some drinks while you are waiting.

Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar
Sky City
86 Federal Street,
Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
tel. +64 09 363 7048
http://www.eatatdepot.co.nz/

Bellota

The Margaret River Bakery's cute mural
The Margaret River Bakery, Entrance The Margaret River Bakery, special menu

Another great spot at Sky City was Bellota. If you are super hungry, this may not be a great destination, but if you want to hang out with some great quality Spanish tapas and wine, this is a wonderful spot.

We had a late night post-movie meal there. Spanish cheese, charcuterie and wine were exactly what we were craving for and I was very happy to find Bellota in our hotel.

The Margaret River Bakery, Entrance The Margaret River Bakery, special menu

The iberico cheese was delicious and the bread they serve was irresistible with the side of tomato olive oil.

Bellota
91 Federal St
Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
+64 9 363 6000

Others

We didn't eat there but we had a great dry martini at O'Connell Street Bistro. It was Valentine's Day evening so the restaurant was packed but we decided to have a cocktail there. The martini was so simple yet many bartendars don't know how to make it properly. Well, it was a painful $20 martini but it was a great (for a special night).

Also we regret that we had to cancel our reservation we had at Ima Cuisine. I have heard good things about this place. But we ended up having a great meal at our friend's house in Devenport instead. The best night of our trip.