The Grove Restaurant

Voted “Supreme Winner – Restaurant of the Year 2010” by Metro Magazine, The Grove is known for creating sophisticated New Zealand cuisine with fresh ingredients. We arrived at the restaurant late on a Saturday night at around 9p.m. and the it was still pretty packed with people that have yet to order (the reason for this could be the fact that The Grove only opens from Monday to Saturday). We were greeted by a polite staff that was kind enough to advise me that the wooden floors would be slippery with my sky high heels and then shown to our table. 
After reviewing the menu, I ordered the terrine of duck and rabbit with white raisin puree and truffle brioche to start and my friend chose the seared scallop with risotto, crab and morels. The duck in the cold terrine was cooked perfectly, but the rabbit was not too much to my liking. I regretted not ordering the roast quail instead. However, the truffle brioche which resembles a piece of toast was divine – if only there was more. The scallop on my friend’s entree was extremely succulent but he did complain about the lack of risotto. 
As for the mains, I initially wanted to order the fish but because John Dory was sold out that day and replaced with snapper, I decided to get the butter poached crayfish with roasted poussin, baby carrots and edamame instead. I’m a frequent eater when it comes to crayfish as it’s a very typical chinese dish to order during celebration. But the poached crayfish at The Grove is by the far the most tender and juicy crayfish I’ve had and is fantastically matched with the roasted poussin and butternut puree. My friend ordered the loin & belly of pork served with petit pois a la française and lemon. The pork belly
was slightly too oily for us but the loin – cooked medium – is tender and juicy and the petit pois a la française which consists of peas, onions and bacon as well as the pea puree were very tasty.
As there is always room for desserts, we decided to order two rather than share one. I love finishing a big meal with something tart and sour so the citrus presse, mandarin sorbet and jam doughnut was perfect for me to finish with. It was so yummy, I could have licked the plate if no one was watching! The handcrafted chocolate souffle with homemade ice cream was served piping hot with a liquid center and along with the vanilla ice cream – it’s like a match made in heaven!
Overall, the meal was excellent. However, some aspects of the food was superb and some could have been better and I would have also prefer a bigger menu selection. That’s my opinion anyways. I would still rate this restaurant as excellent but I would have to say that I prefer Vinnies more than The Grove. 
Date: Saturday 28th August 2010
Location: Saint Patrick’s Square, Wyndham Street, Auckland
Food: Contemporary New Zealand Cuisine
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