Opened by Wylie Dean and Mark Southon, the Foodstore is New Zealand’s first open and interactive kitchen where cameras are constantly rolling and television screens display the chefs in action. My partner and I had decided to take his mum there for dinner on a Sunday night to enjoy a lovely meal. They offer a range of dishes which you can have as either an entree or a main which gives them over 20 dishes to chose from. I actually quite like this style of menu as most restaurants main courses revolves around steak and fish, yet at the food store, I can chose dishes like the mushroom fettuccine, octopus carpaccio or duck salad as a main.
As we weren’t that hungry, we decided to order breads to start and skip entree. The warm bread was served with a side of lightly whipped butter and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar emulsion. Now, I would have to say that this was my highlight of the entire meal. Instead of ordinary balsamic, they chose to use a lovely pomegrante balsamic vinegar made by a company called Divinity. It gave the emulsion a lovely sweet tang and it was superb with the warm bread. I could easily eat that by the spoonful.
For mains, we ordered the eye fillet with roasted tomato, potato gratin and quail eggs; aged scotch fillet with baked beans and a courgette and bacon salad as well as the Kourarangi/scampi ravioli with a sweet corn custard.
All the mains were of a good standard. The two steak mains were moist but slightly overcooked for medium rare. The potato gratin was deliciously crispy on the outside and lovely on soft on the inside. The ravioli was superb and was well complemented with the sweet corn custard. But for those of you that know me, I’m not a big fan of foam/froth. I found it rather pointless and lack any real taste and this was the case with the ravioli dish, I didn’t even know what it was suppose to taste like!
We were pretty full after the mains so we decided to skip desserts and coffee. Overall, the taste of the food were above average but I think they lack the presentation factor. Having to pay an average of $35 for a main, my expectations for their food presentation were not met. Yet, I did enjoy my dining experience in Foodstore and I loved their concept of using fresh, organic and natural products from New Zealand. The best thing is that they also sell some of the products onsite and I managed to purchase a bottle of the Divinity pomegranate balsamic vinegar to enjoy at home!
Date: Sunday 13th March 2011 | Location: Market Square, Viaduct Basin, CBD | Food: Contemporary New Zealand