I’ve already reviewed Depot several months ago, so I’m going to skip the introduction and get straight on to the food.
Same as the last time I was here, we were given free toasted pita breads with a side of delicious garlic hummus to start. This was very enjoyable and they gave us plenty to share around. Although this was my second time here, the friends I was with have never tried Depot before and because of this, they were intrigued with the raw bar and the concept of raw cockles and clams. We had half a dozen each of the little neck and Tuatua clams as well as a couple of the Orongo Bay and Mahurangi oysters. The shellfish, as usual, were extremely fresh and I loved the sour vinaigrette made with chardonnay, vinegar and shallots that was served alongside the dish.
As for the mains, the five of us shared the skirt steak with deep fried onion and mustard, white bait fritters, tempura courgette flowers and potato skins. The steak was delicious and cooked medium rare. We didn’t get to chose how well the steak was cooked but that is probably wise as this cut of meat might be slightly tough if cooked well. The side of mustard (which they served in an adorable jar) and deep fried onion strips really complimented the steak.
The white bait fritters were decent but small. It was served with a egg and gherkin mayonnaise that tasted very lemony. I personally, preferred the white bait on its own, but the consistency of the batter was good and it did not taste floury.
The tempura courgette flowers were lovely. It’s my first time trying courgette flowers and surprisingly, it does not have a strong taste. The tempura batter was excellent as it was light and crispy. The portion was smaller than expected.
And of course, we ordered a side of potato skins. This dish was praised by everyone as the flavouring was perfect and the shaved pieces of parmesan cheese added the final touch.
We didn’t manage to fit in any dessert as we were running late for a movie. It’s a shame because I would love to have a slice of the sweet pie and end on a sweet note.
Overall, my second dining experience here was better than the last. The staff was cheerful and friendly even though the dining room was packed and it was NYE. The food arrived quickly and so did our drinks. But most importantly, Depot Eatery kept their food standards up and there were no hidden surprise or disappointment.
Date: Saturday 31st December, 2011 | Location: 86 Federal Street, Auckland CBD | Food: Eatery + Oyster Bar