The group behind the successful Botswana Butchery in Central Otago (Queenstown and Wanaka) has introduced this fantastic restaurant to Auckland and opened up in the historic waterfront ferry building by taking over Cin Cin on Quay. The official opening was on the 22nd of March and already the restaurant is running smoothly and packed with patrons. This restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and has a separate bar menu in the newly re-vamped dining area and offers a more contemporary setting compared to its predecessor.
We popped in around 8pm on a Tuesday night and did not expect it to be busy. The dining room and bar was packed but after around fifteen minutes waiting time, we were offered a table. For starters, my partner and I shared half a dozen of Bluff oysters served natural with a sherry shallot vinegar. They were fresh and juicy and the tangy vinegar was a nice contrast to the salty remnants in the oyster.
For mains, my partner ordered from the butcher’s block where it offers a variety of different cuts of meat from different farms and a selection of sauces and butter such as blue cheese, wasabi butter, horseradish and béarnaise. He were overloaded with options but finally decided on the Savannah fillet mignon with a garlic and parsley butter. The steak was phenomenal. It was perfectly cooked and wrapped with thin slices of bacon. The meat was juicy, tender and flavoursome. The presentation was simple and I love the beautiful grill marks! I, on the other hand, ordered from the starters menu and had the Spanish style whitebait cooked with chili, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. A substantial amount of juicy whitebait served piping hot which was slightly spicy but this was countered by the salad and bread.
Our side order of iceberg lettuce wedge with crispy bacon, pecorino Parmesan, and mustard mayonnaise was fantastic but I would have preferred more mayonnaise considering the size of the wedge.
We left room for dessert so we decided to order one each. The huge chocolate and peanut biscuit mousse combines layers of chocolate ganache, chocolate sponge with pieces of roasted peanuts and biscuit which neatly forms a cylindrical chocolate delight. It was light, not overly sweet and the combination of crunchy pieces of peanuts and creamy chocolate ganache was magnificent. The freshly baked pineapple tarte tartin was served hot with a scoop of smooth coconut ice cream. The tartness of the pineapple was a lovely contrast to the sweet ice cream and the pastry was crispy and thin.
I have to say, I am really impressed with Botswana Butchery. Firstly, as a newly opened restaurant, I expected the front of house and kitchen to be chaotic, but this was not the case. The service was superb and the waiting time for food was not long. Secondly, the new decor and design of the bar and dining room is chic and sophisticated and I love their comfortable chairs and contemporary lamps. Thirdly, they have an extensive wine list and menu, so patrons have lots of options. And last but certainty not least, is the food. The portions are decent, all the flavours complimented each other and the plating is simple and not pretentious. Most importantly, the steak was nothing short of phenomenal. I am a big fan of Jervois Steak House and whenever friends ask me where I can get the best steak in Auckland, I always refer them to JSH. But I think I might have to start recommending them to Botswana Butchery as our steak for the meal was better than all the steaks I have had in JSH. However, I need to go back a few more times just to make sure that their standards is consistent.
A must try for all foodies.
Date: Tuesday 27th March, 2012 | Location: Ferry Building, 99 Quay Street, Auckland CBD | Food: New Zealand Cuisine – Steak House