If you know your way around Auckland CBD, you would be aware that majority of the restaurants located on upper Queen Street serves Asian cuisine. So imagine my surprise when I discovered – nested between two small Korean eateries – is a beautiful French creperie and cafe, complete with red and white checkered light-shades and table cloths!
My friend and I had just finish watching the ballet in town and were in desperate need for a good meal. Being the meat-eater that I am, I ordered the sirloin steak served with a side of blue cheese sauce. The medium-rare steak was nicely cooked and it was scrumptious when accompanied with the cheese sauce which was rich but not too pungent. The side of green salad – tossed with balsamic vinegar – and the gratin dauphinois was simple but delicious. I’m a big fan of potato gratin and especially like the contrast between the creamy interior and the crispy exterior – this one was flawless. My friend opted for their fish special which is a tender fillet of salmon served with creamy celeriac mash, green beans and a lemon and caper sauce.
In terms of dessert options, we were not limited as the creperie offers a good selection of sweet crepes as well as other traditional desserts such as apple tarte tatin and creme brulee! My friend’s order of the poached pear and vanilla ice cream crepe was drizzled with caramel sauce and it was divine! The pear itself was not very sweet, so the flavours between the caramel, ice cream and fruit was nicely balanced. My order of apple tarte tatin was rather disappointing. There was a lack of pastry and the sweetness of the poached apples was overpowering.
I have to admit, in terms of homey and authentic French food, Pastis is still my first choice. But the food in Le Garde Manger is up to standard and I would love to come back again to try some of their savoury crepes (especially their 3 cheese crepe). The decor and atmosphere was delightful and being served by waiters who speaks with a beautiful French accent is always a bonus! So next time you crave for some authentic French food, why not give Le Garde-Manger a try?
Date: Saturday 8th September, 2012 | Location: 466 Queen Street, Auckland CBD | Food: French