Let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is just another excuse to go out and spend money! And I, for one, can always do with another reason to head out and enjoy an exquisite meal with my loved ones. This year, my partner and I decided to have an early dinner at Marvel Grill after a hectic day at work.
The last time time I dined at Marvel Grill, it was still located in Takapuna and this is my first visit since its relocation to North Wharf. My first impression on this new location is the obvious upgrade in the dining room. With ample tables outside and a stunning kitchen/bar area, the environment and atmosphere is smart and chic; slightly different from the homey character in Takapuna. In terms of food, their concept is still the same. With a simple menu offering nourishing comfort food where the produce is the star, you are spoilt for choice.
Wanting a good comparison of the food, I decided to order what I ate the first time I was at Marvel Grill in Takapuna. But instead of sharing, I had the seafood grill all to myself, while my partner ordered their barbecued ribs. The seafood grill is made up of cockles, mussels, prawns and two snapper fillets with various accompaniments including roasted garlic and caramelised onions. Aside from the dry snapper and the Hollandaise sauce that was slightly bitter, everything else was good. The cockles were juicy and flavoursome, the prawns were nicely cooked and I loved the roasted garlic. Flavour-wise the barbecued ribs were very good with adequate seasoning. My partner did mention that it was slightly dry, however. This was served with a side of wasabi coleslaw and homemade Boston baked beans.
Due to the hearty portions served to us during the main course, my partner and I decided to share a dessert. This creamy New York baked cheesecake topped with crushed blueberry sauce and whipped cream was divine. This rich cheesecake has a smooth and dense consistency which was not excessively sweet. The thin base and crushed blueberries provided two different textures to this dessert and it is comparable to the Fraser’s New York baked cheesecake which has the number one spot in my heart.
Aside from the dry fish in my seafood grill, I was generally impressed with the food on offer at Marvel Grill. With unpretentious dishes that showcases the fresh produce, attentive service and beautiful surroundings, my Valentine’s day was sweet and blissful.
Date: Thursday 14th February, 2013 | Location: Cnr Jellicoe and Halsey Street, North Wharf | Food: Contemporary New Zealand