The development of Britomart continues from strength to strength as it has now evolved into the new up and coming vibrant precinct where you can find high-end stores such as Karen Walker, World, M.A.C. and Jo Malone amongst the new hip restaurants and bars. The latest new bistro that Britomart has to offer – Ortolana – is situated amongst the garden-esque Pavilions complex and is run by the same people that is behind the successful Takapuna Beach Cafe. Ortolana is a 90-seat bistro that is housed beneath a beautiful glass canopy and has a stunning look that fits perfectly in the heart of Britomart. The restaurant itself is beautifully designed and furnished. It has an open kitchen allowing you to watch the chefs at work and it has a stunning high ceiling filled with tangled light bulbs.
Being someone who love trying new places, I dined at Ortolana with my partner a couple weeks after it opened. We went early on a weeknight so the sun was still shining and the restaurant was not too busy. We opted to skip entrees as we weren’t too hungry and went straight for mains. I was initially undecided on what main to order, but chose the market fish as soon as the waiter said that the fish was john dory. The fish was seared with skin on and this was served with a garden harvest salad that included slices of radish, eggplant, micro greens and quinoa seeds. This is one of the best fish dishes that I’ve had in a long time. The fillets were moist and succulent, the combination of the vegetables were light and well dressed and the quinoa seeds were simply delicious! My partner’s rib eye bistecca main was also just as good! The meat was cooked medium rare, tender and perfectly seasoned. I was served with garlic potato patties, micro greens and fried green tomatoes.
We ate our mains with a side of a cucumber and onion salad dressed with balsamic vinegar. It’s tart with a hint of sweetness, and we easily devoured the salad along with our mains.
The desserts served at Ortolana is made my their neighbours – Milse – which is due to open in the coming week. I had the salted caramel gelato on a stick and it was divine. It had chunks of hazelnut inside and the chocolate coating was rich and slightly soft, making it easy to eat and mess free. My partner decided to order the mini bombe Alaska made up of a crunchy biscuit base, raspberry gelato and soft meringue. The combination of the smooth tangy gelato with the soft sweet meringue was delish!
Dining at Ortolana was a lovely tranquil experience. I loved the fact that they served cold carbonated water which is refreshing during a hot summers night and the staff were very attentive and friendly. The ingredients are fresh and seasonal and it creates light and healthy dishes. I’m very impressed with the quality of food that is served in Ortolana, but I have to admit, it’s slightly pricey for a bistro. It is, however, worth every dollar. I’m looking forward to trying out their breakfast/lunch!
Date: Monday 4th March | Location: The Pavilions, 31 Tyler Street, Britomart | Food: Contemporary European Bistro