Auckland: Ostro

Britomart is truly becoming the new hip place to be. Although Federal Street is giving it a run for the money, the development of Britomart precinct keeps getting better and better.The latest dining option, located in the Seafarers building, is Ostro, Josh Emett’s latest venture in Auckland.

My advice: If you were to give Ostro a try, go for lunch on a bright sunny day. The view of the Waitemata is captivating and if the weather is nice, you can sit on the balcony and relax with one of their many cocktails. We went on a Sunday afternoon and the atmosphere is everything that you can hope for. The weather was nice, the view was perfect and most importantly, it was not over crowded and we got to stay till we wanted to leave, rather than be pressured to free up a table. It was a perfect way to celebrate my friend’s birthday.

As it was a celebration, we went slightly over the top with the Ostro seafood platter to share. The platter, a combination of raw Glory Bay and Pacific Rock oysters, cockles, Cloudy Bay clams, prawns, mussels, crayfish and a refreshing ceviche, was served cold and presented on two plates of ice. I’ve quite surprised at the amount of fresh seafood in the platter, seldom do you get such a large variety from the raw bar! My favourite part would have to be the lightly seasoned market fish ceviche with a mixture of cucumber, avocado and red radish.

Because there were three of us, we ordered another dish to share. The ox tongue, two-way was exceptional. The tongue, served in thin strips and crumbled were tender and I mean, melt in your mouth tender. I’ve eaten a fair share of ox tongue, cooked via Japanese Robata and traditional Chinese cooking, this was my first time eating such tender cooked ox tongues. It was even softer than the Baduzzi version which was served raw!  The cornichons and pickled radishes added a tart taste and the two dollops of mustard sauce gave the meat a slight kick. We throughly enjoyed this dish.

We left room for dessert, so we ordered one each (none of us wanted to share dessert). I enjoyed my rich vanilla pannacotta served with fresh raspberries, berry sorbet and topped with nutty granola. The pannacotta was rich and creamy and the vanilla flavour combined with the raspberries was divine. My friend’s luscious chocolate mousse had a coffee centre and this was plated with crushed hazelnut, vanilla ice cream and a fried doughnut. The star of our desserts would have to be the bombe Alaska with orange and pink grapefruit. Layers of creamy citrus mascarpone, lemon sorbet, sponge and meringue, it was a complex burst of flavours. Just perfect!

Produce-driven Ostro is a delight and their ingredient-centric culinary style is a huge hit in Auckland (clearly evident in their full booked dinner schedule from now till Christmas). This is a place that I know I will be coming back time and time again!

Date: Sunday 24 November, 2013 | Location: Lvl 2 Seafarers Building, 52 Tyler Street, Auckland CBD | Food: Modern NZ Brasserie

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