Auckland: the Paddington

Eating is a hobby of mine (as you can tell from the content of this blog), I love to eat and try new places and it’s a bonus when you meet people who have the same passion. Last week, I was invited by Zomato to participate in their Auckland Foodie’s Meetup at The Paddington where food bloggers such as myself got to mix and mingle as well as try Paddington’s new menu and understand more about the gastropub and its potential.

Our night started with quick introductions and drinks to calm everyone’s nerves and we got to know each other before food was served. The Paddington was kind enough to created a tasting menu for the group which enabled us to try a bit of everything without having to commit to an entire entrée and main. We tried a total of nine dishes which were served in three different slots.

For our first round, we were served Hoegaarden cured salmon and tomato bruschetta. The confit vine tomato bruschetta was delicious and I loved the presentation. Each bruschetta is garnished with basil and a slice of melted cheese which allows the tomato to take centre stage and the combination truly assentuated the fruit. The Hoegaarden cured salmon wrapped in a cucumber ribbon was a slight let down as it tasted rather plain and lacked the distinctive wheat taste from this popular beer.

After a short break and more chatting, our meal moved on to our second round where we were served homemade mushroom wontons with a side of chilli dipping sauce and beef skewers. The wonton was surprisingly delicious and despite being deep fried, the filling kept its moisture and the crispy golden pastry on the outside provided a crunchy texture. The honey soy beef skewers, cooked medium rare, were nicely seasoned and this came with a side of chilli lime dressing.

After our second course, we took a tour around the place and was shown around the different areas where functions and events can be held. This included the conference room and a private room where they have a ‘grand stand’ style seating arrangement which can be hired for private events. After our tour, we went back to our table to enjoy some more food. The seafood chowder, one of Paddington’s signature dish, was my favourite dish from the menu and this is usually served in a cob loaf. The creamy chowder was packed with an assortment of seafood and the large pieces of prawns were a bonus. We were then served a Caesar salad with both chicken and calamari, chicken and salami pizza (which I didn’t have any) and a pork belly burger served in a slider form. The burger was another stand out dish. Tender strips of pork belly were combined with a slice of apple and slaw mixed with Japanese mayo; the pairing was spot on.

And because a meal is never complete without dessert, we enjoyed a rich Bailey’s cheesecake covered with a caramelised Guinness sauce. The base was not your typical affair and had quite a crunch, which I enjoyed as it gave the dessert a nice texture, but proved to be a messy way to end the night. I liked it so much that I even went back for seconds!

It was such eventful night and I’m so thankful that I was invited to this meet up by Yat-chi and Tamara from Zomato. It was a pleasure getting to know more about The Paddington and meeting other fellow Auckland food bloggers (Bex, Boni & Kelly, Carmella, Genie, Katie, Maddy and Tiffany), so please show some love and check out their awesome blogs!

The Paddington | Location: 1/117-125 St. George’s Bay Road, Parnell | Food: Gastropub

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