Slightly ashamed to admit that I had no idea that Cazador existed since a few days ago, when I was invited to a birthday dinner during the weekend. Located on a quiet section of Dominion Road, there isn’t many other restaurants nearby, which could explain why I never noticed Cazador existed in the first place. With an emphasis on game meat, Cazador has been part of Auckland’s dining scene for over 25 years and is currently on Metro’s Top 50 Restaurants in Auckland.
There were several different options for entrees including a couple of specials for the night. I opted for a light meatless start and ordered the courgette flower stuffed with a ricotta and anchovy filling. I seldom see courgette flowers on the menu, which is a shame because it is such a delicious vegetable which can be stuffed with so many different types of fillings. The ricotta mixture in this dish was rich and cheesy which worked well with the flower but I could not taste the anchovy. The crispy coating kept everything intact and I enjoyed the light airy crunch.
For my choice of main, I went with a conservative choice of venison and I was not disappointed. Char grilled venison loin, cooked to slightly over medium rare, served with roasted carrots, beetroot and radish. This is some of the best venison I have eaten in Auckland. This lean cut of meat was tender, juicy and seasoned to perfection. The finishing touch of freshly cracked pepper sealed the deal.
Being the only specialised game restaurant in Auckland, be expected to see meat like guinea fowl, rabbit and pheasant on the menu, most of them hunted and prepared by the staff who run Cazador. They do have a fish special, but it’s not an ideal place to bring a dining companion who doesn’t eat meat. You will see things on the menu that you have never seen before and can be quite a surprise for the faint hearted. Poussin hearts, calf tongue and rabbit lungs, this is the perfect place for one to open their culinary mind.
Cazador | Location: 854 Dominion Road, Balmoral | Food: Game Meat Specialty