I’ve been dining at The Grove for many years now and it’s one of my Top Five fine dining restaurants in Auckland. I’ve tried both their a la carte menu and degustation, both are well executed but the one I highly recommend is their dessert degustation. From my knowledge of the Auckland dining scene, I believe only The Grove does a dessert degustation and boy, it is the way to over indulge!
It works like this, there is a total of about five different desserts on their menu and from these five, you can pick four for your degustation. You can decide how you want the dishes to come out, but we left those difficult decisions to the chef.
Our first dessert is their ever so popular soufflé, which unfortunately was banana flavoured that night. The Grove does the best soufflé in town and comes highly praised by everyone that has tried it. Hence, I was disappointed when I realised the flavour was banana. Banana is a fruit that I despise, and although the perfect springy exterior and fluffy interior was mesmorising and very tempting, I tried a spoonful and realised that the banana was too strong for my senses. This was great news for my friends who happily finished it with delight. The side of yummy coconut ice cream and pineapple meringues reminded me of a pina colada. I should have asked for a bowl of this instead!
The quince tart came next and this was served with lemon mousseline, house made 100’s and 1000’s and vanilla ice cream. This dessert was a smorgasbord of textures. The crispy pastry acted as a bed for the neatly sliced and arranged soft poached quince. The ice cream was milky and smooth while the lemon mousseline has an airy consistency. But the star of the show is the house made 100’s and 1000’s which was a combination of crunchy rice crispy, nuts and pop rocks which fizzed in your mouth.
The next dessert was highly anticipated because our waiter claimed that it is one of their best desserts. Roasted pear with Brillat Savarin mousse with honey ice cream, and finished with a drizzle of warm mulled wine. When this dish was served, I was rather disappointed with the presentation. Chaotic and messy, it was hard to appreciate the different elements. I was fond of the roasted pear which has nicely softened, but the mulled wine (which they add to the dish after being served) had caused the mousse to melt and made the crispy wafers soft and soggy. Taste wise, the dish was amazing, but the execution could do with some improvements.
The last dessert was my favourite out of the four and also the richest with chocolate being the main component. Dark chocolate cream encased in a milk chocolate sphere and sitting on top of a moist orange cake with white chocolate parfait and pistachio ice cream. A luxurious ending with various types of chocolate!
This is my second time having the dessert degustation at the Grove, and if you have a sweet tooth like me, you will find yourself in heaven when you are served a total of four desserts for only $50. I must admit, the desserts from my last degustation was more my taste but I enjoyed this nonetheless.
The Grove | Location: St Patrick Square, Wyndham Street, Auckland | Food: Dessert