Another year, another successful event at Taste of Auckland and it now has a new home at Western Springs. Offering gastronomical treats which showcases 38 dishes from 10 different restaurants, you can sample some of the best food Auckland has to offer and this time, there are three from Waiheke Island.
As per usual, my event started with a much needed coffee in the form of a cold brew from Atomic which was served with coconut and condensed milk. It was so good, I purchased two bottles to take home.
Our first stop was Oyster Inn, the restaurant that I was most excited about because its been on my dining wishlist for a while now. The crayfish and watercress risotto is a debut item and has yet to make an appearance in their menu. Intense lobster flavours with al-dente risotto, this was a stunner. The kingfish with warm potted shrimps is served in a light shrimp stock and was moist and flavourful.
The Harbourside Ocean Bar and Grill’s scallop was like a work of art. Incorporating various flavours isuch as tamarind, creme fraiche and chorizo caramel, it was a rather complex dish. The scallops were cooked to perfection.
Awarded the best dish at Taste 2014, Farina’s pork saltimbocca bun with Italian spicy greens, cheese and Ciprian mustard dressing is sure to fill you up. Flying out of the kitchen, this was a popular dish!
Could never resist freshly shucked oysters and tuatuas and Depot Raw Bar was offering some of the freshest shellfish al natural, or as virgin bloody Mary oyster shooters. My favourites were the Cloudy Bay Tuatuas which were meaty and sweet. The light vinaigrette was perfect.
The Lucky Taco in conjunction with Mini were serving free mini tacos throughout the event. Big or small, TLT offers some of the best tacos in Auckland. It was limited to one per person, so I had the spicy fish taco which had just the right amount of kick.
At the Dilmah Tea Garden booth, we treated ourselves to a pairing plate which paired small treats with some interesting tea concoction. In my honest opinion, I did not enjoy this, nor did my friend. My raspberry cupcake was dry, the cucumber gin and tonic with green tea tasted more weird rather than interesting and the pomegranate and acai berry milk tea with jelly was borderline bad. I enjoy drinking tea and do so on a regular basis, so I was surprised that I did not like this.
We were very lucky to have purchased tickets for Sunday because the weather cleared up by the time the event started. The grounds were a bit muddy, but we were prepared and had boots on for the occasion. Parking was a nuisance, so we ended up paying $10 and parked on someone’s lawn. We didn’t really mind paying because we would have paid similiar prices in Auckland CBD.
I’m looking forward to this event in 2015!