Aria Restaurant and Bar at Crown Plaza Auckland recently launched the Culinary Journeys promotion from 1st September to the 15th November and invited three talented culinary stars to each create a menu which allows their customers to experience a global dining journey.
The first menu from the Culinary Journey is Indian-themed and was designed by Vikas Khanna from Junoon in New York who was also the host of MasterChef in India. I was lucky enough to be invited by Aria Restaurant to try their first Culinary Journey menu. From Khanna’s menu, I ordered the chicken tikka mirza hanse and the lamb curry. The yoghurt marinated chicken entrée served with endive, lemon puree and pomegranate was fragrant and tender. The slow cooked lamb curry with apricot had ample pieces of lamb but was a bit too spicy for my taste. It was served along with a side of aromatic spiced rice.
Unfortunately for my dining companion, there is no meat-less option on the Culinary Journey menu so she ordered from the regular menu. For starter, she had the mushroom salad made up of roasted shiitake, button and Portobello mushrooms with toasted pine nuts, fresh greens and crispy pancetta. This was dressed with a refreshing cider vinaigrette. For main, she opted for the grilled fish of the day which turned out to be a beautiful fillet of hapuka with oven roasted vegetables and baby spinach with raspberry dressing.
After comparing the different menu on offer, I have to admit that their regular menu appealed more to me. Personally, Indian cuisine is not my preference as I have a low tolerance when it comes to spicy food.
We were very grateful for the kind hospitality from Aria. The staff that dealt with us were attentive and not just to our table. Our water was frequently topped up and they made frequent checks in the dining room to make sure every customer was well taken care of.
The Culinary Journey menu is priced at $49 for two courses with a glass of wine.
Aria Restaurant and Bar | Crowne Plaza Auckland, 128 Albert Street, Auckland CBD