Every year Auckland holds a festival called Taste. The leading restaurants from around Auckland set up in the middle of a park to serve small morsels or tastes of some of their best dishes. You can latterly eat your way through Auckland’s best food in the space of a couple of hours.
The event is also full of store holders that are more than happy for you to try and buy their wares.
From meats, drinks, baked goods and new inventions from small producers, it is a day to experience flavours and combinations that you wouldn’t normally try. Wildberry cider (not that exciting), manuka smoked eggs (weird), vacuum packed french crepes (yum), gluten free sausages (delicious), pre-made spanish sangria (delish), ice cream sandwiches from Kapiti and roast lamb from Fisher and Paykl – were just some of the things that delighted my tongue yesterday.
But the highlight is always the restaurants. We had made a 10 dish degustation plan before arriving, so we knew where we were going and had ruled out a couple of restraints to avoid.
First up was Everybody’s Izakaya with these dumplings. When they emerged from the kitchen my nose crinkled. The small of dried seaweed has always been a turn off for me. But one bite into the dumpling changed all that. The broth and dumpling were a unique and gorgeous combination of flavours.
Next stop was the ever amazing The Commons, although this salmon dish didn’t make me swoon like their Carrot Cake Snapper and Duck Curry did last year. While the flavours didn’t hit me the combination of belly, sherbet, and sauces were as creative as ever.
From there we moved to the Grove, a restaurant we have long desired to go to. They only had two dishes to chose from so it was the tuna loin or the chocolate balloon.
There was nothing wring with this, it just lacked inspiration and flavour. I was so uninspired I skipped their dessert.
From there we moved to Baduzzi, the sister of the Grove for this delicious looking sandwich.
It is milk fed goat, pickled veges, all deliciously wrapped up.
But again, disappointing. Hard to share, fell apart too easily and a lack of flavour.
But our day was nowhere near over.
So we moved to our next stop for a double header. Prawns from FISH and wagyu meatballs from Non Solo Pizza (NSP).
This was the round of misleading advertising. I expected the prawns to be hot and the Wagyu beef to be cooked.
Oh well. In both of these cases the accessories were more interesting the centre of the dish.
Back to Everybody’s Izakaya. We had been looking forward to the duck dish all day. Shame it was too salty.
Last stop. Had to decide which dessert to try. We were stuffed from all the tasting that had come before. Given the grove was disappointing, we opted for the Common. This cheesecake with all its different elements was just delicious.
And now its back to the Reset with a Fasting day. This will be hard!!