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Published on August 4th, 2011 |
by Ultimate OmNoms
Aubergine without aubergine
This week it was off to Aubergine in Takapuna for a friend’s 21st dinner! If you’re ever out of ideas on where to go for food, just walk along Hurstmere Road or Milford Road – there’s a whole range of options with cafes, restaurants and bars right next to the beach. It’s nice to revisit Takapuna, I always think back to the days when I was a high schooler and Takapuna was the place to hang out after school.
Aubergine has always stood out for me because of the name, but also the sole reason that’s repelled Rayshurshur away. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover right?
Aubergine, one of the fancier higher priced restaurants along Hurstmere Rd – fancy enough for a nice dinner out but not one where you feel obligated to dress-up and speak quietly.
It was a great time to go to Aubergine to take advantage of their Winter Warmer special. For $35, we were invited to a choice of garlic bread or tomato soup for an entree and any one of their mains and desserts. Tammy’s face says it all.
The tomato was quite chunky but tasted a bit plain. Looked like something I poured out of a can at home without much thought into the presentation. Heart warming and leaning towards the sour side, it was the ultimate teaser to the meal that was to come. The garlic bread was a nice complement, though a little heavy on the grease- lucky it came with a tissue underneath!
Rayshurshur’s mid rare eye fillet on shitake, spinach, and mash
I have to admit, when my eye fillet arrived, it didn’t look very appealing. This piece of steak looked like someone had used a hairdryer on it. My first slice: overcooked, but as I got closer to the middle, the meat got closer to perfection. Felt like such a tease. Only the very middle was perfect. I wish I was exaggerating, but it’s like the chef had a hard time getting consistency in the steak. On the other hand, it was heaven with the combination of the spinach, shitake, mash, and a hint of cheese! The perfect combo for a simple eye fillet dish.
Jeff’s Lamb Shanks oven roasted in thyme, rosemary and herbs jus, basil pesto, served with potato-garlic mash
I have no idea how this tasted, but it looked juicy and I wanted to thief it off him! I’ve never had basil pesto with lamb before, something to try if I go back!
Cecilia’s main: Big Eye tuna brushed with harissa, yogurt, herbs and lime sauce served with prunes, pine nuts and wild rice
The only reason I chose this was because of the ahh-mazing tuna that Rayshurshur had in another restaurant (which we will showing you soon!). The moment it came I knew it was a bit overcooked for my taste. I love sashimi but I’m not such a big fan of cooked tuna because of the coarse texture. Having gone past my initial disappointment, I did enjoy this dish overall. The wild rice and pine nuts completed the mediterranean flavour of the fish and I polished the dish off quickly.
Tammy’s Peach and Blueberries crumble served with Vanilla ice cream
Rayshurshur’s Chocolate fudge cake with crème anglais and hot chocolate sauce.
I was on the verge of ordering the blueberry crumble, but changed my mind. I am so glad I changed my mind. You just can’t go wrong with warm fudge drizzled over fudge cake and ice cream.
Cecilia’s Passion fruit cheesecake on a bed of forest-berry coulis
The cheesecake had more of a mousse texture so it wasn’t as rich as the creamy cold kind. One of my favourite parts of a cheesecake is actually the dense biscuit base which seems to neutralise the richness of the cheesecake but this one in particular was quite thin and more cake-like which goes along with the mousse texture. The jam on the side made this one appealing looking dessert!
Aubergine has been in Takapuna for a long time; I have driven past it, walked past it, bussed past, now I’ve eaten there. But I still have no idea behind the meaning of why the name is Aubergine! The atmosphere makes it perfect for a relaxing Sunday night dinner. If you feel like something that is above average but not too fancy, this is the place – especially with a beach just minutes away!
If you’re connected to our Facebook Page you’ll know we’ve been hard at work in a collaboration with the Dessert Club from the University of Auckland. With sponsors like Chocolate Boutique, Giapo, Apego Teahouse onboard, this is going to be one epic competition. If you like photos and desserts and you’re a student, this is our treat for you.
Stay tuned for our next post featuring seafood and mouthwatering tuna!
129 Hurstmere Road