Published on June 14th, 2012 | by Ultimate OmNoms10
It takes a lot to take out Metro 2012 Restaurant of the Year and what’s more curious is that fancy schmancy fine dining restaurants usually that take up that prestigious title. I can’t remember a time when a single restaurant has swept the awards for the Supreme Restaurant of the Year, Best casual bistro and Best new restaurant AND Progressive restaurateur of the year.
Knowing just how popular The Depot is, we went along on a Wednesday night hoping that the dead middle of the week will be a perfect for a No Reservations restaurant.
Got there at 6pm and had to wait til 7.15pm for a table for 3!
The Depot is named as an Eatery and Oyster bar so it’s great for groups of no more than 4. None of the pretentious hush hush of fine dining restaurants, the vibrant energy gushes out to those waiting with drinks outside.
Seated at a shared table with 3 others at the other end, there were thoughtful hooks under the tables for handbags since we were seated on high stools.
With cutlery served in used cans and water in metal cups – the service was quick and crisp. We were brought the Depot version of bread and butter not long after we were seated.
Raw Bar: Oysters- Mahurangi (Pacific) , Te Matuku (Pacific), Tio Point (flat)
Just walking past the oyster shucking area brought an instant craving for fresh oysters. Oysters are a must when coming here! Oysters here are never pre-shucked, and are always fresh!
Green lipped mussels w/ Akaroa chorizo, garlic & tarragon
Another seafood favourite, the spices didn’t drown out the sweet tastiness of the mussels. This one was an immediate favourite between all of us.
Lamb Ribs w/ skordalia & cumin paprika oil
This is a kiwi classic made boldly. While you gnaw happily on it, you know you can make lamb ribs at home “just like this” but somehow back in the kitchen,you just can’t replicate the full The Depot taste!
This was interesting with the char. I, Rayshurshur, am normally not a big fan of aubergine (unlike Cecilia). But I guess I’m starting to appreciate it a bit more with the texture and taste. What’s cool about an open kitchen is that you get to see your aubergine peeled and cooked right in front of you. (kudos to the poor guy who had to stand at the bench all night peeling aubergines!).
Fergus’ Bone Marrow – Wood roasted w/ parsley & shallot salad
This was something special on the menu that I particularly wanted to try out. It was the first time I saw bone marrow on a menu – normally bone marrow lovers have to suck it out like HERE. Luckily for those dainty diners who would rather not suck it out, or watch their partner have to, it was already opened out for us.
Crisp pork hock w/ apple & horseradish salsa verde
Served with tongs, the pork was succulent and moist falling off the bone with the promised crisp crackling. With the gentle mash on the side, the flavours were strong and vibrant.
Words can’t describe the amazing simplistic dessert. Recipes are readily posted on Al Brown’s website so I was quick to claim the sugar pie recipe after I got home with the taste still fresh on my mind.
Looks fairly easy – so keep an eye out on the Ultimate OmNoms FB Page for updates!
Pieces of tamarillo were sunken underneath the sweet froth.
As you can see, many of the dishes came in portions of three so I’d suggest going in a threesome for a night of guaranteed great food! I love being in a restaurant full of people who love their food. You can see it on everyone’s faces. From outside, even those waiting patiently with drinks exclaimed to the waitresses how good the cocktails were.
The team at The Depot had a great team spirit – it came through from the way they interacted with each other and really bounced off on the patrons. They were chilled, eager and just wanted to make sure everyone had a good time! It was loud, but bustling with energy. The food is incredibly fresh. Head chef Kyle Street says it’s all about the best fresh ingredients. If they were ever out of oysters they would simply not have it on the menu – The Depot would never serve pre-shucked frozen oysters.
And that’s why everyday the menu is different. You can order everything and anything from there and you know you are eating the best of the crop!
The experience of eating right in front of an open kitchen is also a unique one. You don’t have to worry about having to breathe in the charcoal fumes, the team are just slicing, prepping and adding final touches to the presentation in front. It’s fascinating watching them work through the bustling night and I’m sure having diners stare at them keeps them on their tippy toes! But don’t forget, if you’re really eager, go early, or else you’ll end up waiting for an hour like us!
The Depot is a definite must for Auckland foodies.
86 Federal Street,
Auckland 1010, NZ
Ph: 09 363 7048
Open from 7am everyday.
So some of you know, we’ve been getting a bit of hype around a few places lately… Depot, Kermadec Ocean Fresh Restaurant Ltd, Little & Friday etc. And so we thought it was time to do a Facebook Competition! All you guys need to do is to Like the page, enter your name and email, invite your friends; and you go into the draw to win Little & Friday’s Cookbook!