Kermadec Fine Revisited

 

Last time we visited Kermadec Fine, it was with a group of foodies for an exclusive Eat & Tweet event, and before that, we got to interview Kermadec head chef Anton Leyland.

But if you noticed, our photos really didn’t do justice with the amazing food. So we decided to go again, to take proper omnom photos and have the evening to ourselves.

Other than getting our own dishes, we also got to dine in the very sophisticated Tatami Rooms, where we could snap away using our flash without other diners having seizures or feeling disturbed.

 

Before even starting our entree, Anton gave us a sneak peek at some dishes he was experimenting – this one was smoked pork hock terrine, poached petite poires with cardamon cream – Simple dish (different types of meat and some sauce) but the play with textures and taste is definitely there.

Tuna tartare, karengo, compressed nashi, piko piko, katsuobushi

We covered a few of these dishes last time we visited Kermadec and this tuna tartare is one of my favourites. Like we said last time, Anton’s dishes are all very complicated with lots going on on the plate – some don’t like it, some do. But complication isn’t always bad – what’s the point of going to a fancy restaurant if you could just make it yourself at home?

Squid & Paua, pink grapefruit, coriander, miso, cashew chili praline, sago

This is the real dish that really played with textures – the slippery squid, air soft foam, sauce (which is made from squid ink by the way). This dish is very interesting, with lots of going on in your mouth that will make you slow down and truly savour the dish. I can see the fusion between the Asian and the Western, after tasting it again I can’t say I’m a big fan of the squid and sharp tang of the grapefruit.

 Seared scallops, duck ham, crackling, egg plant, smoked yoghurt, black currant & foie gras

A dish we didn’t cover or taste the last time, but it’s by far my favourite. These scallops aren’t local – before you start judging… they are still sustainably farmed in Canada. The sourness of the blackcurrant, the richness of the foie gras, sealed together by the juiciness of the scallops. All this followed by the light crunch of the duck crackling (Hungry yet?) – This is the perfect example of how a complex dish is meant to be served.

 Next we just had a bit of a palate cleanser, passionfruit sorbet with dark chocolate – At first I thought the chocolate were berries, until they melted in my mouth with the sorbet… refreshing indeed!

John Dory with chestnut puree, swede, earl grey, Szechuan Crisps, and pickled shiitake

Another dish that we didn’t cover last time – the John Dory – cooked to perfection (which really impressed me). Mixed with the chestnut puree and the shiitake. Again, I could feel the fusion between Asian and Western shine through – except this time, I loved the dish – Not too complicated, with the fish really showing off the chef’s skills.

 84 hour pork belly, prawn, apple, cinnamon, Kasha, bison grass extract, with date chutney

We covered the famous 84 hour pork belly last time. This time we got to taste the whole dish, and before I start raving about how great it was… I have to say I still wasn’t a fan of the date chutney. But what makes this dish good? The pork belly was cooked nicely and was juicy, but too salty. On the other hand, the apples and cinnamon were too sourly sweet; but when you mix the two together, the words “Just Right” pops into your head!

Strawberries and pink pepper; sable breton, heilala vanilla cream, strawberry marshmallow, wild thyme honey ice cream

It’s common in New Zealand to have something chocolatey and oozey as part of the degustation menu. When presented with this incredibly girly looking dessert platter, I happily sat up straighter. The sweet juicy goodness is what you want to feel every time you bite into a piece of fruit. Along with the homemade marshmallow that wasn’t sickening sweet, it was a beautiful finish to a fulfilling meal.

So there you have it! This is the new Kermadec Fine – You can be sure to have lots happening on your plate with the menu that Anton’s come up with. Definitely worth a visit to see if it suits your taste!

Kermadec Fine Restaurant
204 Quay St
(Level 1, Viaduct Quay Building)
Auckland Central
Auckland City

09-304 0454

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