Contemporary Dining

Published on April 10th, 2013 | by Ultimate OmNoms

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Escapism at The Hamptons

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One day after daylight saving ended and it already feels like the cold is suffocating my frolicking days in the sun. Right in the heart of CBD, The Hamptons is the new oasis for those who want to escape the air-conditioning chill to soak up the last of the sun, while eating food brought out from the beachside kitchen.

It’s the newest venture from Clooney duo Tony Stewart and chef Des Harris, a pop-up concept based on the seaside resort “Hamptons” of New York. Nestled in the middle of high rise office towers and glaring glass windows, you won’t be able to see the full beach side concept until you walk in – making it even more exclusive to those who don’t work near the area.

The menu is short and sweet, and takes the grind out of deciding what to order. Inspired by American cuisine, seafood plays a big role and almost makes you feel like you are on a mini holiday, knowing full well that you normally won’t have this selection at a regular lunch.

We ordered with the intention to share the food. After all, it said Casual Bar, and Light Plates at the top. With the cutlery and napkins kept in their little wire baskets, it makes it feel like a mini picnic, completely oblivious to the towering buildings nearby.

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Green Gazpacho

The light and cooling flavours complemented the dreamy and relaxed atmosphere. Dotted with icy sour creme chunks, the combination with the homemade bottled sauce that made the dish fresh and crispy.

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Crab Roll

This was my favourite. A light sweet bun, crammed with crab and mayonnaise at every bite. Lightly teased with chives and lemon, the crab was deliciously sweet  and juicy. At $15 though, I found it a bit too petite and could easily balance the wee thing on the palm of my hand. Sharing was out of question!

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Cos Shell Cevich – fish ceviche, green chili and lemon

This again reminds me why fresh produce is so important. Delicately crispy, the lettuce cradles went down effortlessly. The green chili and lemon gave me the punch I needed to slow down and appreciate the delicious morsels.

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Everything about The Hamptons is anything out of the ordinary – even their chips. These springy latticed potato chips in their wire baskets make regular french fry counterparts look like limp greasy sticks in comparison. I’d recommend you order some along with the your food because of the light nature of the sharing plates.

Priced on the higher end for casual bar food/light plates, you can expect delicate and light bite-sized morsels of food. I guess the disappointing thing was really the portions – so if you’re a heavy lunch eater, be prepared – and if you are heading there for dinner, make sure you head into the mains! Open til the end of May, The Hamptons makes me want to squeeze every lasting ray of sunshine from the Autumn sun and forget about the Auckland traffic, computers and bask in the goodness of fresh food.

The Hamptons

41 Shortland Street

Auckland, New Zealand 1140

(Ph) 022 088 5965

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