Published on October 25th, 2011 | by ultimateomnoms4
Where taste meets beauty – Meredith’s Restaurant
Only special occasions call for a 9 course degustation splurge fest. After the amazing 5 courses at No.5 Restaurant, we were just waiting for the perfect opportunity to up our game and go on a 9 course journey.
Since Merediths Restaurant won the 2011 Metro Awards for the BEST restaurant in Auckland we’d both been eyeing it. The 9 course degustation menu is exclusive only on Fridays and Saturdays. And what do you know, Cecilia’s birthday falls right on Friday :).
Kudos to Rayshurshur for keeping it a mystery dinner up to the last minute! (despite rounds of sweet talk, whining and threats…)
So after being thumped, punched, slapped, shoved; I managed to keep my surprise to the very end. When you walk down Dominion Rd, you’d have no idea that this is where a beautiful restaurant would be hidden. It certainly did help with keeping the surprise in the box!
Light crispy and delightful, we were served for crab crackling almost as soon as we were seated. The dollop of lemon mayo on the side kept the taste fresh at every mouthful.
This place is definitely fancy to the max. But how could I resist? Was in such a goofy mood… strolling into the restaurant in jeans. I got told later by my friend (who used to work at Meredith’s) that she was worried exactly that I’d wear jeans to the restaurant. Clearly it was ok – I guess just to remember to dress nicely, not too casual!
Cecilia’s Mistake: Bread is lovely but when you have 9 courses ahead of you, the starch from the bread really builds a firm foundation in the stomach.
This was really nothing like we’ve ever had. With a Pacific twist on the classic fresh oyster entree, it was a mouthful of the beautiful summer days to come. Nestled against the plate of seaweed and leaves, while topped with sea salt froth. It almost felt like someone was yelling “WANNA GO TO THE BEACH?”. I don’t think I’d ever been left with such a big impression!
Beetroot & duck parfait meringue
We were advised to eat the meringue in a few bites and not hold it for too long otherwise it would melt!
Meringue + parfait = a dream come true
Who would think of putting such a delicate traditional dessert with something rich like parfait. The whole thing literally melts in your mouth.
Akaroa Salmon, scampi with cucumber, grapefruit sorbet
Zesty and fresh, it wiped away any rich aftertaste from the parfait. The fresh salmon was a beautiful combination with the fruit and it was a delight to the eyes.
Bacon and eggs, smoked potatoes, and tapioca
If you’ve ever had pearl milk tea, sago or anything like it – you’ll know what tapioca is! Basically springy sticky starch balls. This was the first time I had tapioca in a savoury dish. The presentation didn’t look particularly appetising but who can be turned off by bacon and quail eggs with potato? I wouldn’t mind having this as a ridiculously fancy breakfast everyday!
Quail, Chicken, Pumpkin puree & tortellini, cinnamon, peanuts
This was an amazing fusion dish. The shitake mushrooms and chicken gave that Asian feel, and the pumpkin and quail completed the European taste. With the cinnamon stick placed perfectly on top, it almost seems to imply the divide between the Asian and Western ingredients. Sorry… got a bit philosophical there… Back to reality – perfect fusion with a perfect combination!
Hmm… wasn’t a big fan, but I’m never a big fan of fish! Though the scallops did get me going, and the puree was something interesting. With a name like chlorophyll, I’m pretty sure the waitress said it was made from spinach.
My star of the evening! Perfect pink venison that melts in your mouth! Add a bit of spice from that horse radish froth – which really was an acquired taste- and end it with the kumara to fill you up. I can’t ask for more. Topped off with flowers all around! They’re edible too… I think… Well I ate them.
After 7 courses of savory delectable dishes, it was fair to say we were more than ready to see our dessert! I fell in love with this dish before I even had a chance to pick up my spoon. On one hand you had the sweetness of the fruit and macaroon to tell you that spring was here; while on the other you had that rich mousse reminding you to stay warm cos winter was still trailing behind!
Seaweed? Don’t run away just yet! Just because you normally see seaweed wrapped around sushi, it doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into a nice sweet meringue. By this point I was really full! Exactly what I needed to close the show with: A delicate finish from your fingertips!
I really wondered, where were the fanciness to the names of the dishes? There were none – but instead, just straight forward ingredients that left you imagining how the dish would turn out. But this was why I loved the service: when each dish was served, the waitress would explain the finesse and cuisine while pointing out the special parts to the dish rather than the usual flourish.
Every year, Cecilia’s birthday restaurant just gets better and better. Check out her birthday restaurant last year. Somehow I think we might’ve hit the ceiling this time… I’m sure I can top it, or you can help me! =D
On a side note… CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ALL BLACKS! If you’re not into rugby, or you live under a rock, or somehow you just didn’t hear. All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby WorldCup. I’m not that into rugby, but I just get competitive! So… proud to be a Kiwi!
And on another side note… Congratulations to all our Taste of New Zealand winners! Hope you enjoyed the show last week and drank lots of wine, and ate lots of omnomnom food, cos I know we did!
365 Dominion Road
(09) 623 3140