Five Stags was introduced by a good teaching friend last year and has remained one of my favourites around Whitford in South-East Auckland.
The atmosphere leans more towards a bistro, better than your average pub and lavishly decorated like a camping lodge. Metal cups, pots and pans, and hanging lamps set up the scene. My favourite was the antler chandeliers that adorned the ceilings. Even the metal blue rimmed plates constantly reminded us of Girl Scout days.
On the menu, there is a hunting theme present with items like Shot Gun Beef and Bird Shot Chicken. To start, we couldn’t resist trying the seared duck breast, kumara rosti with red currant orange compote and dark meat glaze. The sauce was enthusiastic and leaned towards the salty side but was paired nicely with the sweet tang of the compote. The duck was cooked beautifully and with the amount on the plate, I would have been satisfied with this as my main.
I had the Famous Five Stags Chicken – chicken breast stuffed with bacon and camembert, served with duck roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. I’ve had some less than pleasant experiences with duck breast but in my little plethora of experience, there is little that can go wrong with camembert and BACON.
I was glad that I didn’t have to resort to just having camembert and bacon because the chicken breast was beautiful and juicy. The only thing I would have liked is more camembert! Imagine slicing through the chicken to have the camembert ooze out onto the plate..
Another foodie friend ordered the salmon which looked amazing and tasted the part.
Like other reviewers have mentioned, there is a bit of a wait time. I didn’t mind having pre-dinner drinks but things could get boring if you are only aiming for a straight forward meal out. I would still recommend Five Stags for a date dinner, the decor makes it memorable and it could be an option for a slower paced night.
1 Whitford Wharf Road