Published on July 15th, 2011 | by Ultimate OmNoms


Little France of Auckland – St Tropez

It’s so satisfying to walk down Parnell Road, the rows of restaurants illuminate the wet footpaths and the slow pace is a good change from the usual rush in Auckland Central.

Each of the restaurants along the road seemed just as inviting as the other as we struggled against the biting wind- the kind where you squint slightly and struggle to keep your eyes fully open. Yes Auckland weather we’re glaring at you. So you can imagine the relief when we ducked into St Tropez. It was almost 7pm and they were already busy with serving diners.

St Tropez is small city close to Marseille, south of France- maybe that’s where the owners are from.

This cozy restaurant offers traditional French cuisine with a dash of the Pacific. After walking in and hearing some of the staff speak I was pretty sure 60% of the staff are French or fluent in the language.

What I loved about this place was the passion – it wasn’t hard to spot the maitre d/co owner – she greeted us with a big smile and was very casual but made sure everything was perfect.

Rayshurshur’s entree: Sesame seeds covered calamari rings with aioli dip and lemon

A simple dish to open up the appetite! The sesame seeds was a good coating around the calamari, instead of a whole layer batter, the rings were crumbed quite generously – accompanied by a home made aoli, OMNOMNOM! balanced out with lemon, so typical yet so delicious! I want more!

Cecilia’s entree: Chicken & Peppercorn Paté, pork rillettes, bayonne ham, toasted breads
On a windy cold day like that day I half regretted not choosing a hot starter like the soup of the day but once I got stuck into it I wished they gave me more paté but that’s just how good it was! Gently rich and creamy, this is the kind of dreamy paté I like.
Cecilia’s Main: Char-grilled scotch fillet, red wine shallot garlic butter, salad greens
I’m big on presentation- there’s something about a pedantic beautifully detailed dish that gives me the first wow factor. My first impression was this dish was something I could have eaten at Dennys. The salad was drenched in the sauce and fries to one side, I was slightly doubtful. The first cut revealed they understood how I like my steak medium rare.

After that I was too busy nomming away. The cheese sauce drizzled on top of the steak was amazing with the beef. It was one good hearty main that brought the feeling back to my cold fingers and pinkness back to my cheeks. It seemed like sitting opposite Cecilia Rayshurshur was just as keen to dig into his main. Too keen..beware children!

Rayshurshur’s main: Fish of the Day Char Grilled, Potato & Almond Puree, Red Wine & Rosemary Jus

It’s such a shame I can’t remember what the fish was. I’m not quite used to char grilled fish, but it was cooked beautifully, didn’t even fall apart when I took my first bite! It was so disappointing to find the fish slightly dry, though I’m guessing this is where the red wine and rosemary jus came in: to keep the fish from drying out!

Om nom nom, Profiteroles
with Frangelico Crème Patissiere, Warm Chocolat Sauce

If you ever need to be warmed up, these profiteroles would do the job – it was cold and windy outside – a perfect dessert for this kind of weather. A rich chocolate sauce with a creamy centre. The first bite into the profiteroles was a taste of sweet heaven. By the time I had finished, I didn’t want more… I was satisfied!

It was so satisfying break into the delicate glassy top layer of the cream brulee but I could not finish it! Or, that was my excuse for swapping it with one of Rayshurshur’s profiteroles 😉

To round off a beautiful evening, Chef Jean Christophe warmly welcomed us into the kitchen to take a photo with him. Not everyday you can just step into the secret world of a restaurant kitchen but Chef Jean took it as no big deal, “why not? there’s no drama, it’s just a kitchen!” he said. And that is why we would not hesitate to dine at St Tropez again. Amazing staff that are sure to put a smile on your face, a real heart warming meal-“why not?”

St Tropez
149, Parnell Road,
Parnell, Auckland
New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 309 0996



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