A visit to Oaken has me convinced that it would be a hot contender for Auckland’s best all day restaurant. Here’s why.
During the day, Oaken runs as a cafe that boasts 10 different breakfast items solely dedicated as an ode to the egg. Just when you think you knew it all..coddled eggs, poached eggs, soft-boiled and scrambled – you’ll find all things apart from the traditional eggs benny with hollandaise sauce. As an “espresso free-house” you can choose between eighthirty, Peoples Coffee or All Press coffee blends, very smart.
This place is a sight for any interior design junkie. The fit-out is a strong compromise between artisan and rustic, with a peek of the original industrial look from the exposed concrete pillars. Light oak paneling and marble surfaces divides up the dining and drinking area with statement copper pieces and bright photographs. At night, the extensive wine list is brought out and the place transforms into a sophisticated wine bar.
To start, we were offered a generous taster of the night’s wine. Certainly can’t say no to that! I liked it so much I ended up getting another glass of it. For those who want to sample more wines or don’t want to end up red-faced by the end of dinner, they also offer wine by the half glass.
The same inspiration from the interior design flows onto the menu.
With the help of the waitress’ recommendations, we ordered three plates to share between the two of us:
– House cured bacon, rock melon, nasturtium
– Wagyu bresaola, fermented watermelon rind
– Lonza bocadillo, fried eggplant, Ortiz anchovy, orange
You’d think for the thoughtful pairing of ingredients and beautiful presentation, the prices would be steep but I thought the plates were very reasonably priced at $10-$15 per dish. For complimentary starters, a basket with huge pieces of sourdough bread served as a perfect match with the house cured bacon. To leave positively full, I would recommend two dishes per person though.No doubt, the bacon (or tastes more like proscuitto) ended up being my favourite. Each dish played along with one dominant ingredient so the presentation was elaborate, the taste wasn’t confusing.
For dessert, we opted to go elsewhere as only dessert wines take precedence on the menu. I almost stabbed myself when I saw Aperol Spritz on the list..but already was at the stage of a glass too many..
I thoroughly recommend Oaken and would love to come back to try their breakfast and lunch options.
Ph: 09 3794462
130 Quay Street East