Published on July 28th, 2011 |
by Ultimate OmNoms
The grove of The Grove
You would not believe that hidden behind the old St Patricks Church on Hobson Street, lie one of Auckland’s best restaurants.
On the day, Rayshurshur kept it a complete mystery where we going with a promise that it was somewhere good. After plaguing him with persistent “Is it here?…here?” every few steps, I happily skipped right past the little alley way only to be pulled back.
Not what I had expected- it looked like a little cafe in St Patricks Square!
“The Earth gives us food to nourish our bodies and we prepare the food with love to feed our soul and we serve it with compassion to make us whole” – Le Tresor de Pistoulet
Rayshurshur’s entree: Rare roasted venison w chestnut velouté, native mint sablé & pancetta
This is probably the most complicated entrees I’ve ever had! Somehow I always look for the most complicated dish with the most ingredients on the menu. Naturally, there’s been quite a few times that it’s turned out to be venison! Even more, I had no idea what velouté was. Looked it up, it’s a sauce (apparently one of four mother sauces according to Antonin Carême).OMNOMNOM this venison with the chestnut sauce was like fries with your ketchup!
Cecilia’s entree: Sauté of scallops w truffle emulsion, faux foie gras & butternut
I have a history of being attracted to scallops on my entree menu and this evening was no exception. The only exception was that they were the best scallops I’ve ever had. I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity of the different textures in the layers. Just looking at the presentation with the crispy ring on top, I was a little reluctant to slice it up. Too bad, I was starving!
Cecilia’s main: Butter poached crayfish, roasted poussin, sweet corn brulee, smoked tomato
Disappointingly, the crayfish was a little dry. From the name, I expected something that was rich and would melt in my mouth. I wanted to taste a bit more of that natural sweet juice from the meat but overall with the poussin on the side and sweet corn brulee it wasn’t too bad- but probably not worth arguing over who should order it at the beginning (yes, that’s right, we both wanted it!). 🙂
Rayshurshur’s main: Organic beef fillet with bone marrow, young carrots, white onion puree
I didn’t regret having this after seeing how dry Cecilia’s crayfish was! But have you noticed? More bone marrow. Yes, I love this stuff! Again, this main was also so complicated! The beef fillet was probably the best I’ve had… I can see why The Grove would be one of Auckland’s best restaurants. Complicated stuff that’s cooked to perfection… for me at least!
We were presented with a cute pre-dessert as palette cleansers and being happy diners we attracted the jealous attention of the table behind Cecilia who pointed at our pre-desserts and demanded that they too want some!
Cecilia’s dessert: Chocolate souffle and vanilla ice cream
There was a time when I was obsessed with making the perfect souffle. I have to admit though, the joy of seeing the perfectly risen “lovehandle” souffle was way more satisfying than actually eating it. So how did this professional souffle compare? The gentle crack when I tapped my spoon through the top made me smile and I slowly sank my spoon into the warm foamy goodness. Verdict: my ones have bigger lovehandles! But can’t complain with the combination of warm souffle and vanilla ice cream on the side.
Creme brulee with apple and feijoa sorbet
Ever had a Big Mac combo? This was like that, it came with everything! The taste however, was a different story; I mean, how can I compare this to fast food? I apologize. The sorbet was definitely my favourite, a great way to cool down from a meaty meal and to balance out that warm rich brulee!
And so Rayshurshur proved once more that his surprises are always good. I savored and enjoyed all my food and felt 110% spoilt. I was a bit reluctant to step out of the restaurant but when we did, this
was what greeted us into the night. Who says Auckland is boring! Nothing’s boring when there’s good food and company. Go out and try something new as part ofAuckland’s first Restaurant Month
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