Our wedding anniversary fell on a Monday this year with many restaurants closed including our top three favs, so we decided to give Euro Restaurant and Bar a go having not been there for many years.
Walking in, the maitre de greeted us offering us a drink at the bar, but as it was one of Auckland’s exquisite evenings with the sun still high in the sky we opted for our table. Tucked away, with a boxed garden separating us from the evening strollers and umbrella overhead providing shade, we happily settled in.
With the drinks under way it was time to get down to business. The menu looked exciting and after some deliberation we ordered three entrée: tempured oysters, shaved kingfish and chilli squid.The menu did not suggest sharing plates, but it’s a way of eating we have become accustomed to, long before it was popular.
These entrees were followed by just two mains: Goat’s curd tortellini with pork belly and hand cut pappardelle with crayfish so we were now content to sit back enjoy our martinis and wait for the feast to begin.
It’s not often I rave about food but each mouthful was sensual. The oysters were perfectly cooked, served in their shells with delicious garlic aioli, slipping down easily with a little champagne (so busy eating I forgot to take a photo!)
The kingfish was not too thin, with real texture and the most delicate hint of peach.
And the slightly crispy, tender pieces of squid melted in my mouth with the creamy flavours of cucumber and Za’atar spice – an aromatic flavour from dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac.
The mains were equally as delicious.
My crayfish with pappardelle was a winner with fine handmade pasta, good meaty chunks of crayfish in a broth, and yes, I needed bread to mop up at the sauce. Our waiter bought us a couple of slices of stunning brown bread, with a wicked crust that was clearly made in-house, but what was more divine was the hazelnut butter. When I asked for an explanation of how this butter was created I got lost somewhere between the foaming and the ice cream stage. Clearly, there was a process and unfortunately one I will not be pursuing, but I will definitely be asking for bread and butter on my next visit.
I can honestly say this meal touched more of my sensors than most food I have eaten in a while. Gareth Stewart and Adam Rickett are doing something special and I’ll be back soon – give it a go Euro Restaurant and Bar