Aubergine (North Shore City, New Zealand)
We have been planning to dine in here for quite some time now, but its old looking facade gives us a signal that it might not be a good idea to give it a try. It’s not inviting at all but one day we just have to open that door and brave into the unknown. When we came in I was quite surprised, the place was fully packed, a lot of smiling faces and the smell was phenomenal, are we to late to try this out? Well we will find out.
Menu is quite exciting, Mediterranean in theme but using local New Zealand ingredients.
Now let’s try some entrees in the form of Mezza Mediterrana (NZ$12.00), basically a plate of falafel, hummus, Aubergine and bread. I like this platter, it has small bits of everything, like a teaser to a much bigger feast that will arrive.
We also had garlic bread (NZ$5.50) and boy they are massive and very buttery! really nice, I like the added touch of slightly burning the edges giving it a nice crispy crunch.
It’s just appetizer and we are already filling up fast, those garlic bread was amazing not to miss out.
For the mains the first order was this amazing pork belly. So, it’s a Pork Belly Crackling with Japanese pickled tomatoes, dates, hand cut potatoes, apple slaw and plum jus ($NZ28.00), it indeed has some nice crunch on it plus that plum jus enhances the savoury flavour even more. Again, the serving is huge, that pork slab can feed two.
We also grabbed some Braised Lamb Shanks (NZ$30.00) served with whipped potato, roasted root vegetables with rosemary sauce. Another large serving, it was fall of the bone, really tasty which is a perfect match to that creamy light whipped potatoes and sweet roasted vegetables. Again, another amazing meal.
And for pasta we had this Pappardelle Carbonara (NZ$23.00) prepared with bacon, mushrooms, herbs and cream sauce. Bacon were more like chunks, big pieces, those alone will make you full. It was so creamy and the pappardelle was cooked perfectly, another heavy dish.
For the drinks since we are already full we had something sweet so it acts like our dessert as well. Strawberry Milk Shake (NZ$5.00) was the choice.
Overall, I love this place, the food was more than amazing, it was definitely filling so keep that in mind when you plan to dine in here. It’s just too sad the facade is quite again but that does not anyway correlate to what these guys serve. Think if it like a proper Italian pizza, not inviting and not looking fancy but when you take your first bite you had the wrong first judgement. So, lesson learned for me, don’t judge the food based on how the place looks.
Address: 129 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna, Auckland 0622, New Zealand
Phone: +649 489 3104