Coco’s Cantina (K’Road, Auckland, New Zealand)
Today, I’m thrilled to share my recent dining experience at a charming spot nestled along Karangahape Road in Auckland City – Coco’s Cantina. After an exhilarating round of axe throwing with my awesome team, we were eager to satiate our appetites with some delectable fare. And let me tell you, Coco’s Cantina did not disappoint!
Coco’s Cantina boasts a neighbourhood charm that immediately puts you at ease. The rustic, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is a celebration of seasonality, featuring locally sourced ingredients that highlight quality and craftsmanship. Just a stone’s throw away from the Sweet Axe Throwing Co., this gem of a restaurant welcomed us with open arms.
As we entered, the atmosphere wrapped around us like a warm embrace. It’s as if Coco’s Cantina had transformed into a friend’s cozy home, where the blend of great company and flavoursome dishes danced harmoniously. The ambiance was so inviting that we couldn’t help but feel at ease. Inside just in front of Rhianna’s wall collage, we found the perfect perch to enjoy a drink and bite, all while basking in the company of our friends. The service was impeccable – accommodating, friendly, and ready to guide us through the tantalizing menu.
Speaking of the menu, it was a treasure trove of culinary wonders. We kicked off our culinary adventure with a delightful Mulled Wine, which, despite my personal reservations, added a warm touch to the evening.
The Fresh Burrata (NZ$28.00), accompanied by mandarin, radicchio, and fennel, was a creamy delight that begged for just a touch more salt.
Our journey continued with a Classic Margherita pizza (NZ$25.00) that was a harmonious symphony of tomato, mozzarella, basil, and EVOO – a familiar yet always welcomed flavour combination.
The Truffled Potato Ravioli (NZ$29.00) , adorned with wild garlic and sage brown butter, was a true standout, treating our taste buds to an exquisite truffle sensation.
Linguine alla Vongole (NZ$32.00) showcased the sea’s bounty with Cloudy Bay clams, cherry tomatoes, chili, and a hint of orange. The Lamb Ragu “Bianco,” (NZ$34.00) a mesmerizing dish served with greens, paccheri, and pecorino, carried robust flavours that truly resonated.
The highlight of the evening was a secret dish suggested by the ever-attentive staff – a dry-aged eye fillet steak, accompanied by compound butter and perhaps Pecorino Romano. This culinary masterpiece left us in awe, with its bold, beefy flavours and expert preparation.
Dessert was a sweet finale, with the Bombe Alaska (NZ$17.00), featuring chocolate torte and passionfruit gelato, and the Eighthirty Coffee-infused Tiramisu (NZ$16.00) stealing the show.
Throughout our meal, we enjoyed an array of wines, including the Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 MWC, which balanced power and finesse, and the Greystone Pinot Gris 2022, a symphony of autumnal fruits.
While the dishes mostly charmed our palates, we couldn’t help but notice some lack of seasoning, a sentiment shared by our entire table. But worry not – a dash of salt and pepper from the table’s centre soon remedied this minor hiccup.
In conclusion, Coco’s Cantina offers an experience that feels both comforting and exciting. It may have been a mainstay since 2009, but the restaurant’s vibrant ambiance, paired with its Mediterranean-inspired creations, still captivates taste buds, and creates lasting memories. So, if you’re on the hunt for a charming evening filled with hearty dishes and lively company, Coco’s Cantina should be on your radar. While it might not redefine culinary innovation, it guarantees a fantastic time that blends the old and the new in the most delightful way.
Until my next culinary adventure, bon appétit!
Address: 374 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone: +649 300 7582