Ampersand Eatery

228 ORAKEI ROADAUCKLAND, AUCKLAND,

The Serial Diner - Ampersand-1

This new eatery (as they have labelled themselves) is located in the newly developed spot, next to Oraki basin and a 20 meter walk from the Oraki train station. Entrance can be found inside the complex where you will also find the local Farrows.

Parking is a BITCH though so be prepared. The onsite parking is tight and sparse, the entrance and exit have to fight for dominance and exiting onto Oraki road is not for the faint hearted. We arrived in the dark and unbeknown to all but one of our group the parking is now managed by the Bas***ds “Wilson Parking” and comes with a cheek slapping $60 fine. I would like to think the restaurant may have mentioned this to their diners as they arrived, which would have gone down very well with me and my group as a heads up. As it turned out the Bas***ds “Wilson Parking” were not on patrol that evening.

I’ll get to the food and service in minute but first my overall impression.

This is defiantly designed in the classic modern cafe style, with sparse decorating and furnishings. Lots of blond wood tables and chairs, not uncomfortable but also not designed so you get to comfortable and over stay your welcome.

I went with my dining group https://www.meetup.com/foodsocialNZ/ (why not sign up and join us at one of our weekly new restaurant experiences)

The staff were very friendly and welcoming and more than 1/2 (mostly the males for some reason) were very funny with a great sense of humour. I suspect they were flirting a bit with my group which was made up of mostly women. I think most of them enjoyed the interaction and attention.

A couple of my companions were not happy with the wine selection or what they had ordered. So what ensued was a very entertaining series of exchanges with various waiting staff on the likes and dislikes of their wine list, a number of tastings were provided, much whining about the wine was engaged in, much to my delight as I tried to have a bit of fun with them.  Overall the restaurant delivered, some complimentary wine was consumed, which stemmed the flow of whining.

The 2 stand out dishes for me and from what I heard from my dining companions were the two menu items detailed below. Both these dishes did the rounds of the table in a sampling frenzy with the appropriate oohhs and aahhs, or was that targeted at the waiters??? Well pretty sure it was the food at least once.

‘Besteeya’ – Pheasant & Quail Pie / Parsnip / Golden Raisin & Cracked Wheat 28

Organic Beef Sirloin / Cauliflower Gratin / Chimichurri / Horseradish   29

 

The food was sensational! packed with flavour, unique combinations, beautifully seasoned and stunning visually.

Below are a selection of pics of the desserts ordered.

RIGHTHAND DISH: A Taste of cheeses on offer.   Clevedon Blue, Clevedon Blue, Kaikoura Goat, Biddy’s Farmhouse Cheddar, Eketahuna 34

RIGHTHAND DISH: Chocolate Fondant / Roasted Banana Icecream   14

LEFTHAND DISH: Apple, Blackberry & Champagne Trifle   14

Overall summary:

Would I go back? YES definitely, got a work lunch planned for this coming Friday and would recommend without a 2nd thought. So people what are you waiting for Get There!!!

 

 

 

 

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