Cafe Melba (Ellerslie)

Cafe Melba in Ellersie is one of those “Entertainment Book” places to go. Without the book, I wouldn’t even know if the place existed. It also helps that I get some form of discount. Samples below:

Salmon Benedict – $18.70.

Steak Sandwich – $19.00.

First impression, place is good. Parking is easy to find as Ellerslie is not so busy, food taste great, staff friendly and toilet is clean. Personally, I can’t complain about this place, and worth a try if you have the Entertainment book voucher since price-wise, it is kinda on the high side 🙂

Rating = 8.5/10.

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Nutmeg Cafe

Sorry about the lack of updates. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I can blame the PS3, RWC, my wedding preparation, but really, I do muck around a lot and do have time update. I just forgot!

Nutmeg Cafe is located at the intersection of Remuera Road and Middleton Road, near Dick Smith Electronics. I decided to go because it’s near where I live and I had a Living Social voucher. Samples below:

 

Big breakfast with four sides ($23.00)

Eggs Benedict with Cured Salmon and Spinach ($17.00)

Mocha in a bowl.

To be honest, fantasic food, delicious and I think reasonably priced for the quality and service. With the voucher, it just makes it even better. Highly recommended for a try.

Oh it’s organic too. Rating = 9/10.

Market Seafood Braisserie

Sorry for the lack of updates.

I’ve been pre-occupied as usual. One of my recent favourite visit is the Auckland Fish Market. It’s now very nicely done up – thanks to the Rugby World Cup. There appears to be lots of eateries there, and Market Seafood Braisserie caught my eye. It was the obvious cafe as it’s smack in the fish market. The menu looks good with easy-to-pick choices. Some samples below:

Crumbed Salmon with Baby Caesar ($14.90).

Crumbed Snapper with Salad Green ($15.90).

Gourmet Fish Burger with house tartare and fries ($14.90).

Great price and great taste! Good variety and love the salmon. They can get quite busy during weekend lunchtime – so try to come early. With the area being done up, it’s a good place to visit, eat and stock up on seafood. 🙂

Rating 9/10. Highly recommended!

Circus Circus

I guess I was bound to put this one up. Who wouldn’t. I’ve seen blogs outside of NZ talking about this place! It’s Circus Circus, located in the  heart of Mt Eden Village. It’s easily noticeable and parking is not hard to find. I’ve been here a few times already and tried many things – particularly breakfast-related food. Here are some of the samples:

Baked Beans with Poached Eggs ($14.90).

Panfried Field Mushrooms ($16.90).

Gourmet Beef Burger ($17.90).

Mixed Grill ($17.90).

As you can see, presentation-wise, it’s top notch. Taste-wise, I can’t complain. It’s the usual cafe-style food. I think the the price is very reasonable. The atmosphere is great with unique decor. It can be quite deceiving seeing the place from outside and think it’s small, when in fact, it’s very deep. So, don’t worry if you see lots of people, there’s plenty of space inside. I’m a big fan of baked beans, so always like to have them for breakfast. Mixed grill is always going to be my favourite because it has everything. Otherwise, you can go for smaller options.The beef burger is not too bad. Coffee is 4.90 (a bit of the high side, but good coffee).

If you have the Entertainment book – use it! You get one free meal.

Overall, great place and worth a try. Rating = 8.5/10.

Bistro 65

Bistro 65 is the neighbour of two very good restaurants (Safran and Archie’s Pizzeria). I say good restaurants, because they’re always busy, especially Archie’s. It was one strange afternoon (lunchtime obviously) that I passed by the area and decided to give this place a try. It’s awkwardly placed, as it is squeezed in between the two restaurants mentioned above. The inside is kinda empty and hollow, so I decided to eat outside.

Had a look at the menu and ordered the selections below:

Vegetarian Lasagne ($12).

Mixed Seafood Platter ($28.50).

Chicken Pizza (cashews cranberry finished with an avocado aioli) $12.

To be honest, the food is pretty good. The platter is really nice and tasty.  The lasagne not bad. The pizza also not too bad, a bit too cheesy / salty. For the price, it’s actually quite reasonable and if you sit outside, you won’t feel so lonely. If you are confused what to have here, go for the platter. The service was good too – friendly manager (I think).

Rating = 8/10.

Kermadec

If you’ve been to the viaduct, you could easily miss this place out. It’s a bit out of place so need to spot it, but I have heard good things. Kermadec is located at the Viaduct, right next to Degree. The restaurant is apparently quite high up, so you sorta get a view of the viaduct. The interior is OK. Anyway, since this was a “seafood” restaurant, a seafood bias was taken, although I do prefer my land animals. =)

Big Glory Bay Salmon Tartare ($16.50).

John Dory “Saint Peter’s Fish” ($37.00).

Slow-Cooked Perendale Lamb Shoulder ($36.00).

The food is pricey as you can see above. It’s not for the light-pocketed, unless you have some form of discount vouchers – or you feel like splashing out. The salmon and John Dory was very good. I was impressed with the presentation – so it was good to see that. The lamb shoulder is OK, rather fatty, maybe it was suppose to be that way(?). Who knows, fine-dining to me these days are small portions and pricey – and this was the case. But I am not complaining and it was worth a try.

Unfortunately, for this case, I am not coming back to Kermadec. It didn’t leave an impression at all. The environment was OK, I think Hammerheads feels way better. For fine dining, I think maybe it’s worth a try – only if you feel like seafood and you are stuck in the viaduct. The final thing, I was not impressed with the manager during my visit and from my own opinion compared with other places, Kermadec is hopelessly at the bottom of the pile in the customer service department – only because of their manager.

Rating = 4/10. Sorry Kermadec. If you do like this place and would like to try it out, I hope you can avoid the manager I had to deal with.

Cock and Bull (Newmarket)

I haven’t had a bad stint for a while, so it’s about time I got one.

I decided to pay a visit to a very common pub around the Auckland area – Cock & Bull, this particularly one in Newmarket. It always seems lively in Cock & Bull, with lots of people, probably due to the beer and SkySports. This is a good thing. Obviously, I wasn’t here for the beer. I was here for some good ol’ pub food. An Australian tourist once told me it’s the kind of food that fills you up – I guess the word is hearty? I was going to say wholesome – but things like chips, beer, deep-fried isn’t exactly healthy. =)

Some of the pub food I tried:

Scotch Fillet ($29.95).

Cock & Bull Platter ($19.95).

Caesar Salad ($20.95).

Scotch Fillet wasn’t too bad, and I think a great dish to have when you’re watching a football match etc. However, the Cock & Bull platter and Caesar Salad (with smoked chicken) were quite disappointing The platter was mostly full of the cheap stuff – wedges and onion rings. It wasn’t horrible tasting, it just lacked a lot of creativity and variety. The caeser salad had a pungent smell, maybe because of the parmesan or anchovies. Something wasn’t quite right with this all-time favourite of mine. The pricing was OK, I guess it’s standard price.

I’ve always liked pub food, and it’s everywhere in Auckland. Perhaps if you do pop into Cock & Bull, better stick to the basics like chips or pizza. I wasn’t quite so engrossed with some of the selection above.

My rating =5/10.