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.

Jervois Steak House

It’s that time of the month. My lack of updates is getting quite common, and for that I apologise. It’s not often I go out and eat at fancy places, and this was a special occasion obviously =)

Jervois Steak House is the place, apparently known for their steaks. JSH is located in Ponsonby, and restaurant environment is quite romantic. Some samples below:

Entre – Alaskan Red King Crab $26.00.

Main – Signature Prime Rib (Queen Size) $43.50.

Main – Savannah Petite Angus Eye Fillet $39.50.

Sides – Creamed spinach with a hint of nutmeg $6.50.

Sides – Candied kumara baked New Orleans style with pecans $6.50.

Sides – Onion rings $8.50.

The thing I was quite impressed with are the partners, which are the sides. It’s well presented and tasty. The Angus eye filltet was very nice. The signature prime rib was a bit of an anti-climax since we had to pre-order it, and in the end, it was OK. However, the portion is quite generous – I have to give that and it was just the Queen Size only.  The entre – crab was difficult to eat and I wouldn’t recommend it. Too expensive and may cut your fingers =)

It’s not somewhere I’d go back again to be honest, but some people would find it great. My stomach is not that big to handle all that food unfortunately. Otherwise, for the steak, the sides, the service and the environment, it’s got good points.

Rating 7.5/10.

Wagamama (Sylvia Park)

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I popped into Wagamama Sylvia Park the other night while waiting to watch a movie. From the outside it looked like a nice place to eat as I’ve been there before, and I think I had fond memories.

Samples I had below:

Chicken Katsu Curry ($17.50).

Chilli Ramen with Sirloin Steak ($24.50).

Overall, it’s quite average and too pricey. I guess the place does suit some people (apparently it’s fusion) and it’s popular. But I can find better tasting and seriously cheaper Japanese out there.

My apologies to all Wagamama fans, I don’t get this place. Rating 5/10.

Citron Vert

Citron Vert is a cafe that I’ve always wanted to go. During the rainy or lazy days, I use the Link bus to work and I’ve always noticed it because it is just next to to one of the bus stops in Parnell. I can always smell the fresh (good?) coffee and people just reading / relaxing in there.

So, one Sunday morning I decided to go there and experience it. The menu appears to have a good selection and the coffee smells great. We decided to sample the burger and sandwich, pictures below:

Jamaican Chicken Burger.

Steak Sandwich.

The burger is $16 and sandwich $19.50. The coffee was around the usual prices ($3-4). I quite like the environment in there, very nice and cosy especially during a sunny day. Coffee is good. The food is also great and reasonably priced. The sandwich / burger dish had to be “separated” to properly eat it if you know what I mean. 🙂 Funny thing is that the food was made / prepared by Asians.

Anyway, I quite like the place. It’s not overpriced, decent service and good coffee 8.5/10.

Hammerheads Seafood Restaurant and Bar

Yes I am nuts – too much disposable income. Just kidding. It was for a special occassion so don’t get all excited that I’m quadrupling my budget for eat outs. Hammerheads is quite famous (apparently) for its seafood. I decided to try Hammerheads because I’ve heard good things about it (and also bad). For those who don’t know where it is, it’s quite near Kelly Tarlton’s Antartic Encounter and Underwater World, on the way to Mission Bay if you’re coming from town.

Looking at the menu in Hammerheads can be quite intimidating, nothing costs below $10 except for the beer. But I think it’s a must try (in a lifetime) for a special event. So when you get that bonus, or win that Lotto ticket, why not?

Some of the food sampled are shown below:

Seared Scallops.

Grilled Snapper Fillet.

Beef Fillet

Baked Valrhona Liquer and Chocolate Cake.

Dining at Hammerheads really did hurt when paying up. They even have an “electronic tip” option on their Eftpos machine!!! I think people just have too much frickin’ money. Service-wise, they didn’t do so well for my table. I guess they were busy tending the ones that were paying $100 per head. I have read reviews that their service was the best. But I felt that was not the case.

I think there would probably be places that serve the same dish at much lower prices, but at Hammerheads they are of a high standard to be honest (and the view is pretty awesome). The starter was scallops for $23, for 2 pieces it’s not a lot but it’s fresh and the sauce was quite delightful. The mains were the beef fillet and snapper, and surprisingly I preferred the beef. The snapper was $36.50 and beef fillet was $38. Not bad pricing eh?

In the end, I found their dessert to be the best I’ve had for a long time. The chocolate cake is rich and for $17 it is quite reasonable. Worth it. Overall, a good experience and no complains about the food.

Personally, a rating of 9/10. Great food. But not for the thrifty. It’ll be a looooong time till I come back to this place, perhaps when I get that pay rise or promotion. =)