After a busy morning we had no idea where to grab some lunch so a business colleague suggested Depot on Federal st. At first I thought ugh, that’s by the Sky Casino, it can’t be good but they insisted that I give it a chance. Swallowing my disbelief we headed up the road.
Upon arrival the place looked, cool. Probably an overused word and doesn’t describe things well but the place just felt cool. Maybe it was the hipsters in the back sipping coffe, the gay couple dressed ravishingly out front smoking cigarettes or the old Maori couple reading the newspaper, perhaps it was the kitsch décor and down home Kiwi feel (we’re Kiwi’s living in Australia) but something felt just right about the place. We sidled on up and sat at the bar to see what was on offer.
The menu was exciting and I’m not going to repeat it here but check it out for yourself eatatdepot.co.nz (no I’m not endorsed by Depot, hell I wish I was!). My only fault with the menu being the use of the word clams……………since when did New Zealanders start calling Pipis clams? Stupid I tell you and sounds American which is not a bad thing but our Native people’s name for it is waaaaay cooler and waaaaay more Kiwi. We knew that we would agonise over the menu for a bit and it was almost 11am so a drink was in order, me choosing the Tuatara – Bavarian Hefe and my wife choosing a glass of 2009 Alluviale Merlot Cabernet from Gimblett Gravels. The Hefe was a light and fruity wheat beer, perfect for the first drink of the day and complimentary of the Kingfish! My wife’s Merlot also going down well, as if a wine from Gimblett Gravels is going to be bad.
We ended up ordering the Kingfish sashimi w/ oyster cream, apple & fennel seed and the NZ meat board which had a staggering amount of Local food (Waikanae pork salami, wild rabbit rillette,’akaroa’ pork coppa, air dried paprika beef, cherry relish & ‘Olaf’s’ fig & fennel crostini). The kingfish was divine, so light and fresh with the oyster cream rounding out the dish with a flavour explosion. The meat board was amazing with my favourite the wild rabbit rillette which was easily as good if not better than anything I ever tried in France.
After the Hefe I ordered a Tuatara Porter to finish off the meal and was rewarded with a subtle chocolate and earthy taste, very different from the Hefe but still an amazing beer. My wife continued with her Merlot as why mess with a good thing. Reluctantly we dragged ourselves out of the place with an promise to come back and eat dinner there some time.
This is currently my favourite place to eat (even though it’s in NZ and I live in Australia). The staff are attentive and nice, the décor is cool and funky, the prices are resonable and the food is to die for. For someone who doesn’t give 10/10 this would have to be a solid 9.5/10. Now I just have to find excuses to fly back to NZ to get back there.
Check out www.mylittlereddiningbook.com for more than just my restaurant reviews…..
If you own or manage Depot Eatery on Federal, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.