We are locals and our experiences of dining at the Esplanade have been patchy over the years. Many moons ago the restaurant aspired to fine dining but that was discontinued. What followed was often not that good. Our meal there recently was, however, well up to standard and whoever has brought that about is to be congratulated.
We dined midweek and the room was not full. We hope that doesn't discourage the chef. We were made welcome by attentive bar staff who double as wait-staff in the dining area, set up adjacent to the bar.
We began with appetizers of salmon cerviche and a warm beetroot salad. Both were very well constructed and presented. The cerviche was especially good, delicate and tangy with a great contrast of textures achieved against the salmon, from tender radish slices and beans.
Main courses were lamb shoulder and a rib eye of beef. The lamb was slow cooked and simply fell apart under the knife, yet was still succulent and flavoursome. It came with an extraordinary aubergine puree, which was a wonderful smokey and salty partner to the lamb.
The beef was a sizeable portion, grilled to a perfect medium rare and served with roasted mushrooms and shallots and a light bearnaise sauce. We had sides of lemon infused broccolini and an exquisite dish of roasted fennel and pancetta. This was all accompanied by the Quarter Acre Shiraz, which set the meat dishes off very well.
Dessert was not on our minds but the very persuasive waitress coaxed us to try the "potted cheesecake which, she explained, was a deconstructed version of the original. We had one to share and after polishing it off decided that another could easily have been dealt to as well! It was served in a sealable preserving jar and was a surprising and delicious exploration of flavours - very like cheesecake filling but with floating elements of crunchy biscuit base, and fruit. Really very cleverly put together.
The meal of 3 courses (dessert shared) with 3 glasses of wine was NZD168, a very reasonable price for food of this quality.
To the team at the Esplanade Hotel Bar and Grill, keep up the good work. The word is getting out!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Esplanade Hotel offers Auckland boutique hotel accommodation, right on the waterfront in Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand. Nestled in the heart of Devonport village, just across the harbour from the heart of Auckland City, The Esplanade Hotel dominates the Devonport foreshore and enjoys unrivalled harbour and city views. This boutique hotel was built in 1903, has been elegantly restored and has a character and charm all of its own.It is only a ten-minute ferry ride to downtown Auckland, without the hassle of the inner city. After a busy day sight-seeing or on business, The Esplanade Hotel is a haven to escape to at the end of the day…sit back and relax in the bar or restaurants and watch the Auckland city lights and harbour activity. The Esplanade Hotel has seventeen rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, including the luxurious Blake Suite and the two bedroom ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Esplanade Hotel Auckland
- The Esplanade Hotel Devonport, New Zealand - Auckland