Despite what Mr D promised, we didn't win $16 million on the lotto this weekend.............how surprising. So it was rather clever of me to have booked The Engine Room in Northcote for our tenth wedding anniversary, you don't need to take out a second mortgage to have a really fabulous meal there. Why are their not more restaurants like this in Auckland??
It is always a good sign if I can peruse a menu (and this one was not huge, maybe six options for each course....), and struggle to choose just one of each dish. In fact despite my not insignificant marital weight gain, I often struggle to finish 3 courses. But everything looked so tempting I threw caution to the wind (and a Losec down my throat...) and went for it.
I only discovered after the event I had chosen the exact menu described in Metro, on awarding The Engine Room best local bistro in their annual awards...........the excellent waiter must have thought "what a saddo".
I enjoyed Twice Baked Goats Cheese Souffle , which was a light delight, with just the right amount of "goatness". To follow a delicious Steak Frites, complete with a lovely herby butter sauce. I only ate half my steak, in preparation for the Churros and Chocolate to follow. Natalia Schamroth, who along with partner Carl Koppenhagen own and run the restaurant, then whisked the rest away, and returned it at the end of our meal, to the absolute delight of a certain fat furry feline....
Mr D had a tangy Prawn and Lychee salad, followed by the Duck, which was an evening special. Both produced scraped clean plates and curious lip-smacking sounds, need I say more...
We have spent quite a bit of time in Spain, and I cant go past Churros, deep fried donuts traditionally eaten at breakfast with hot chocolate. Eat these my friend, and you will laugh in the face of muesli, ha ha!
They arrived hot and coated in sugar, to be broken up and dunked in my cream topped chocolate, which had a real hit of orange. Terrys Chocolate Orange for grown-ups. Mr D's Nougat Glace with Turkish Delight was just that, light, packed with pistachios, with a real hit of rosewater. Needless to say I was only quick enough for a small spoonful.
All this , with a couple of wines each came in at $230 incl tip, if you find somewhere else in Auckland with this level of food,service and ambiance, I want to hear about it:) If you get the chance visit, www.engineroom.net.nz
Briefly, I have seen two good French films recently, The Grocers Son, which is playing at the Lido, and I Loved You So Long, with the fantastic Kristen Scott-Thomas at the beautifully refurbished Capital on Dominion Rd. If you have the chance, go and see them. Neither will blow you away with action (they are French after all.....), but both are excellent character studies.
Must away, homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner, and you know Monday is Midsomer Murder night........x