A mixed bag

It’s been a funny kind of weekend so this post is a bit of a mish-mash, but hopefully you’ll find something in there to interest you. We usually keep our posts shortish as we know how time poor people are, but this one is a bit longer as it talks about three separate places.

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New Bond St Bar

The place we intended to review was nice enough but because of our menu choices, we can’t really make a call on whether it’s somewhere we’d recommend and are therefore reluctant to do as an actual review. We were keen to try New Bond Street Bar as we are always short on European options in the Cheap Eats price bracket. We ordered the Salt and Pepper squid ($7.90) and the Caramelised onion and feta risotto cakes ($7.90)  and thought alongside these fried choices it would be nice to have a salad. It turned out the that the ”cutlets” in the Coriander and Ginger Prawn with spiced beetroot and roasted kumara salad ($17.90) were battered and deep fried so we ended up with a bit of a grease fest. There were other attractive options like Caramelised shoulder of pork and thai green curry as well as a whole pizza menu so we’d be interested to go back and see what they were like. The service was very friendly and attentive and on the whole I’d recommend it as a place to have a few drinks with much better than average pub food.

429 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland
(09) 845 3071

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The Depot

On the other side of town, Lynn was checking out Al Brown’s Depot (a personal favourite of mine). While this would not be strictly a cheap eat for some, she ate comfortably with a friend for $18/head so thought it worth a mention for ladies light lunches. Depot does not take reservations, so be prepared for a wait on busy evenings.

This is what she said:

“There is a very New York warehouse restaurant vibe to Depot’s fitout; tiled bar area, fresh shellfish on ice, open kitchen and a real buzz to the atmosphere. The menu is designed as plates to be shared – smaller plates or larger plates.  While the larger plates are beyond the Cheapeats budget ($26-$32), the smaller plates are just perfect.  The NZ meat board (small $20 or large $26) would also work as a shared Cheapeats dish. There is also shellfish available from the Raw Bar from $2.50 -$4 per item. There is a good selection of NZ and Australian wine by the glass and “on tap”, which again is perfect for an evening of grazing and socialising.

Depot serves the best of fresh seasonal NZ produce from the land and sea. Think snapper sliders with preserved lemon and watercress ($15), skirt steak fajitas ($16), roasted lamb ribs ($18), tempura style courgette flowers with goat curd and pinenuts ($15.50) – and more.  We opted for the snapper sliders and the courgette dish.  The sliders normally come as a serving of three sliders, so we paid for an extra portion to have two sliders each.

We nibbled on the complimentary pita  toasts and dip while we waited for our food.  It arrived quickly and had that “eat me now” visual plate appeal.  The courgette dish had two tempura coated courgette flowers along with charred courgette slices with the goat curd and toasted pine nuts.  It was so delicious that we were tempted to lick the plate!

The snapper sliders were actually turbot rather than snapper, but delicious nonetheless. The small and perfectly formed brioche buns are created for Depot by Loaf.  The fish was done to a turn and the preserved lemon gave it the flavour punch it needed.

This light lunch was perfect for two women although I concede that a man or someone with a larger appetite may want to order another dish to share. However, we felt that we had “dined well” and it’s definitely worth checking out.

86 Federal Street, Auckland
(09) 363 7048

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Pakuranga Night Markets

And lastly we did check out the Pakuranga Night Markets after the great time we had at Glenfield and they were well worth it. The Sri Lankan Appas were wonderful, the Wok-flamed seafood divine and queues for the Churros and Dutch pancakes were unbelievably long. This would have to be one of the cheapest eats in Auckland with a lot of the dishes in the $3 – $5 bracket. Be prepared for a full-on experience, it’s a lot like a market in Asia with crowds and lots of noise, but it’s all part of the fun.

Westfield Pakuranga, Cnr Ti Rakau Drive & Reeves Rd

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