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Fast, Fun & Fresh

- 12 August 2021 - 


How the restaurant scene has changed over the last 10 years. Restaurants that were solid dining establishments are gone, and new ambitious, talented owners have opened fabulous eateries with customers queuing out the door. Who knew we would ever queue in NZ? We have changed.

Depot on Federal Street Auckland City has stood its ground and moved gracefully with the times and this year they celebrate 10 years in business. This is a great accomplishment in the tough industry of hospitality. Owner Al Brown has always been a game changer in the industry, and he is not afraid to be different. Depot reaches out to all age groups. I saw 70-year-olds perched on bar stools dining alongside young girls in short, short gold shorts. The whole scene was buzzing, full of happy customers drinking cocktails and eating delicious, tasty fresh cuisine. And yes, occasionally a queue formed.

What can you expect when you go to Depot? A superb raw bar and the kingfish with oyster cream and apple fennel seeds I would do back flips for. The oysters are fresh and salty and there is even fresh Tuatua on the list.

The dishes are mostly sharing dishes, small or large. We loved the koha delivered to us whilst we waited for drinks: white bean paste and pita bread. The fresh snapper sliders with pickled lemon mayo and watercress made me feel like I was sitting by the sea eating freshly caught pan fried fish and the perfectly cooked grilled ‘Decle’ brisket with pickled carrot and crème fraiche and peanuts melted in our mouths. Many dishes came to our table, and we judged, commented, and devoured them. But something else that stood out to me was the potato skins, as not everyone makes good potato skins. These were outstanding, covered in pecorino, truffle oil and porcini salt. The potatoes were tasty with yellow waxy flesh. I simply could have drunk cocktails and ate the skins and been fully content. They have a short but perfectly formed cocktail list and I highly recommend the Cucumber Sour (Habana Frangelico Lime and Cucumber)

If you have not been, go and try Depot. It’s busy, it’s fun, and it’s great food.