Ah seafood! The cuisines ranging from the humble fish to king prawns, from the happy clams to the banal scallops, from the scary crabs to little less scary shrimps. Auckland's seafood versatility is immense as it remains one of the most popular cuisines of the city dwellers. No wonder few of the city's top restaurants are the ones dedicated to serving seafood with a flavour of their own. Here are a few names where you can heartily enjoy a seafood meal.
Ostro Brasserie and Bar
The thought of dining beside the view of the Waitemata Harbour is quite exciting. Add to that the magic chef Josh Emett does on his preparations. Ostro Brasserie is a fantastic place for seafood lovers. Grilled Vanuatu king prawns with lemon, chilli and parsley make up to be an excellent starter. They've got an elaborate menu but the Ostro seafood platter stands out as it includes raw Glory Bay and Pacific Rock Oysters, Cockles, Cloudy Bay Clams, prawns, mussels, crayfish and a ceviche.
The Grill by Sean Connolly
The Grill is often cited as the restaurant which serves the best steak of the country in the form of steak tartare but it is their seafood that leads to the mad love among foodies. Their seafood platter which includes Queensland prawns, Cloudy Bay Clams, Scampi, King Crab claws, oysters is fulfilling for the stomach but never for the heart. Other dishes like Shrimp Sashimi and Salmon Lox with potatoes are delicious too. The grain fed Fillet with goat cheese and beans is as good as Fillet can be.
Run by celebrity chef Al Brown, Depot was voted as Metro Supreme Restaurant of the Year in 2012. It is one of those delightful places which serve you free humus and pita bread before bringing your order to the table. The lightly roasted Turbot which is cut with lemon mayo and watercress is undoubtedly the restaurant's best dish and an epitome of seafood restaurants in Auckland. Hapuka Belly, the white fish is also served here with eggplant kasundi. If you go for the exquisitely prepared Mahurangi oysters and Tuatua you would wonder why it doesn't win the Supreme Restaurant award each year.
Been around since the 70s, Pearl Garden is known for serving Chinese and seafood for unimaginably economic prices. As a Yum Cha restaurant it serves all kinds of fascinating dumplings but prawns dumplings are a distinct favourite of many. Gulping them down with tea is a sumptuous experience. For other authentic Chinese seafood delights try out the squid with ginger and spring onions, scallops with Chinese wine sauce or deep fried sweet and sour blue cod.
Soul Bar and Bistro
Looking over the sails in the harbour, Soul Bar and Bistro was listed in Metro's magazine's 50 best restaurants in Auckland. Their spicy tuna tartare with crushed avocado, jalapeno peppers, warm jou jou bread makes up a delicious starter. But the most famous dish is the salt and pepper squid with almond skordalia(a puree made out of garlic). For prawn lovers there is Crystal Bay prawns and chilli risotto with mascarpone and decorated with wood sorrel. The preparation is so immaculate that for a few moments you would wonder whether to eat it or not.
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