Last night I went to Taste of Auckland with my lovely work colleagues. With Singapore Airlines being a major sponsor I was heavily involved in last year’s inaugural event at the Ellerslie venue. This year I’m no longer with Singapore Airlines so I didn’t see the behind-the-scenes activity but it’s apparent that the organisers have pulled it off again – this time at Victoria Park. Despite the shortage of parking, I think it was a good move.
I looked through the menu before I went so I pretty much knew what I wanted to try. I selected dishes from Bracu, dine by Peter Gordon, Soto and Euro – and here they are:
1) Bracu – Aromatic tea and vanilla cured duck proscuitto, butter roast scampi tails, orange blossom gell and marinated beetroot
Delicious. It came with two scampi tails but I scoffed one before taking the photo. The duck definitely had a vanilla undertone to it and was reasonably chewy but tender. The scampi were flawless and the orange blossom gell complemented all the other flavours and textures perfectly. My question to chefs: Is ‘gell’ a real word?
Scallops are probably my favourite choice of seafood so I’m not picky when it comes to how they’re prepared – simple is fine. This dish was excellent because the scallops were fresh, succulent and paired nicely with the flavours of the chorizo caramel and buffalo mozzarella.
3) Soto – Prawn Filo Tempura with Japanese style Worchestershire sauce, tartare sauce and wasabi caviar
I can’t say that I loved this one – I found it a bit too rich and greasy but the prawn was huge and tender and the sauces were an excellent combination for the dish. Lovely crunch and flavours but I’d prefer this as a smaller portion with a beer in hand at a summer BBQ.
4) Euro – Simon Gault Alaskan King crab and prawn in jalapeno creme fraiche sauce topped with tuna wafer
I should have tried something else because I tried this last year, but it’s THAT GOOD. The creme fraiche isn’t imposing or too rich, the little bits of crab and prawn are mouthwatering and the slivers of tuna wafer seem to have a life of their own as they flutter over the heat of the creme. I like this.