I’m not entirely sure how long ago Depot first opened it’s doors but I’m guessing at least 3 years. And on August 1st, 2015, I finally made it to the Depot. Not that I haven’t wanted to anytime sooner, but with the warnings on the crazy wait times for tables, and time always being at a premium on date night (baby sitter paid by the hour and so on + husband who hates waiting just to eat at some on trend establishment), it’s just never happened.
Last Saturday night I was invited to catch up with some Instagram Mama’s in person. When Depot was announced as the location of said meet-up, I was in! Not that I wasn’t looking forward to meeting these lovely women, but I was so excited about finally trying the world-renowned Fish Sliders for myself.
We arrived at 6pm and it was buzzing. We managed to score an outdoor table and started here with a glass of wine. Thankfully I’d worn a warm coat because it was a little nippy, but we happily sat and chatted for around 45 minutes before being ushered inside to the toasty interior to sit right up by the kitchen.
Gotta tell ya, I was so surprised by the demographic of diners. Where I had expected to be surrounded by hipsters almost half my age, instead I noted that we were amongst the youngest in the building (this may have been immeasurably assisted by the fact that half of our table were under 30!), but still, there was a lot more grey hair than I’d anticipated. Perhaps those hipsters have moved onto cooler pastures? After all, Depot has been open a while now.
At the recommendation of the friendly waitstaff, we ordered three small plates to share, followed by four large plates:
Hapuka sliders w/ preserved lemon mayo & watercress 17
Cumin battered warahou tortillas w/ slaw, tomatillo sauce & coriander 18
Lamb ribs w/ skordalia & cumin paprika oil 18
Skirt steak w/ tobacco onions, iceberg wedge & habanero mustard 25
Crisp ‘Freedom Farms’ pork hock w/ apple & horseradish salsa verde 32
Squid ink linguine & ‘Cloudy Bay’ clams w/ hand-cut pasta, ficelle, ‘Akaroa’ chorizo & sauv blanc sauce
+ a Duck dish I can’t find on the menu
As delicious as the Sliders were, the absolute stand out for me was the Tortillas, that tomatillo sauce: incredible! A close runner up was the Skirt Steak which was served with something called Tobacco Onions that were drop dead incredible!
I rounded out my meal with a slice of Sugar Pie. I’d read about this in a Dish magazine and have earmarked it to make myself, but haven’t. It was sweet, too sweet and a little much on top of my meal. I was really disappointed that we happened to visit on August 1st though because what I really wanted to try was Al Brown’s take on #jellytipjuly.
The atmosphere was buzzy and fun. The waitstaff were efficient and knew their stuff, but I have to say, I was more than a little put off by the number of times they picked up my wine glass (which to be fair was a tumbler and therefore not as transparent and easy to view the contents as a stem wine glass would be) to see if I was done. Granted also, I was nursing my glass of Pinot Gris because I was driving and only had one, but I was trying to make it last the distance. Plates were swiftly whisked away as soon as the last morsel had been enjoyed. Although I understand for venues where there is a no booking policy, this means people are desperately waiting elsewhere for their chance to dine and the restaurant wants to churn as many through the doors as possible, tables being hurried along to make room for new punters leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I detest feeling rushed from my table.
For this reason and the fact that I got sick when I got home and spent all night on the bathroom floor, I am giving The Depot Eatery an 8/10. Food wise however, I’d give it a 10/10.
Have you been? What did you think? Those sliders huh?
I didn’t take any photos because I just didn’t want to be “that person”, plus the lighting was not conducive to pretty food pics. x