When an email pings into your inbox asking if you’d like to experience a five-course with matching wines meal, curated with sustainability in mind and crafted from the highest quality NZ sourced ingredients at Meat Fish Wine, you say Yes Please! I think I may have actually said Hell Yes (please)!
Perfect excuse for a date night, I invited my husband to be my +1 to the Yellow Brick Road Sustainable Feast at Meat Fish Wine – a relative newcomer to the Auckland restaurant scene. He’s fairly ho-hum at the best of times when it comes to foodie experiences – more of a “food is fuel” kinda guy. I mean he likes eating food but he ain’t no foodie. Foodie can be defined as a person with a particular interest in food. Yup, my hand is up.
I ubered to the city on a rainy Thursday evening, wearing a sparkly Cinderella skirt and casually tied linen shirt. I was rocking leopard print heels and I felt a little Sex & The City-ish. My dashing husband met me straight from work and we shared a cocktail in the bar. Well, I had a cocktail, he sipped on a beer. It was a delicious Bangkok Club – Ginger Infused Gin, Coconut, Kaffir Lime, yes my friends, delicious and very drinkable!
It was possibly just as well we were at this point ushered to our table, because I may have ordered another! In the dining area, positioned not far from the kitchen hub, we found ourselves seated alongside eight other couples. Following introductions and niceities, everyone’s attention turned to the lineup of empty wine glasses set in front of each of us. At this point I might have made a call to Dial A Driver to determine whether or not Shane would be partaking in all the matching wines. I hadn’t anticipated the intimate setting but the conversation flowed easily and our fellow diners were all really cool people.
The Sommelier, the Chef and the very man who sources the Seafood were all on hand to share their passion for food and it made the experience all the more enriching. Martin Bosley who referred to himself simply as “The Fish Guy” arrived late, sat alongside us and kept us entertained with everything from the intricacies of the fishing industry to his role in the Rimutaka Prison Gate to Plate event that sold out in 2 minutes, for the third year running.
David Schofield is Executive Chef at Meat Fish Wine and his background is extensive. As it turned out I was seated next to his wife and I learnt a lot about his passion for food and his passion for his new restaurant. David has worked in prestigious Michelin star restaurants in Europe and the UK, and after returning to New Zealand was twice voted chef of the year. And if you’re a foodie too, this is completely worth noting, David runs Chef’s Table Cooking Demos completely complimentary bi-monthly. Absolutely worth attending if you can get to the city for a 5.30-6.30pm session.
Our Sommelier was fantastic, full of personality and described the wines we were drinking the most succinctly I’ve ever experienced. I am certainly no expert on wine and often feel like the descriptions on the back of a wine label or on a wine menu don’t accurately depict the flavour of the contents for me. I was amazed by how on point his explanations were. When he described a particular Chardonnay as being full of “bloom” and the next one as having “no fullness, but rather floated straight down the throat without filling the mouth” I got it.
Housed in the old Law Society Building, the history in the interior of Meat Fish Wine is evident by the inclusion of features such as the original safe door. And the stories David shared about their discoveries of old artefacts as they set about refurbishing the space that had for years between then and now housed a Thai restaurant, were interesting to say the least.
The stand out course for me was absolutely the Oysters. I have eaten one oyster in my life and had I not been in very hip company as I ate it, I would have spat it back into my napkin. I haven’t been even tempted to try one again – though I have since wondered what all the fuss was about. Being that I was served half a dozen of the buggers on this evening I figured there was no way I could say “no thank you” and took that as my opportunity to try again. Oh My Goodness! Life changing – to the point where I would actually order them again. They were served with diced shallots, foraged herbs, lemon juice and some non-specified but highly delicious vinegar dressing. I wolfed them down with zero regret and felt thoroughly proud of myself to have crossed the achievement of “Oyster eater” off my list. Spectacularly delicious.
The Ora King Salmon was definitely the prettiest plate and the components of this plate were sensational. Each and every course from there on was amazing – bar the Paua Raviolo which was not really to my tastes. We enjoyed Wild Eel Risotto, Chocolate Madeleine’s, Chocolate Quinelle and Brie with a Pear & Honey Tarte Tartin. All delicious and all beautifully plated as you can see.
A darky and moody interior with carefully planned details in decor, from the impressive 800-glass Maui’s hook in the ceiling that is light controlled and a feature like nothing I’ve seen elsewhere, to the intricacies of the dinnerware, all created specifically for the restaurant by Peter Collis, combine to make this a dining experience that is well worth it’s ticket price. A la carte meals are served daily and of course accessible to anyone, but if you happen upon the opportunity to indulge in a special occasion degustation like the one we enjoyed, I would very definitely highly recommend it.
And because Dial A Driver is too highly priced for my liking, I would absolutely suggest no one in your party need drive home. The experience was all the more enjoyable with the matching wines.
Thank you for having us Meat Fish Wine.