Depot was an unexpected discovery. It was a last minute recommendation from a local foodie and we were not disappointed.
Depot opened in 2011 and is the brainchild of celebrity New Zealand chef, Al Brown. There are of course fresh oysters and other molluscs as well as small and large share plates. The bustling environment reminded me most of oyster bars in New Orleans, and I haven't seen this translated to the southern hemisphere before - at least not with such verve and panache. There are layers of flavours in each dish (achieved with careful preparation over charcoal and wood stoves) and the sharing platters are perfect for a small group. Service was slick and friendly and the staff knew the menu backwards, including details of the local produce, which I applaud. There were absolutely no issues that we were eating with our kids, and the place has a noisy bustling atmosphere.
As I write this review Depot has just been crowned the Supreme Winner of the 2012 Metro Audi Restaurant of the Year Awards. Open 7 days a week until late, from 7am on weekdays and 10am weekends. They don't take bookings (at least when we visited in March) so avoid the peak lunch and dinner rush. Prices are, dare I say it, cheap (or at least excellent value) and there are plenty of wines by the glass (90% New Zealand sourced) or on tap.
Don't miss Depot if you are in Auckland!
Trio point oysters and frilled venus clams from Marlborough and little neck clams from Dunedin.
Snapper sliders with watercress and pickled lemon mayonnaise.
Pork carnitas on corn tortillas with tomatillo salsa, plum and coriander
Cutlery in mackerel cans!
Kaimoana broth with Cloudy Bay clams, mussels, fish and Wairarapa saffron rouille.
Crisp pork hock with apple and horseradish salsa verde
Side dishes ...
Grilled corn with chipotle sour cream and aged goats cheese
Iceberg lettuce wedge with ranch dressing
A range of desserts to share and even the coffee was excellent ...
"DEPOT EATERY and Oyster Bar. Open Since 7am"