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Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar, Auckland, New Zealand

May 28 2012 at 9:09 PM

AndrewD  (Login AndrewDaley)
Admin

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!


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Trio point oysters and frilled venus clams from Marlborough and little neck clams from Dunedin.

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Snapper sliders with watercress and pickled lemon mayonnaise.

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Pork carnitas on corn tortillas with tomatillo salsa, plum and coriander

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Cutlery in mackerel cans!

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Kaimoana broth with Cloudy Bay clams, mussels, fish and Wairarapa saffron rouille.

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Crisp pork hock with apple and horseradish salsa verde

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Side dishes ...
Grilled corn with chipotle sour cream and aged goats cheese

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Iceberg lettuce wedge with ranch dressing

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A range of desserts to share and even the coffee was excellent ...

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"DEPOT EATERY and Oyster Bar. Open Since 7am"

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Andrew


 
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ThomasM
(Premier Login thepurist178)
Forum Owner

Andrew, you bad bad man!

May 29 2012, 1:17 AM 

just seeing that raw plate, at 1:17a...

oh, man, what have you done to me?!?

"The secret to success in life
is to keep believing in the possible,
but to focus your energies on the probable."

 
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AndrewD
(Login AndrewDaley)
Admin

Hope you had sweet dreams then ...

May 29 2012, 3:11 PM 

You would have loved the freshness of the seafood.

Actually, all around New Zealand I felt the reverence for local produce. And I must say that the dairy products were particularly good; creamy, rich, and flavourful. Happy cows!

New Zealand should definitely be on your culinary map.

Andrew

 
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MTF
(Login MelvynTeillolFoo)
Admin

Flower People

May 29 2012, 2:06 AM 

Thanks Andrew.

I think I haven't eaten around enough as there were things there that I've never seen.

I live a sheltered life.........

 

Also, what's with the Flower people floral shirts in all the shots?  happy.gif

 

Regards,

MTF

 


 
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AndrewD
(Login AndrewDaley)
Admin

Floral is back in ...

May 29 2012, 3:16 PM 

... but I have never been able to keep up with the trends. And it was holiday time. wink.gif

Pleased you found some interesting things in the food. It is rare that everything holds together and the flavours and textures at Depot were bold but harmonious at the same time. And the balance was perfect across the whole meal, which attests to the skill of the wait staff in gently guiding menu choices.

Really a great dinning experience and a new restaurant that deserves the accolades.

Andrew

 
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AndrewD
(Login AndrewDaley)
Admin

ACME Oyster House, New Orleans, USA

May 29 2012, 5:33 PM 

The atmosphere at Depot was much like the ACME Oyster House in New Orleans, which has been hand-shucking Louisiana oysters since 1910. You can have them natural or char-grilled in garlic butter and fried. And wash them down with local Abita beer. Yum.

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ThomasM
(Premier Login thepurist178)
Forum Owner

I remember Cooter Browns...

May 29 2012, 6:10 PM 

when I visited New Orleans back in the 1980's (can it have been that long?!?)

mmmmmmmm...

hmmmm...haven't had a decent raw plate since...last year!

Favorites - the succulent sweetness mashed up with the local waters (briny, muddy, minerally - every bit as complex and subtle as the terroir of great wines!) and if fresh from the water (like we had at Hog Island Oyster Co in Marshall, Tomales Bay, or at Youngs in Penobscott Bay, Maine) the bracing coolness of the waters held in the closed oyster as it is freshly shucked, ideally by your own gloved hands.

YUM!!!

Monte Carlo, Paris, Maine, and No. Cal -

I'll have to dig up some pics.

Cafe de Paris

Goumard (far better than Le Dome, the old standby...imho)

Hog Island Oyster Co
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Young's - Penobscott Bay

"The secret to success in life
is to keep believing in the possible,
but to focus your energies on the probable."

 
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AndrewD
(Login AndrewDaley)
Admin

More oysters ...

May 30 2012, 5:23 PM 

From Guy Savoy, Paris: ice-poached oysters in seawater jelly, made from the 'nectar' from the oysters and set with gelatine. You can imagine the salty flavour burst.

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Antoines Restaurant, New Orleans, established in 1840, and the birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller ...

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Pacifc Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) at Barilla Bay Oyster Farm, Tasmania.

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Oyster shooters ...

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Dig in. happy.gif

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Andrew

 
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