Weekend Herald - Canvas


- — Michelle Hurley

WE ARRIVED: Good old Depot, chugging along from 7am, with its lunch menu kicking in at 8am. Their tight breakfast menu of Havana coffee, bacon and egg doonas (an amusing thought if you’re an Australian like me), toasted muesli and warm beignets is also available from 7am to 10.45am, if the thought of raw seafood and a sav blanc before 11am is too bracing. But here we were, on the right side of 11, starving and ready to go. Depot doesn’t take bookings but if you time your arrival well, it’s not hard to get a table. Inside it’s classy faux-nostalgia. If you’ve read Al Brown’s book, Depot, you’ll know the interior is based on the Kiwi bach, reinvented as a restaurant.

WE ATE: The sliders, of course. Three small but pillowy serves of lemony, mayonnaise deliciousn­ess, sharpened with super fresh watercress ($20). I’ve been to Depot maybe half a dozen times, so was beside myself with excitement to discover a new addition on the menu: the squid ink linquine with Tua Tua “Cloudy Bay” clams, with chorizo and a garlicky wine sauce ($26 for a small, $31 for a large serve). Stunning dish. I asked the waitress how long it’d been on the menu. “Um, forever?” The charred broccoli with labneh, medjool dates and almonds ($11) was also pretty good. The compliment­ary hummus with flatbread is a nice touch too.

WE OBSERVED: It’s a fast pace here. The music’s good, and the waiters don’t muck around (my one caveat about coming here is if it’s for a special occasion, you can feel like you’ve dropped a reasonable amount of cash in less than hour, such is the efficiency with which you are served). But it’s great food, especially if you love seafood — and you won’t leave hungry.

 ??  ?? Squid ink linguine
Squid ink linguine

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