HERALD ON SUNDAY - PETER CALDER
5 STARS "Present Perfect"
"... I'll be damned if I could find a single flaw when I ate there for a second time a couple of weeks ago.
...the menu takes the bistro standards and gives them all a smart and interesting tweak.
From a dedicated grill section (chicken, tuna, venison, beef) two of our team ordered steaks. They were quite simply superb - perfectly pink, well rested so as to reabsorb the juices.
My tarakihi, in a delicate mussel fricassee with a couple of fat North Atlantic scallops, was sensational, and the women in the party made short work of the lamb racks.
It seem almost redundant to remark that desserts were outstanding: my little pear and fig pie arrived as a ribboned filo-wrapped parcel with an accompaniment of gorgonzola ice-cream...it was out of this world."
Cuisine Magazine - Lauraine Jacobs
"... One Tree Grill may be the most popular suburban restaurant in Auckland right now, as it’s hard to get reservations for lunch or dinner.
The atmosphere has changed from café to bistro/restaurant, there’s a lively bar, comfortable fireside seating, handsome decoration in the dining area and plenty of tables outdoors for smokers and those who like to eat and drink outside. An impressive feature is the under-floor cellar, which is covered in glass so it can be viewed from above.
The kitchen delivers plenty of choices of what I have come to think of as contemporary New Zealand fare, with touches of Asia and the Mediterranean worked into fresh local produce. The dinner menu of about eight starters, four salads, two pasta dishes and about eight mains is cut back somewhat at lunch, no doubt to speed up service. The house smoked salmon in a salad with oven-roasted tomato and kumara ribbons was delicious and generous, the Thai-style mussels very spicy and rich and, among the mains, a roast organic chicken dish and fillet of beef on creamed spinach appealed. The lamb shanks were also going down a treat on lots of tables. This is hearty fare, with not a lot of delicacy, but what could be considered fair value.
The wine list is well chosen, with mostly New Zealand wines. Given the cellar under the floor, it is not surprising that a supplementary cellar list is available, although it tends to feature harder-to-find, expensive labels rather than true cellared wine. Service here is cheerful and knowledgeable, although sometimes slow due to the numbers of diners. Coffee is made with care and we loved our rich, spicy ginger pudding to finish...
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