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70 Jervois Road,
Herne Bay
Auckland,
1011

(09) 376 2049

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson8/08/2009

I’ve been looking forward to going to the Jervois Steak House ever since it opened, and so I jumped at the chance to tag along with my wife’s work group on a recent Friday night. With a total of 29 diners in our group, the only realistic option was a set menu at $95 a head, a good chance to experience a few items off the menu. And if you are dining a la carte, expect to pay additionally for side dishes and sauces.

The Jervois Steak House is chef Simon Gault’s spin on the classic American steak house, and décor-wise it’s a good facsimile with bold dark walls, a masculine ambience, and black and white period photographs of old Herne Bay. After a drink in the cosy downstairs bar, our posse of 29 was herded patiently upstairs by the wait staff, a foreshadowing of the excellent service for the next few hours.

Off the fixed menu, I chose Calamari Schnitzel as an entree, combined simply with extra virgin olive oil, parsley and lemon. The calamari was beautifully tender but overwhelmed slightly by the breaded coating. Calamari probably needs to be treated more simply and just lightly fried. (See Mondial or Prego for the best calamari in town). Carol’s entrée of steamed Alaskan King Crab was certainly dramatic, but the three drawn butter dipping sauces – garlic, ginger and chilli – were simply not distinctive enough.

The mains to follow were the highlight of the meal. My slice of prime rib of grain fed Black Angus had been dry aged and roasted slowly for up to twenty hours. Beautifully tender and served simply with horseradish cream, it definitely lived up to the expected promise as New Zealand’s best steak house. Sides included excellent onion rings and chips, but unfortunately the potato mash struggled to find its creamy side. Carol’s Angus rump steak, all the way from Ashburton, was tender and expertly cooked.

Moving onto desserts, my expectation of the Custard Cream Fritters with fig and manuka honey ice cream and Muscat was quite different from the reality. Instead of the light and uplifting end to the meal I hoped for, the fritter more resembled a breaded slice of cheese. Just too rich and heavy to be very enjoyable, and disappointing after the superb mains and service. Carol got it right with a delicate plate of Spanish Blue Cheese with strawberries and balsamic.

The Jervois Steak House certainly serves exceptional meat dishes, but I was disappointed with an entrée and dessert that seemed more to be unloved distractions than integral parts of the meal.




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