115 Queen Street,
(09) 480 9502
The ViewAuckland Review
It's been almost 5 years since we last reviewed The Engine Room in Northcote Point, and about 4 years since I last visited. Back in 2007, The Engine Room was THE place - bookings in advance, struggling to get a table.... you know the drill. So it was with much interest that we returned. Had The Engine Room kept up its high standards since our last visit?
Happily, the answer is a resounding yes. Not only is it still a relaxing, comfortable restaurant to visit with friendly attentive service, but the standard of food is right up there. This is definitely bistro food, so we're not talking deconstruction and foams here, but my oh my is it comforting! And tasty. It's got its regular fans too - a couple sat down next to us and ordered the veal right off the mark - no menus needed for that table.
But on to our meals. We started with a dish that's been on the menu since forever - the twice-baked goats cheese souffle. They were excellent - beautifully soft and fluffy, with just enough baked cream around the edges to add some moist goodness. My girlfriend was a souffle virgin - it got big ticks from her. It even gets better when mixed with the caramalised onion on the side. Wow.
The mains were just as good. I was worried on first bite that my veal schnitzel with potato rosti, coleslaw and caper butter would be a bit too heavy and same-y. But my enjoyment grew with every mouthful. The veal was soft and succulent, the rosti crisp and tasty and the caper butter just made the whole dish. The snapper with burghal pilaf, baba ghanoush and fennel was a flavour explosion, sharp and complicated without overpowering the fish. Superb.
And of course, the Churros con Chocolate were a must. Crispy little donut balls with an accompanying glass of liquid chocolate to dunk them in. Fun and not too much when shared.
It's so reassuring that The Engine Room still sails over the high bar they set themselves when they opened. It's firmly stamped its place as the bistro to beat north of the bridge, if not the whole city. Natalia and Carl at The Engine Room, please keep doing what you're doing.
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The Engine Room has been reviewed by 20 users