St Patricks Square, Wyndham Street,
(09) 368 4129
The ViewAuckland Review
4 out of stars
Years ago, before The Grove was even in existence, owners Michael and Annette Dearth were antique shopping back home in their native country, America. Somewhere, somehow, Annette stumbled upon a collection of quaint floral trays and she immediately knew they’d be the perfect accessory for The Grove, someday, somewhere.
“So this is her little touch,” Michael explains as he wraps the story for me after I had passed comment on just how delightful the tray upon which our bill was delivered to our table was.
And let me tell you, it’s a wonderful touch that rounds of a perfectly appealing evening of fine dining in Auckland for me.
It was my first time eating at The Grove in St Patrick’s Square but I’d passed the restaurant many times in recent years when I was working in an office block directly across the road. My partner had been there for after work drinks a few times, but like me, had never eaten. So I waited in anticipation outside The Grove’s entrance listening to the hymns reverberating from St Patrick’s Cathedral walls for a few minutes until my partner arrived – or at least until the autumn chill sent me packing inside the restaurant.
Jackets and laptop bags promptly cared for we were shown through the warm, low lighting interior to our window table overlooking Albert Street.
Award winning chef Sid Sahrawat changes The Grove’s exquisite menu seasonally to take advantage of the finest local ingredients, while Michael offers his fine sommelier services to help patrons navigate their way through the 150 bottle wine list – a service you’d be silly not to take advantage of.
Things aren’t exactly cheap here, with entrees are priced around the $25-$26 mark and mains average $38, but I highly recommend the lamb rump and loin that comes with saffron puree and miso consommé ($39). The meat was very tender and perfectly portioned; although it was so delicious I could easily have eaten another serving!
Meanwhile, my partner described his attractively presented eye fillet (also $39) as satisfying, but he was disappointed to find a streak of fat running through the beef, especially for the price paid.
But it’s only a minor glitch on The Grove appreciation radar. Service here is second to none and while it’s all well and good to have a standout service, if you feel like everything is scripted the appeal of interaction for many diners is lost. This isn’t so at The Grove - the service is terrific and the people genuine and you only have to talk to Michael to know where this positive influence on staff comes from.
The Grove won’t disappoint, but be warned the prices haven’t been influence by the current recession so eating out here is a treat to be treasured because for most of us it will rarely be a regular occasion.
Still, it could be worth it just to see the quaint little floral antique tray your bill is delivered on.
Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!
The Grove has been reviewed by 7 users