Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lunch at United Kitchen

Camille is my Auckland friend of longest standing - we were at school together, and she features in the French chapter of my memoir. She's a sister gourmande, and she also has very knowledgable foodie friends.  So I asked her to find the restaurant for my belated birthday lunch on Friday with her and Rosemary (the finest private cook I know). United Kitchen in Anglesea St, Ponsonby, came warmly recommended, and when she phoned to book she struck gold. They just happened to be holding a special five-course lunch that day with Central Otago winemaker Akarua. Irresistible!
          We began with a glass of pale, elegant brut, followed by another (well, we did get there early and I did tell them it was my birthday - only Rosemary, as the driver, was admirably restrained). It went very well with the sweet potato tortellini with truffle mascarpone, crisp sage and beurre noisette. (Please forgive me, dear Akarua, for not photographing the wine as well as the food - you can see everything we drank here.)

Then thin slices of confit hapuka, red quinoa and citrus salad and watermelon radish, served with the very pretty rose brut.

Next came pork cheek and scallops (brilliant), heirloom carrots and apple salad, with the 2014 pinot gris.

And a perfect little beef cheek and mushroom pie, looking like a miniature pithivier, and smoked potato puree (I must find out how they did that), with the 2013 Bannockburn pinot noir.

Finally - sorry, I didn't get a good photo, you'll just have to imagine it - a pear and rhubarb crumble and pistachio icecream, with Alchemy ice wine.
           Everything was beautifully served by a handsome young man from Marseille (who even complimented me kindly on my French). Couldn't get much better, I thought - but it did. There was a draw for a magnum of Akarua Brut, and I won. There it is on the windowsill. No wonder we look so relaxed and contented.


Genie said...

What a gorgeous lunch! No better time for a 5 course lunch than a birthday celebration. Happy belated :)

I love how there's a contrast between the fancier artful platings and then you have this unapologetic meat pie. I love meat pies! Just never pictured on in a 5 course meal :D

Anne Else said...

Yes, it was inspired to give us pie and mash after those delicate morsels! (Also, we needed a bit of carbohydrate to soak up all that marvellous wine.)