O’Connell St Bistro is an intimate fine dining restaurant located on O’Connell St in Auckland. It has been running for 16 years and regularly features in Metro magazine’s Top 50 restaurants.
The dining space is cosy and intimate but with enough room between tables to allow a sense of privacy when talking to your dining companions.
We arrived early and took a seat at the bar, ordering a couple of pre dinner drinks and also receiving a complimentary plate of olives marinated with garlic and rosemary.
We ordered a range of entrees to share including the crispy fried squid with pickled vegetable, herb salad and wasabi mayo; brik pastry wrapped crayfish with braised leeks, smoked leek and creamed potato; chicken liver parfait with calvados jelly, apple and fig chutney and warmed brioche loaf and the oyster special. All the entrees we delicious but the standout was the crayfish dish, the pastry was crisp and light, the crayfish perfectly cooked and it was all offset by the creamy texture of the potatoes and smoky leeks.
For mains, we ordered the fresh market fish (line caught snapper) with scampi risotto, fennel and lemon beurre blanc; braised short rib of beef with agria mash, baby carrots and swedes and panko crumbed shortbreads; eye fillet of beef with pomme galettes, snails, red wine confit shallots, mustard and kawa kawa butter, white bait fritters and the seared new season scallops with almond purée, chorizo, crispy Serrano ham and Pedro Ximenez sherry reduction. My line caught snapper was perfectly cooked and the risotto and beurre blanc rich and creamy but I really enjoyed my taste of the braised short rib, the meat was so meltingly tender that it just fell apart when stabbed with a fork.
For dessert we again ordered some dishes to share and got the dulcey chocolate mousse, salted caramel and banana ice cream; dark chocolate fondant with orange jelly and earl grey ice cream; and the warm rhubarb and mango with vanilla ice cream, puff pastry lattice, macadamia and strawberry champagne sorbet. Our waiter recommended the wine match for each dessert and my glass of Cloudy Bay late harvest Riesling 2007 perfectly complimented the sweetness and saltiness of the dulcey chocolate mousse.
O’Connell St Bistro is a very special restaurant with excellent wait staff and outstanding food.