Tag Archives: Casual Dining

Mister D

Mister D is a casual eatery located in the centre of Napier.  They won runner up in the Best New Restaurant category in the 2013 Cuisine Food Awards.  They open from 7.30AM for breakfast and lunch and also have a dinner sitting Thursday to Saturday. The staff at Mister D work to deliver fresh local produce and great service with no fuss.

I’ve been to Mister D previously for coffee and afternoon tea and had really enjoyed the food we sampled.  During our recent trip to Napier we returned for dinner so we could try a wider selection of dishes from the menu.

The dining area is very cool and relaxed and our table was opposite the open plan kitchen so we could watch the chefs in action during our meal.

The restaurant was packed and when we first arrived our waiter was rushing around his section visibly stressed.  After a little while things settled down a bit and the service we received was very good.

The menu is varied and creative.  We tried a large range of dishes including fried bread with rosemary and garlic aioli; potato gnocchi with cheese sauce and coffee grounds; caramelised onion tart with Hohepa feta, kalamata olives and thyme; asparagus with strawberries, pistachios and labnah; sashimi salad with avocado, orange and modern dressing; pulled pork with white polenta, apple and fennel salad and pollen salt and the risotto with braised duck, wilted spinach, currants and pine nuts.

All of the food was delicious, the fried bread was crisp, tasty and totally indulgent, the gnocchi creatively presented and cooked perfectly, the onion tart buttery and light, the asparagus was fresh and light and worked well with the unusual accompaniments, the pork tender with a crisp crackle and creamy polenta and the duck tender and tasty.

For dessert we tried the quark cheesecake, a macadamia and caramel slice and one of Mister D’s specialties, a doughnut with injectable filling.  The doughnuts come with a choice of three fillings, chocolate, caramel or custard, you can choose one, two or all three of the fillings.  Again all the dishes were delicious, the cheesecake tart and light but still creamy, the macadamia and caramel slice packed to bursting with crunchy nuts smothered in caramel on a crisp shortbread base and the doughnuts light, warm, freshly tossed in sugar and cinnamon and accompanied by a syringe of custard.

Mister D is a very enjoyable place to eat.  The vibe is friendly and relaxed and the food top level.  It rivals many of the popular Auckland restaurants in both quality of food and service at very reasonable prices.

http://www.misterd.co.nz

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Depot

I finally tried Depot this weekend,  it first opened all the way back in 2011 so has been around for a while.  The no bookings policy makes things a bit tricky as we’ve got two small children at home and we usually don’t want to spend our precious nights out without children waiting hours for a table.

We were told on Sunday night that a table for four would take 30 to 40 minutes (which is a much better time than the hour and a half we were told last time we tried to go) so we took a seat at a spare outside table and started with some beer and cider.  We were pleasantly surprised when we were called inside after only 15 minutes.

Depot is always busy and its easy to see why, the wait staff were friendly and full of personality and the food was amazing.

We tried a range of dishes including the Tio Point oysters and Tuatuas from the raw bar; the turbot sliders with pickled lemon mayo and watercress; cumin battered warehou tortillas with slaw, tomatillo sauce and corriander; fergus bone marrow, wood roasted with parsley and shallot salad; mini yorkshire puddings with slow roasted lamb; crisp pork hock with apple and horseradish salsa verde and the potato skins with gouda and porcini salt.

Of all the dishes, the bone marrow was the only disappointing one, being very greasy and rich without a lot of flavour.  However, everything else was outstanding, the sliders were probably the best dish of the night, soft, fresh white buns, crispy fish fried to perfection and creamy, zingy mayo.  I also loved the tortillas, the fish was perfectly spiced and complimented by its accompaniments.

We moved onto dessert and decided to share two,  a sugar pie with cream and an Eton mess.  The sugar pie was nice but a bit boring, really sweet and a light caramel flavour but I found it a bit of a nothing dish.  However, the Eton mess was delicious, crunchy meringue, cream, ice cream and fresh new season strawberries.

The service we received was a bit patchy.  Our waiter was friendly, attentive and charming, they ensured our drinks were always topped up and even put a candle in one of the desserts and sang Happy Birthday for one of my friends. On the flip side we received a dish we didn’t order and one of our sides, the slaw was missed.

Overall, we had a very enjoyable night and I am definitely keen to return, maybe for lunch or mid week when the wait hopefully isn’t too long.  Although the good news is that if a table isn’t available at Depot, the new Al Brown eatery The Fed is just next door.

http://www.eatdepot.co.nz