“I need to go there one day”, I would always muse to myself as the Orakei basin walkway flashed past when I used to take the train to uni everyday. The opening of Ampersand Eatery was a glaring reminder that I still had never set an actual foot into the region and I figured it was high time I went.
Ampersand is located in the newly built Orakei Village which is quite similar to Ponsonby Central’s design with its open layout and artisan food stores. The high glass windows allow plenty of sunlight to filter through and when coupled with the subtle splashes of colour in the walls, furniture and green plants, the space transforms into modern, industrial interior- a far cry from the empty warehouse it originally would have started out as.
My dining companion opted for a Cold Brew while the wait staff who served us was sweet enough to listen to my deliberation over getting a cold drink or my usual Chai latte, and offered to see if they could make an iced chai latte for me. Amusingly, it came out as the usual hot, frothed chai with a few ice cubes added after so it was literally a latte turned iced. This rendered it rather weak on the spice but the effort was still somewhat appreciated.
Market Sashimi – dashi, oyster, mushroom ($17.00)
When the tuna is fresh and tender like this, very little is required to make it a stunning dish. Some components detracted from it overall such as the choice of two creamy condiments but the tuna remained the star of the show.
Burnt Honey Lamb Featherblade – goats cheese, bunched baby spinach ($27.00)
Again, the ingredients were obviously prepared with care and the lamb was succulent and tender. The wait staff told us that this was under the large dishes category but it was actually of similar size to the sashimi. If you have small appetites like us, you’ll find it sufficiently filling but those with higher levels of hunger should bear that in mind.
The new Orakei Village and the basin walkway is the only excuse you need to come out to this region if you haven’t already. The Farro Fresh there was full of samples for you to try and the nicest staff too, we had the loveliest conversation with a lady who gave us such kind motherly talk and advice as we were browsing the aisles- we had to put our hands over our hearts at how sweet she was after she left. The basin walkway is conveniently across the road of the Orakei Village and a great way for you to grab a breath of fresh air while walking off your meal. It is definitely a great way to spend your day :)
Ampersand Eatery | 228 Orakei Rd, Remuera | http://www.ampersandeatery.nz