28 November 2011

depot, being a fan and the dentist (!)

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the dentist and I'm determined to get this post in tonight, since I'm going to be out of action for a good while after that.  Why such a big deal you ask?  Well, I'll explain a little later towards the end of this post.  Before I delve into what I'm sure is going to be a horror of a day at the dentist, let me first tell you about our meal at Al Brown's new restaurant Depot, and about bumping into the man in person today.  Much more exciting!

Just over a couple of weeks ago, New Zealand held it's first food bloggers conference in Auckland.  'S' and I decided to make it a long weekend up there and on the list of things to do was a visit to Depot, Al Brown's new restaurant.

As with most current eateries, Depot did not take reservations.  It was first come first served.  Being the keen beans that we are, 'S' and I got there early and got our table.  Well, not so much a table since we sat at the bar. But hey, not complaining here.  It was as far as we were concerned, a primo spot!

Here's what we ordered, devoured and then ordered seconds for...

Meat platter for 2 - Wild pork salami, beef bresaola, wild rabbit rillettes, air cured paprika beef.  These were accompanied with large jars of mustard and baby gherkins.  (yes, yes I know baby gherkins are called cornichons, but calling them cornichons here doesn't seem fitting).

Falafel with goats curd and harissa.  There was a really nice spicy hit with the harissa.  I liked this dish, though I wished there was more than just the one vegetarian dish to choose from!

Crisp pork hock with apple & horseradish salsa verde.  This was my 2nd favourite dish from the repertoire we ordered.  The pork was melt-in-the-mouth and I absolutely loved the apple salsa.  Every forkful of meaty pork was accompanied with bursts of fresh, sharpish, sweetish salsa.  Personally, I think the salsa is what makes this dish.  Without it, the meat would just become well-cooked pork that I would have still liked but would probably not have more than a couple of mouthfuls.  I was though a bit confused about the pork skin.  Was it meant to have been crispy crackling?  C'os ours weren't.  They were these pieces of super hard as rock skin, which I was a tad bit disappointed in.  Who doesn't love pork crackling right?  Although we weren't really sure, we decided not to ask and just pushed them aside.  I was happy enough with my pork and salsa!

Asparagus with black olive butter.  Couldn't pass up on the asparagus for 2 reasons.  One because I can never pass up on these lovely green spears and two, because we'd only ordered one vegetarian dish which strictly speaking wasn't a vegetable but made of chickpeas (and I do like my 5-a-day).  'S' really liked the black olive butter and I've promised to try and replicate it at home soon.

I've saved the best for last: Turbot sliders with preserved lemon and watercress.  The bite-sized turbot was cooked just so (I hate overcooked fish) - simply grilled on these large hotplates (this was done only a few feet from where we sat) and sandwiched between these wee sweet buns.  The preserved lemon was chopped fine and mixed into a kind of dressing which was perfect against the lightly salted fish and sweetish buns.  I couldn't get enough of these little gems!  Being able to finish each little 'burger' in only two bites, these were gone in a flash, so I ordered a 2nd plate.  'S' didn't even get a sniff of that 2nd order.  I had polished it off in minutes.  As I'm typing this post, I can almost taste it...definitely going back for more when I'm up in Auckland next.

And this is the man behind Depot - Al Brown.

I'd met up with some fellow food bloggers this morning (Jemma, Sasa and Viviane) at Floriditas - Sasa was down from Auckland.  Low and behold, who should walk in?  And what do I do when I spy the man himself sitting in a corner hunched over his laptop with a cuppa, having some quiet 'me' time?  I bug him (of course!) for a photo and rambled on in quite an unintelligible way about Depot and turbot sliders.  Sheeesh...

I then proceeded to lord it over 'S', pxt-ing the photo to both his cellphones.  'S' thinks Al is the bees knees you see.  Mwuahahaha...


Now.  Back to that dental appointment which is going to take me out of blogging for a few days.

So, what's the big deal?  What is it that's causing me small heart palpitations alternating with light headedness?  I think people call this a mild anxiety attack.

Well, tomorrow (or today if you're reading this on Tues) I get one of my wisdom tooth and another rogue tooth taken out.  My dentist assures me that I will be so fully sedated with valium that I wouldn't remember a thing.  Every fibre of my being is screaming "YEAH RIGHT"!!

This is me we're talking about - the person who needs up to 7 injections in the mouth just for routine hygiene work to be done.  How the hell is valium going to help with a double tooth extraction, one of which is a wisdom tooth that will need cutting out and stitches??!!

I don't like it and I don't want to do it.  But I have to.  *Actual stamping of foot like a 5-year old*


  1. Nice piece on Depot - haven't been there yet. Sorry to hear about your tooth extraction - hope it all goes well - I have a great fear of dentists too!

  2. Great post, I too loved The Depot when we went next week and will certainly being going back for the Tuatua! Good on Al for not minding his photo being taken with you, shows what a great guy he is.

  3. Depot looks fab! All the best for the dental appointment. Believe me, you won't remember a thing. And you'll be so relaxed nothing will bother you - even having teeth cut out!

  4. Yum, I want to go back to Depot ASAP! I'm definitely drooling over those sliders. Great write-up :)

  5. @Lesley - Went well at the dentist...yay!

    @Alli - He was very approachable. I like that about him. :-)

    @Libby - You're right! I didn't remember most of it. Which is a very good thing!

    @Mika - Thanks. Depot is definitely on the list again when I'm up in Akl next!

  6. Success is quite sweet at the dentist, no? It's great that it went well. Getting two teeth removed is no laughing matter, after all.


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