We tried Allium Food and Wine for my mother’s birthday. They’ve always been on my wishlist because they’re in the entertainment book (formerly known as the Livingroom). It’s a cosy restaurant with wooden chairs and the waiting staff were quite attentive. I don’t think I had even mentioned the occasion but because there were presents, they gave my mum one too at the end of the meal – a plate of macaroons:) How thoughtful.
Good meals always start by being welcomed with bread. At Allium this was accompanied by butter with bits of candied bacon in there. Yum.
There’s only a few mains to choose from at Allium – and we liked the lack of choice given we didn’t need to mull for ages. We ordered two lamb shoulders, two ox cheek and the panfried hapuka.
The lamb shoulder ($35) was different to what we had all expected, being in the shape of a bar having been crumbed and seemingly deepfried. The meat was soft and flaked with a fork but was a little salty for our liking. The generous bed of cracked wheat and roast cauliflower salad was excellent however.
The ox cheek ($34) was well cooked – again succulent. We just didn’t realise exactly how pungent brussel sprout puree would be. I guess if one does not like brussel sprouts (a common occurrence no doubt), one would not like this even with the best of ox cheeks. A shame! Maybe they should offer a different sauce for patrons like me.
The panfried hapuka was quite nice. Lightly flavoured served topped with a sweet broth and minced ginger and spring onions.
Sides wise we ordered the salad, peas and mash. The mash served with gravy is heavenly. Not so healthy no doubt but when it’s done so well, it’s hard to pass up!
Onto dessert. Parsnip parfait – fantastic idea to use parsnip but I don’t think I could recognise it if not told beforehand.
The lighter of the two desserts we ordered was a mixture of meringue which covered strawberry sorbet. Refreshing and definitely to be eaten prior to the richer parfait.
So whilst Allium Food and Wine provided great service and we enjoyed the meal, the food was a little hit and miss I found (the lamb being a bit salty and well… I guess it’s not their fault I ordered a brussel sprout flavoured dish). I’d go back again but it is on the pricey side. If you have the entertainment book, there’s a buy one get one free main offer – this significantly helps! Our meal cost ~$170 for 5 people with two mains deducted so it would have worked out to be roughly $45 each.