A feast of fruits de mer at Kermadec
The French term for seafood is “fruits de mer”- fruits of the sea. I love that it makes seafood sound like a gift offered up by the sea, and since New Zealand is enveloped by the ocean, you know their fruits of the sea ought to be good. This was another brilliant seafood feast we had in Auckland. And it was a special dinner as it was a celebration of 6 years together. I had researched seafood restaurants in Auckland before we left Australia, and Kermadec definitely stood out. It’s situated in a lovely position on the harbour and actually encompasses 7 venues. Though 6 years totally warranted a splurge, we liked the brasserie menu best, and it definitely did not disappoint on a very wet and windy Auckland night.
A celebration is never complete without champagne, and a bellini made me forget all about the awful weather and getting caught in the rain. I apologise for the bad lighting in the following pictures- mood lighting is great for atmosphere but not so good when you not only want to eat the food but photograph it! I also apologise for a lack of a complete description of the dishes- Kermadec has since changed its menus (and a funny story about that later).
Soy and I had our eyes on this seafood broth when we looked at Kermadec’s menu online. Salty and rich, it was full of the flavours of the sea. It tasted like a bouillabaisse, but what set it apart from the other seafood broths we have had was the thickness of the broth, and the freshness of the clams, mussels and fish. Like I said, being surrounded by the ocean has its perks!
I had grilled snapper, that was tender, lemony and juicy. And had a salty crispy skin- my favourite! I am also a sucker for potatoes, and these were browned to perfection but still retained their bite. If there is anything I don’t like, it’s mushy roast potatoes. If I wanted them mushy, I’d have ordered mash! But these little ones were gorgeous.
I was also really looking forward to dessert! And our picks came with the stamp of approval from our sweet South American waitress… they were her favourites too! So, this was the crème brulée- the best I’ve had in a long time! Remember I said that I preferred a deeper dish crème brulée compared to the traditional shallow dish brulée we had in Baroque? This brulée definitely was it! I think deeper dish brulées are just a touch firmer and so has a much creamier mouthfeel. The only objection I had with it was that the vanilla beans had fallen to the bottom of the ramekin so it lacked the visual I always associate with brulées- lush cream peppered with spotty bits. Oh and the brulée was accompanied by shortbread, lemon curd and kiwi fruit, and strawberry sorbet. I did think that the choice of fruit was very summery and out of place, but all was explained a couple of days later.
Bitter chocolate tart with blood oranges, soil, home made vanilla ice cream with a rosewater veil. A veil! I had never seen or tasted anything called a ‘veil’ before… it tasted like a thin sheet of jelly- very interesting. But that tart… mmm! The chocolate was dark and rich, and paired beautifully with the orange and hazelnuts. If you need even more convincing about how good the tart was, soy does NOT like the choc-orange combination. She’s even rejected Lindt’s dark chocolate and orange, and she loves dark chocolate. But she really enjoyed the tart and we polished off every last bit of it.
Kermadec was a really good pick for our special dinner. It’s the sort of place soy and I like best- the food was actually good, it didn’t cost and arm and a leg, and the service was attentive and genuine- we got all our questions answered honestly and helped us make our ordering decisions.
Now, funny story- we actually went back to Kermadec 3 days later! I’m going to write about that experience in a separate post so this one doesn’t get too long, but again, it was amazing!
Viaduct Harbour Level 1/204 Cnr Quay Street And Lower Hobson Street
Auckland City 1010, New Zealand
(09) 304 0454