Vegetarians, look away now.
My favourite carnivorous experience in Auckland city has got to be Wildfire Churascaria. The style of eating is Churrasco, Brazilian BBQ.
The idea is that various cuts of meat are brought to your table and you have a stop/go toggle to indicate if you are ready to feast or prefer a break.
Here’s a review of my experience from last October:
Despite the below average reviews from a local restaurant review website, we went to Wildfire night for dinner.
We had a great group of carnivores and we opted for the early session (10 clams cheaper). The Koala and I arrived a little late (parking woes) and bread and dips were already at the table. We were all briefed on not filling up on bread and vege so we didn’t tear into them like crazy monkeys. The bread I did have was really hard so I could only eat 1 piece anyway. That’s fine. I wasn’t here for the bread.
We ordered our drinks and the first meat – the smoked salmon – arrived before the last guest was seated. No waiting around here! This was strictly business. Smoked salmon was yummy if a little salty.
Calamari arrived in quick succession. Very tender, perfectly seasoned with lemon and mayo. What more could a girl want?
Vegetables arrived soon after – these are left at the table to enjoy for the duration of the meal. I didn’t feel like they were cheap frozen vegetables as other reviews have suggested. No peas, corn and diced carrots here! There were courgettes, lima beans, kumara, onion and potato. Had I not been saving my stomach for barbecued beasts, I would have gobbled all the vegies up quite happily.
Pork rib came – tableside service on a little trolley where it was sliced up and then offered. It was tasty, fatty and tender. I love fat in my meat so no complaints, but if fat isn’t your thing, best to skip this one.
This is where it gets a little hazy. I guess you are not really full until you are a little cross eyed. Beef, lamb, more pork (I think). They were all about the same to me.
The first slice, the skin, is well seasoned, so if you get a skin piece, it’s salty. The second slice is a little bland and a little dry. But the centre of the hunk of meat, where the meat is still pink is was the winner. More pork cooked a different way. Textured like a braise but maybe was a very slow barbecue. Very tender.
Chicken! I’m not a preacher of chicken. It’s just so ubiquitous. I avoid it when dining out because I can make it at home. This chicken was the thick part of the drumstick and beautifully succulent and tender. The bone must hold a lot of moisture and flavour. Not dry at all. The seasoning was spot on. Not too salty and had a lovely smokey flavour. I had to have seconds of the chicken.
Spiced pork sausages came next. Luckily they were little so I managed to sample one. They seemed dry, but I think that was because they were made out of real meat and less filler and fat. They were solid little things.
Cooked salmon came last and while it’s one of my favourite meats in the world, it wasn’t the star for me tonight. I found the sauce salty and sour. Could be a caper sauce? I prefer subtle sauces with my salmon thanks.
We were all stuffed (and then some) at this point. I requested that my second stomach be activated, but I guess I don’t live in a world where we can just do that….yet.
By now we had all formed strong opinions on our favourites so we asked for seconds on those. Personally, I would give the prize to the chicken. The staff were happy to let us relive our favourites. My final tally is meat 10 ways. Not bad for under $40NZ ($30US).
I tasted everything and went back for seconds on few. The service was good. Example, as soon as I finished my drink, I was asked if I required another, and there were always plenty of staff on hand when we needed them.
Happy to return for another session of more beastly eating.
Princess Wharf 137-147
Phone: 09 377 6869