The Koala and I celebrated our anniversary over a decadent dinner at Odettes. Odettes is pretty new to the Auckland scene and a cafe by day, restaurant by night.
Odettes was recently named “Best Room” (the interior design award) by Metro and runner-up for “Best All Day Restaurant”. The hand made tiles around the room are a lovely detail that caught my eye.
Ex Ping Pong
The space is the former Miss Ping’s – a ping pong bar (table tennis, not Thai style) but it has been completely transformed. The dining room is vast with super high stud, comfy banquet seating with plenty of throw pillows for comfort. The colours and textures of the decor are great and the lighting is dim and romantic.
Like many cool places in the city, they don’t take bookings so we arrived before 6pm because we had a show to make later. There were not many diners when we arrived and while more arrived later, the dining room didn’t fill up like I had envisaged.
How we roll
The staff are friendly and service is towards the the formal side. Our carafe of water (choice of still or sparkling) was kept topped up and they have nice glassware. We were in a celebratory mood so we ordered cocktails.
They had 4 cocktails available so we tried all four between us: Odette, Wilson, Kennedy, and Rose. My favourite was the pear one with a fan of pear slices as garnish but they were all nice and beautifully presented.
We decided to order a range of dishes to share because that’s how we roll. It’s nearly impossible to eat with me and not share anyway. We picked three from their Bites menu and three from their Sharing menu. We love meat and seafood, so we ordered meat and seafood.
2 x Soft Shell Crab Sliders ($9 each). Perfect. Soft shell crab is becoming more popular here in Auckland. I like it.
Followed with Atlantic Scallop on crostini (2 scallops for $9). The avocado mousse was creamy and worked really well with the scallop. I felt a little more acid would have given this dish more contrast but that’s just me being picky.
The beef cheek fire cracker was a tasty dish. A filo pastry cigar with tender meat inside. The slow cooked beef melted in your mouth and this was seasoned beautifully with just a little kick. An easy dish to share, just break the “firecracker” in half, although I could have easily eaten one (or two) of these by myself. Pictured is just one half, The Koala ate his half before I could take a photo!
Tuna Carpaccio was a generous portion. Lots of interesting flavours going on.
The wild mushroom with donuts was very unusual and had a strong smokey flavour. I wasn’t so fond of the donut as the colour and texture (dark brown and chewy) threw me off a bit.
Our favourite dish, unsurprisingly was the BBQ Pork Belly. The pork was thinly sliced and there was crackling sprinkled on top and the aioli was amazing.
The food was so good and we would have licked our plates clean if we thought no one was watching. The pacing was great and the order of dishes was perfect. We usually only had 1 dish at our table at a time, making this feel like a DIY degustation.
Their menu is short and easy to navigate. Gluten free options are marked clearly. Their vegetarian options are not marked by there are interesting and unusual vegetarian dishes. The food at Odettes is a more expensive than the places we normally eat at but the ingredients were excellent and the dishes are unique and innovative. Everything was delicious and perfectly cooked.
Total came to about $160 for 3 bites, 3 sharing plates, 4 cocktails and 1 beer. Good value for the calibre of food and drink we enjoyed.
Highly recommended. Would come back.