It was a beautiful sunny Sunday and a perfect day for a leisurely drive to the country.
Seeing as just going for a drive is boring and usually ends in me sleeping uncomfortably instead of enjoying the scenery. The promise of good food and company is a motivation for the 20minute drive to Kumeu, further if you aren’t lucky enough to live in lovely West Auckland like us.
The Tasting Shed was our destination and man oh man I have been looking forward to eating there for a long time.
A table reserved on the undercover deck kept us sheltered from the weather, toasty warm and still able to look at the lovely outdoor area.
The idea behind the tasting shed is a variety of small plates that are meant to be shared- the menu isn’t huge but it is a wonderful blend of the exotic and usual proteins as well as some of the most delicious sounding vegetable dishes I have read in a while.
I find it very hard to go past something different on a menu- I love trying new things, it keeps eating exciting- is that a weird thing to say?
Mr Lid and I weren’t necessarily starving but when there were so many tasty things on offer our tummies always loose to our eyes.. or do our tummies win?!
The Lamb Belly: cumin, harrissa, eggplant, cucumber and mint- a most exquisit piece of Lamb Belly that had a thin crisp layer of fat that gave way to a melt in your mouth tender morsal of meat that was juicy and nomnomnom, the cucumber was refreshing and tangy with natural yoghurt but where oh where was the harrissa? I was expecting a spicy kick mixed in with the eggplant but alas it was lacking.
There was no way I was going to miss out on the Stingray, asam laksa, prawn, coconut, puffed rice, coriander- I love Laksa, spice and soup two of my favourite things. The soup was nice, not the best Laksa I have had and the Stingray was almost as dry and tough as its 1965 namesake Stingray (its a British children’s Supermarionation television series if you don’t have a clue what I am talking about just smile, nod and keep reading ) but the prawns were cooked to perfection and the coconut foam was a delightful refreshing twist.
The Market fish was Snapper, scallops, parsnip puree asparagus- winner! I had to fight it off Mr Lid to get a second tasting, the fish was moist and showcased the delicate fish of every kiwis childhood.
Artichoke, jerusalem, mushrooms, truffle, parmesan, lemon- what a stunner of a vegetarian dish- so simple but perfectly balanced the sweet smokey silky smooth puree of jerusalem artichoke topped with a medly of exotic mushrooms with a earthy hint of truffle, seriously comforting and something I would go back for.
I could go on describing what the others at the table ate- yes it was all tasty but nothing can compare to the desserts.. I have to write about them now as just thinking about them makes me salivate…
Mr Lid is a big kid at heart… or a Granddad.. I am unsure of which as when it comes to pudding he is rather predictable and the icecream in a cone was his go to on this day- a lovely homemade raspberry ice cream that was slightly tart and almost sorbet like which was a lovely way to cleanse after such a meal.
I however could not go past the Cheese cake! Goats milk, rhubarb, lemon curd ice cream… Wow.
It was oh so trendy and deconstructed, a crunch from the biscuit crumbs, the lighter than air goats milk foam (that reminded me of my sisters cheesecake- you know the one made with lemon jelly?) The ice cream was creamy but not fatty- it was just yum.
Over all I would love to come here on a sunny day with a sober driver and eat great food and drink good wine till i pop. It is however not cheap, in fact its a little expensive, it is a little hit and miss but when it hits it is a bulls eye!
Lovely place with friendly staff and some of the nicest bathrooms I have seen in ages (the things you notice when you are about to start renovations- haha)