Merlot on O’Connell

This month is Restaurant Month in Auckland which means that there are heaps of events and restaurants with special deals during August.

My friends have been wanting to check out some of the things going on and asked hubby and I to join them for dinner on Friday night.  After reading through some of the menus online, we settled on Merlot on O’Connell for a few reasons:

  1. it seemed like a great deal ($75 for a three course set menu for two)
  2. I was able to eat at least one option for each course (there are so many guidelines for pregnant women…)
  3. none of us had tried this restaurant before.

The place was really cozy and the wait staff were really friendly.  For the set menu, we had two options for each course.  You can see the Restaurant Month deal by clicking here.

 

Entrees

Entree: TOP - warm scallops with apple & parmesan salad BOTTOM - slow cooked wild rabbit with mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes and pappardalle

Entree:
TOP – warm scallops with apple & parmesan salad
BOTTOM – slow cooked wild rabbit with mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes and pappardalle

 

None of us were terribly overwhelmed with the entrees unfortunately.  The rabbit pappardelle was a bit bland and the meat was a little dry (as rabbit tends to be).  I would have liked it to have a bit more taste.

The verdict on the scallop salad was that it was nice, but nothing too different or special.

 

Mains

Main: TOP - fish of the day (changes weekly) BOTTOM - rack of lamb with parmesan & mint crust on pancetta, kumara & broad bean salad

Main:
TOP – fish of the day (changes weekly)
BOTTOM – rack of lamb with parmesan & mint crust on pancetta, kumara & broad bean salad

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my lamb rack, despite the fact that I had to have it slightly more well done than usual!  The crust had a great texture and was full of flavour – I loved the taste of the mint that came through.  The sauce was rich and delicious and complimented the beautiful, tasty lamb.

The fish of the day was pan-fried snapper served with potatoes, pea puree and a rocket salad.  This was also very well-received by others on the table.  The fish was reported to be fresh with a lovely, crispy skin.

 

Desserts

Dessert: TOP - creme brulee with passionfruit served with biscotti & whipped cream BOTTOM - homemade apple & rhubarb crumble with whipped cream

Dessert:
TOP – creme brulee with passionfruit served with biscotti & whipped cream
BOTTOM – homemade apple & rhubarb crumble with whipped cream

 

I love a good crumble on a cold winter’s night and this one didn’t disappoint.  I enjoyed the tartness of the rhubarb contrasted with the sweetness of the apple.  The only complaint from one of my friends was that it would have been better served with ice cream instead of cream, and I agree.

The creme brulee was smooth and rich – the passionfruit added a fresh and tangy flavour which cut through all the cream.  Those who had this dessert really enjoyed it.

 

Overall, this was a satisfying meal which was really worth the price.  A lovely, warm atmosphere during a cold winter’s night.

 

Merlot on O’Connell

Open: Monday to Friday for lunch, Monday to Saturday for dinner, closed Sundays
Address: 23 O’Connell Street, Auckland City
Phone: (09) 309 5456
Website: http://www.merlotonoconnell.co.nz/

 

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