So we were in Auckland for a few days and had already eaten at The Fox. But just around the corner, we had noticed Degree Restaurant and Bar. Situated just off the viaduct, the Degree Restaurant and Bar goes for a Miami feel. With plenty of plants and a decor not too dissimilar to some of the Miami bars along Ocean Drive.
Parking can be an issue, but we went around lunchtime, and the parking nearby was pretty good. The nearest car park only cost $6.00AUD (+50¢ for paying by card) for 3 hours.
We sampled quite a few things off their menu; firstly I couldn’t help myself but order a chocolate ice. This delicious drink looked like a milkshake. But was merely crushed ice, cream, and cocoa powder. You even get two marshmallows as decoration; all served in a cocktail glass.
So our lunch consisted of the following;
Lee – [$20.90] Soft shell crab
I had only actually been eating soft shell crab since arriving in Australia. So when this opportunity came up again, i had to try it again. The crab came with a pineapple, bean, and sweetcorn salsa. Which was great, as it had just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the crab. The carb itself seemed small in portion, but having said that. The crispness of the breadcrumbs was nice alongside the texture of the salsa.
However, I felt with the salsa there was slightly too much in contrast to the size of the crab portion.
Tina – [$16.90] Pork and prawn dumplings
Tina, however, devoured her starter before I had eaten half of mine. The dark soy sauce was both tangy and spicy that sat perfectly along the delicate pork and prawn dumplings.
Lee – Land Lover
Tina – [$36.90] Chefs tasting plate
Once ordered we had the waitress come over and tell us that chef had said that the tasting plate was enough for two people. This was a total untruth as we will discuss below.
Firstly, you get no sides with this dish. Nor were we asked if we wanted to have any, so we would recommend having a plate of chips or a salad.
You had the following raw on a plate.
* 2 Scallops (still had the orange bit attached),
* 1 Sausage (which was very salty),
* 1 Chicken skewer (quite spicy, and somewhat maybe too spicy for some taste buds),
* 1 Steak (this was tiny and barely enough for half a dozen mouthfuls),
* 1 Lamb loin (this was the same size as the steak),
* 2 Prawns (thankfully these had been peeled and de-veined),
* 1 Piece of white fish.
As a spectacle the thought of cooking your food on a hot stone is great. In reality, though, the fate sausages along with the hot stone led to getting a fat shower. The stone also looses its heat very easily, so we would suggest cooking the meat first to get that sear. Then cook the delicate seafood when the stone just carries residual heat.
Once the hot stone was removed, we were left with a table that had a nice shiny fat layer. The table was not wiped down between mains and desserts.
Lee – [$13.90] Cheesecake Jam Jar
Our first choice the Chocolate Crunch, but this was not available. So had to settle for the Cheesecake Jam Jar. Straight away you could see a flaw in the cutlery used. You would expect a sundae spoon to get all the way to the bottom.
I also found that the ratio of cheese filling to sauce was slightly out. But the taste was nice, just a couple of things I would change that’s all.
Tina – [$13.90] Gluten Free Brownie
Tina bakes the most delicious brownies in the world, and whenever she has them herself. She always compares them to what she makes. This was no exception. The brownies were delicious, with a gooey centre. However, she found that it was not made with enough dark chocolate for her liking. But the Tia Maria creme anglaise along with the caramel ice cream helped cut through the sharpness that came with the berry compote.
As we have said, we had wanted the Chocolate Crunch but had been told that it was not ready and would not be ready until about 5.00pm. Again this is shocking, why to have a dessert on there is it won’t be ready until dinner. Have a separate menu for lunch and dinner in that case.
All in all, a very nice lunch at Degree Restaurant and Bar. If you are down near the Auckland viaduct, pop in and try the hot stone for yourself. It is a local favourite.