There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting out for a sneaky lunch. I can usually be found running errands or dropping crumbs into my keyboard at lunchtime, so when I have time to get out and enjoy a leisurely lunch, it really is a bit of a treat.
The star of today’s sneaky lunch was 46 & York in Parnell. This historic 1920’s brick building use to be home to the sort of establishment I associate with Parnell; a little dusty around the edges and reflective the suburbs bygone heyday. The fresh new look of 46 & York was lovely created by interior designer Virginia Fisher. The old historic bones of this gorgeous building have been lovingly restored and the introduction of new clean lines only further compliments the character of the space.
Perched in a sunny corner, Soho rosé in hand and a cooling breeze blowing through the window, it’s easy to forget that I soon have to be back at the office.
Like many of the establishments popping up across Auckland, this is a small plates, designed to be shared kind of place. Refreshingly, the charming and perfectly attentive (and at the same time relaxed) waitress doesn’t have the “Do you know how we do things here…” conversation with me.
The menu is broken down into four sections – Paddock, Ocean, Garden and Sweet & Cheese. At first glance, I don’t think I would be disappointed with anything on this varied and well-considered menu. After careful deliberation, we opt for the Kokoda (a raw fish dish) with coconut and sweet potato, served in baby cos leaves, the sticky oxtail and potato croquettes, the crispy baby calamari with a dollop of chili and preserved lemon aioli and the classic Caprese salad. There is absolutely nothing to criticise here, but the dish that I’ll go back for again and again is the Kokoda. This is an island favorite of mine and this fresh, bite-sized interpretation will not disappoint.
I always like to finish on a sweet note (don’t tell my trainer), and we couldn’t go past the doughnut bombs, injected with berry and mango (as pictured). Unfortunately, and this is my only whinge, despite their gorgeous presentation, they were just not as light as I would have liked and seemed ever so slightly overcooked.
Doughnuts aside however, I loved 46 & York and will certainly be returning to this refreshing Parnell establishment that seems to have got the blend of atmosphere, service, food and wine, spot on.
by anne boothroyd