My Dad is a big fan of Al Brown. Since he got Stoked (one of Brown’s cookbooks), Brown’s creations have been a firm fixture in our lives. I’m not complaining. The food that comes onto the table as a result of this relationship is divine.
So after a pretty useless attempt at being a good daughter on Fathers Day I decided that a good treat for both myself and my Dad would be to take him to Depot – Brown’s latest restaurant venture.
Nestled on Federal St, Depot is cosy but in the right way. It’s sort of rustic but in that super trendy way that a lot of new bars and restaurants seem to be going. They don’t do bookings, and when we went on a Saturday for lunch it was fairly busy but this wasn’t a problem at all. As soon as we walked through the doors a waiter was with us to seat us at a table and get the food underway.
The menu at Depot is based on shared plates (aka my favourite sort of eating). We ordered in groups of about three dishes and nibbled our way through. It’s a fun way to eat – you get to try lots of food and each dish becomes a conversation piece as everyone is trying the same things.
Turbot sliders. AMAZING. Fresh, creamy delicious fish with watercress and tartare. I could eat these forever!
Asparagus and tapenade butter. Summer is here.
My favourite dishes would have had to be the sliders. But that could just be because they’re my favourite thing at the moment. C’mon – who can pass up a bite sized burger?!
The drink selection isn’t too bad either. They boast a fairly impressive drinks selection – Old Mout on tap, endless craft beers, lots of wine. My Dad was quite excited about it.
It was a totally divine experience, but it wouldn’t have been complete without some amazing service. It was snappy and super friendly without being overbearing in the slightest. Hugely attentive and a real joy. There were lots of little elements that really boosted the experience – a plate of bread and hummus for while we perused the menu, hooks under the tables for handbags, tumblers for the wine. You get the picture. It’s decadent but not pretentious which is great.
If I had the budget I’d probably eat at Depot every day. It’s definitely nudged it’s way up into my favourite places to eat (along with Barilla, Q, Tyler St Garage etc) and I’d highly recommend it. You can find it on Federal St next door to the Grand Hotel (Sky City complex). You can peruse the menu here – but it changes depending on what they’ve got in.