Swimming in shallot vinaigrette, knocked back with bubbly or on their own, oysters are something we’ll never tire off. These plump, refreshing nuggets of the sea can be found at some of Auckland’s best restaurants, where they’re shucked and served to perfection.
March’s Bluff oyster season may be a few months away, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying these gorgeous aphrodisiacs right here, right now. Here’s six places to get your fix of Auckland’s best oysters.
Al Brown and his Depot crew shuck oysters like nobody’s business. These little beauties—either Te Matuku oysters from Waiheke or Mahurangi oysters, north of Auckland—are freshly shucked and come with a side of chardonnay vinegar and shallots. Order a couple of both and let the oyster battle begin.
Oyster & Chop
Hot or cold, six or 12, take your pick. The Viaduct’s Oyster & Chop likes to keep things interesting on the oyster front. Their nori, wasabi crème fraiche and tempura crumb oyster is rather tasty, and the tandoori grilled version might surprise you.
Everyone knows that Euro dish out some of the best oysters in town. A fresh, creamy Mahurangi oyster is the perfect way to kick off your meal at this recently reshuffled restaurant.
If you’re still on the fence about oysters, your best bet is The Culpeper. Located next to Euro on Princes Wharf, this restaurant serves fresh Bluff oysters when they’re in season as well fish and yellowfin tuna sashimi with wasabi avo mousse and ponzu dressing. Yum!
The Oyster Inn
The name says it all. Complete with stunning ocean views, The Oyster Inn is practically made for long, indulgent summer lunches…which obviously begins with a dozen of their local Waiheke oysters. Branch out from the naturals and pop some of their ponzu dressed or battered oysters with wasabi mayo.
Any restaurant who dubs themselves a champagne and oyster bar has to deliver those exact two things to perfection. And that is exactly what Rockefeller does. It has undressed, pure-as-can-be oysters as well as a couple of cracking cooked options. Their take on the American classic, Rockefeller (funnily enough) is made with watercress, pernod and butter, amongst ‘other things’—you’ll have to head there to find out what. Pair their oceanic gems with one of their 40 bubblies and you’ve got yourself a good thing.
Image credit: Louise Coghill