Rolled Butter

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I may not be the worst person to review a fine dining restaurant but I must admit that the number of fancy eateries I've been to in my life would be countable on one hand. Perhaps I don't have much fancy-schmancy restaurant experience to use in comparison to my evening at Kermadec but fresh eyes and eager taste buds should make for an interesting review at the very least.

Because I am reasonably un-wealthy (that means sort-of poor) I greatly appreciated a gift certificate of a hefty sum to somewhere I'd never heard of in the Viaduct. Both a hefty sum of money and the Viaduct are unfamiliar to me. Reservations made, dress on and attractive partner making jokes about the inhabitants of the Viaduct on a Thursday night. Ready.

For the first few minutes in, I didn't notice the late 80s/early 90s decor. This was mostly due to the slight nervous feeling I was having, trying to ensure I wasn't making some major un-fancy faux pas. Once I came to, I had given my jacket to the helpful maître d' and was sitting primly, leafing through the wine list. Throwing caution to the wind and using my limited knowledge of wines, I chose two glasses of $13 pinot gris for us. Let me just get this out of the way now...that was the best wine I've ever tasted. It lasted us the whole meal. Well done, wine, well done.

Our stomachs were doing flips, so we found the cheapest entree to share, a $10 bread basket. Out it came. Four different types of bread, neatly tucked into their bassinet. Aww, and if that wasn't cute enough, we were the proud parents of individually wrapped butters shaped into tiny logs. I unfortunately didn't get to name them before they went down my throat.

Our waiter was a beautiful mix of Jon Turturro in looks and an excitable golden retriever puppy in personality. He was just the right amount of overly polite that you’d expect from a waiter at such an establishment as Kermadec. He did well describing the specials and happily made suggestions when prompted. My partner ordered the dory and I indulged in a hapuka dish with olives and tomatoes, a prawn in what I can only describe as an oversized tortellini, a small clam and a piece of chorizo. It was a mix of flavours my mind couldn’t have dreamt up which left my taste buds in awe and amazement. After one fancy meal at Orbit in the Sky Tower, I was ready for tiny portions, but the Kermadec laughs in the face of tiny portions, giving us both a hearty amount of food and leaving us fat and happy.

When the idea of dessert was brought up, I couldn’t really fathom anything more to pass through my lips. We did learn about what sounded like a fantastic treat which was equally enchanting and odd in its preparation. This dessert starts with a balloon which is filled with ‘orange somesuch’ (yes, I didn’t pay enough attention here as the waiter was using fancy words) and then rolled in nitrogen. The balloon is then cut open giving you a tasty ‘orange somesuch’ all hollowed out and shaped like a little orb of deliciousness. The orb is filled with a cheesecake substance and served up to a lucky customer. I am tempted to go back to indulge in this and become so lucky.

The meal lasted over two hours and was satisfying in more ways than I thought could be achieved. The atmosphere, although like I said before, a bit 80s/90s-ish with a David Bain sweater pattern for the flooring, fell to the way side when the food and drink were presented. Even though I might be a bit simple in my culinary mind (I did just introduce my friends to the master culinary pairing of M&Ms and popcorn, yum), I whole heartedly appreciated the little bit of fancy dining I experienced at Kermadec. If you or a friend are expecting a birthday soon, then maybe some vouchers to an indulgent dining affair might do the trick, especially if it is something you’re not accustomed to and if you go to Kermadec tell them Jess sent you and you want the ‘orange somesuch’ stat.

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