Friday, July 21, 2017

Ampersand Eatery

One of my last outings prior to having baby Charlie was to the newest, and hippest addition to Orakei Village. Ampersand Eatery had been showing up all over my social media pages and I was dying to know what the fuss was all about.



Although the space is large, Ampersand is filled to the brim with brunchers and lunchers. The restaurant doesn't take reservations for lunch so I put our names down on the 30 minute wait list. It was the first time I had been to the newly constructed Orakei Village so I was happy to have a wander around the boutique stores that fill up the little complex. 


Iced Chocolate - $5.50, Spicy Chai Latte - $5.00, Hot Chocolate - $5.00
We started off with some warm drinks to combat the windy weather outside. The chai latte was lightly spiced and not too sweet while the hot chocolate was rich but a little watery. Not pictured is a ginger latte which I enjoyed the most.


Sourdough and burnt butter - $3.90
The littlest bruncher in our group was being fussy that day and only wanted to eat bread. Luckily, there was some soft pieces of sourdough accompanied by some beautiful burnt butter. We loved the butter so much that we spread it on anything bread-like on our other dishes!


Smoked Trevally and Potato Omelette - $19.00
I was quite impressed with the serving size of the omelette when it arrived on the table. The smokiness of the fish gave off a lovely aroma and paired well with the saltiness of the pesto. I felt that the egg could have been seasoned a little more as the dish as a whole tasted a bit bland, even with its salty components. 


Benedict with Bacon - $19.00
The eggs benedict came with a generous amount of bacon and lashing of spiced hollandaise. The eggs were poached perfectly and the bread was nicely toasted without being difficult to cut through. 


Colombian Corn Cake - $19.00
The Colombian Corn Cake was soft and creamy. The mushrooms imparted a great earthy flavour while the feta provided some much needed saltiness. The best part was the perfectly poached egg which tied the whole dish together.


Fresh Pasta Stuffed with Sweet Potato - $22.00
My favourite dish that day was the stuffed pasta. Everything about this dish was just perfect. Texture wise, the light pillows of pasta, creamy apple sauce, and yoghurt were offset with crispy bacon pieces and pinenuts. The sweet components were balanced with bacon, parmesan, and dots of pesto. The little pops of chili were also a welcome surprise. 


Caramel Slice - $4.90
By the time we were ready for dessert, one of the only sweet items in the cabinet was a caramel slice. The buttery base and gooey caramel made for a deliciously rich dessert. It would go perfectly with a bitter cup of coffee but, as we all ordered sweet drinks, splitting the slice into quarters turned out to be the perfect portion size.

Ampersand 'Snickers' Bar - $15.00
I'm a sucker for house specialties and the Ampersand 'Snickers' bar jumped out at me as soon as I opened the dessert menu. The peanut parfait was as good as any I've had before and the chocolate mousse was incredibly smooth. As with the caramel slice, I'm glad we split this between four as there wasn't quite enough of the bitter mousse to counter the sweet parfait.


Ampersand is a nice space to catch up with friends. Based on my visit, some of the dishes could use a tad more seasoning but the stuffed pasta is just perfect. 

Ampersand Eatery can be found at Orakei Village, 228 Orakei Road, Auckland.