Thursday, December 12, 2013

Federal Delicatessen

As a big fan of Al Brown, I had been looking forward to visiting Federal Delicatessen ever since it had opened. Taking inspiration from the Jewish delis of New York, Al Brown has recreated his own in little ol' Auckland.

I am told that booking is not necessary for groups of less than ten and I was afraid of a long wait. Fortunately it is quite spacious inside, despite the small shop front. The Fed is situated right next door to another Al Brown restaurant called Depot and the two restaurants share a hallway.

The interior resembles a stripped back diner and all the wait staff are dressed to suit. There are seats up near the bar and cooking area, as well as more private booths along one side for groups of four. Old jazz was playing over the speakers and it felt like we had stepped back in time.

Cherry Cola - $5, Vanilla Egg Cream $6
We started off with the drinks menu which was very exciting, to say the least. The Vanilla Egg Cream was described to me as a mix between creaming soda and milk which turned out to be delicious - creamy and bubbly without being too sweet. My dining companion had the Cherry Cola which I'm told was very nice too.

The menu at The Fed is quite varied and extensive but, as we all know, too much choice can sometimes be a bad thing. Luckily, our waiter was super helpful and was able to help us pick a few dishes to share after much indecisiveness from the group.

Matzo Ball Soup - $16
Matzo Ball Soup up close
We started off with Matzo ball soup which was kindly divided into 3 portions for us. This item is from the "specialties" menu and I can certainly see why! The chickeny broth was full of flavour and came with very tender pieces of chicken and delicate fennel. The highlight for me was the matzo balls which were wonderfully soft and very well seasoned.

Smoked Kahawai Cakes - $14
Our next entree was smoked fish cakes with a thin crunchy crumb filled with lots of smoked fish and creamy potato. The wasabi and lime mayo was a great partner to the sweet smoked fish.

Veal Schnitzel - $28
Due to past experience with horrible dry schnitzel, I was a bit apprehensive when our waiter suggested it. But the veal turned out to be very juicy, flavoursome and the light crumb was not too oily. The deep fried sage was a welcome addition and really helped to lift the dish. I think The Fed has made me like schnitzel!

Spit Roast Chicken - $23
Grilled Zucchini - $8
The spit roast chicken was very tender and juicy and came with a very tasty gravy -so tasty, in fact, that I even poured it over my schnitzel.The cheesy grilled zucchini was a great accompaniment to the meal and has now become one of my favourite sides. 

NY Cheesecake - $11.50, Banana & Toffee Pie - $11.50
Although we were close to bursting after our mains, we just couldn't leave without sampling something from the dessert menu. The New York Cheesecake was very smooth and tasty without being overly sweet, but my favourite would have to be the Banana & Toffee Pie. The thin base added just the right amount of crunch to the soft filling while the caramel popcorn was a very cute twist.

The Fed is a must visit if you're in the mood for something a little bit different. The menu is full of interesting items and I've already decided what I'm ordering when I return!

Federal Delicatessen can be found opposite the Sky Tower at 86 Federal St, Auckland, New Zealand

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1 comment:

  1. We gad a roast chicken at a restaurant last night and it was SO tasty and comforting! Everything here looks really good :)