Saturday, July 26, 2008

Auckland day 5: Back to salads and desserts in Auckland

On Friday, we drove back from Rotorua to Auckland, stopping at the incredible Waitomo Caves on the way (and by “on the way” we mean “two hours out of the way”). The caves are deep underground and have thousands of glowworms lighting the cave roof… very cool.

We stopped in Hamilton, a large-ish town halfway to Auckland, for lunch. We grabbed salads at a pub—nothing special, except there was a really awesome fire in the middle of the dining room, which we sat right next to to try to get warm.

We got to Auckland in shortly before dinner and made reservations at Cin Cin on Quay, in the Ferry Building right on the harbor. We were relatively early, so the restaurant wasn’t full, and we got a seat by the window to watch the action on the harbor.

Wino that I am, I ordered another glass of Sauvignon Blanc (excellent), while my mom abstained (boo). We started with the bread and butter—a generous portion of warm baguette with soft butter. They may make you pay, but they do bread really well here.

Lots of warm carbs with soft butter

Mom got the red snapper with prawn cannelloni, courgette (zucchini), tomato, broccollini, and some other things in a shellfish foam. She gave me the few broccollini, which were yummy, and devoured the rest. She said the fish was very tasty and was cooked quite well.

Exceptionally foamy
I ordered the rocket and parmesan salad. It was particularly good—very fresh rocket, a good dressing, lots of parm, and a generous amount of salt and pepper making the salad’s clean flavors pop. Yummm.

Very tasty and well seasoned

We both had room for dessert, hurrah! There was a chocolate mousse/mascarpone/mocha ice cream concoction that looked good, but when I asked the waitress if I could have vanilla instead of mocha ice cream, she said it was already premade so it couldn’t be swapped. Hmmm. At this point I panicked and ordered it anyway, which was too bad, because it really wasn’t the best. It was sort of like tiramisu but much less creamy and too coffee-y. Oh well.

Gooey, messy, too much coffee

My mom’s dessert was much better. She ordered a chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. It was gooey liquid chocolate in the middle, which swirled into the raspberry sauce into an alluring mélange of yummy flavors. I had a few tastes of this, and I really should have gotten it instead… second dessert misfire of the trip.

Raspberry coulis beauty mark on the side

And then, once again, it was time for bed in preparation for our second-to-last day here. Oh, and in preparation for the worst winter storm to hit the North Island of New Zealand in more than 10 years (yeah, we chose a great time to visit). Currently, there are hurricane-force winds and absolutely drenching rains pounding the city as the cyclone crosses the island. Sweet. Wish us luck in getting home tomorrow…

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