Meaning ‘market gardener’ in Italian, Ortolana which is situated within the hustle and bustle of Britomart is an elegant, contemporary space. Although small, it is perfectly formed with classy fixtures and fittings in a light filled conservatory.
An open and welcoming space, Ortolana is connected to the dessert cafe Milse next door and therefore you can order their famous ‘Gelato on a Stick.’ More on that later……..
With it being a cold, wintry night in Auckland and with one of us coming down with a nasty cold, we started with one of the Specialty Hot Beverages. The Spiced Apple and Cinnamon Hot drink was like winter in a glass.
Judging by the plates being delivered to other diners we could see that Ortolana certainly take their presentation seriously.
Celery root tortellini, chestnut and brown butter was a work of art on a plate! Home made tortellini was al dente in texture and encased a luxurious chestnut filling. The brown butter added an extra element to the dish and made it warming and comforting.
The Lamb, Broccoli and Sprouts with vinegre de jerez was cooked to a perfect medium rare. We’ve never had broccoli stalks served like this before either! They had a lovely char to them and the crunchy texture was a great addition to the soft silky lamb. The sharp vinegar based jus provided the perfect acidity to the dish.
We quickly popped next door to Milse to check out their array of sweet treats. Rows upon rows of macarons and other delectable desserts lined the glass cabinets and we had a hard time choosing what to pick!
The Gelato on a stick was a very generous portion! We went for the chocolate and hazelnut flavour with the rich dark chocolate coating the tastiest gelato. Definitely a winner!
It’s always too difficult to choose between sweet and savoury so why not go for both? The Washed Rind Cheese, Pear and Ciappe was another masterpiece on a plate. The cheese was strong, flavoursome and soft. Served with salty crackers, walnuts and flavourful chutneys this was a great alternative to a sweet dessert.
And last but not least treat: the Crema fritta, rhubarb & macadamia! All elements of this dish complemented each other quite nicely. The sharpness of the rhubarb, the creamy texture of the fritta and crunch of macadamia provided a sensational taste on the palate. It is a lovely dish and light enough to ensure you have room to enjoy after mains.
The service we received was also very slick, friendly and professional. Special thanks to Marie with her lovely french accent and Sophie the duty manager of the night who made our evening memorable!
33 Tyler Street