A restaurant situated within an old chocolate factory certainly piqued our interest and we made a booking immediately. Even better is the fact it is just at the bottom of our road!
Two words that immediately sprung to mind upon entering Cibo were decadent and atmospheric. Moody lighting and elegant interiors combined with quirky notes here and there certainly set the scene for a very ambient evening.
To begin, we started with Ora King Salmon, Smoked Custard, Artichoke and Sea Vegetables. The salmon was silky smooth and perfectly cooked and the custard provided a smoky flavour which really complemented the fish.
The Duck Liver Parfait, Spiced Plum Puree, Raisin Jelly and Croutons was by far the best parfait we have tasted in all of the restaurants we have been to in New Zealand so far!
There are many discussions surrounding where to get the best pork belly in Auckland and this entree has got to be included in those discussions! The Free Range Pork Belly, Pork Doughnut, Mandarin Gel, Pumpkin and Pot Sticker Gnocchi was divine. The pork belly was crispy without being dry and the little pork doughnut was delicious!
Cibo also offer diners the option to have any entree as a main course size and we’d definitely consider this for the pork belly dish next time!
For main course we opted for the Seared Wagyu Hangar, Watercress Puree, Heirloom Carrots, Short Rib and Marrow Croquette. Cooked to a perfect medium rare the steak was juicy and moist and the little marrow croquette added an element of texture to the dish.
Next up was the Hawkes Bay Lamb, Shank Pastilla, Coco Bean, Charred Onion and Mint Yoghurt. The lamb was also nice and pink and the mint yoghurt provided a lovely refreshing component.
The Smoked Duck Breast, Compressed Duck, Masala Chickpeas, Pressed Pear and Cauliflower was succulent and moist with the smokiness coming through ever so subtly. The pear counteracted the richness of the meat.
The only thing we weren’t 100% keen on were the Kumara Wedges. They were a little dry.
We were way too full for dessert but after perusing the dessert menu we know we have to come back! The staff were kind enough to give us a complementary little bite size treat each.
Special mention must go to the wait staff. They were exceptional and this was some of the best service we have had in any restaurant anywhere.
For a special occasion or to treat yourself we wholeheartedly recommend Cibo.
91 St Georges Bay Road
Tel: 09 303 9660