A few weeks ago, you may have seen that we ran our first competition for our readers. All you had to do was tag three of your favourite Auckland restaurants on Instagram and tag a friend who you’d like to take with you.
Our lucky winner was Hansa and her prize was dinner with us at one of the restaurants she tagged.She made a very good choice in picking Italian gem Baduzzi. Situated on the corner of Jellicoe Street and Fish Lane on the North Wharf we were given a nice table in the pretty courtyard area.
The courtyard was very well heated and we were more than comfortable. A definite bonus on this very breezy night! Executive chef Benjamin Bayley has previously worked in Michelin starred restaurants in both London and Paris so certainly knows his stuff.
The restaurant feels traditional yet modern at the same time. It has that homely, eating at your Italian grandmothers house kind of feel and the bar area is draped with vines. Seating is wooden chairs and tables -again providing that rustic edge. Bookings are taken for lunch but there are no reservations taken for dinner unless you are a party of 8 or more.
Baduzzi are known for their meatballs or Polpette and we urge you to sample a few different types. We started with the East Coast braised beef meatballs with smoked Melanzane which is a type of cheese. These were our favourite meatballs out of the two varieties we sampled.
The second variety we sampled were the Organic Lamb and wild thyme meatballs with preserved lemon and a spiced gravy.The sauce was rich with the spices and the lamb was cooked to perfection.
We also decided to share the Pedrazolli cured meats contadino style with warm Focaccia bread and Pene’s pickles. The meats were all of the highest quality and the bread was fresh and soft.
The winner in terms of the pasta dishes for us was the Buttered Maltagliati with duck and porcini ragu, buttercup and pickled black walnuts. The ragu was so rich and comforting and the duck had been slowly cooked and was literally falling apart. A great winter dish on a cold evening but equally as moreish whatever the weather.
We have to admit we were a little bit disappointed when we saw the portion size of our next dish. However, it was very filling and we definitely didn’t need any more -the portion size was perfect. The Saffron and Potato Tortellini came stuffed with goats curd and was cooked in brown butter with almonds and a fig confit. The goats cheese was warm and so creamy and the brown butter provided sweetness with the fig confit counteracting the sweetness with a hint of acidity.
At this point we saw desserts being delivered to other tables and they looked like very impressive works of art on a plate. We’d also been stalking Baduzzi’s Instagram account before arriving at the restaurant so we knew we had to squeeze in a couple of desserts.
The Tiramisu with Baileys and amaretto ladyfingers and chocolate cream was one of the best Tiramisu’s we’ve ever had. Also a shout out to whoever plated this beauty – isn’t it beautiful?
If anything is chocolate based on a dessert menu, chances are we are going to order it. The Valrhona Chocolate torta caprese with raspberry sorbet and coconut espuma was rich and decadent. It was admittedly quite heavy but deliciously satisfying.
We had a great time with our winner Hansa and her partner and we really hope they enjoyed their prize!
10-26 Corner Jellicoe Street
Tel: 09 3099 339