On a sunny afternoon, one of The Tasting Shed’s Sundowner Sessions seemed a perfect way to spend the day. Tunes spun by George FM and a manicured lawn to lounge around on beanbags followed a long, lazy lunch in the sun.
Situated in Kumeu and nestled amongst vineyards, The Tasting Shed is a great spot for lunch or dinner in between all those wine tastings! It is also a great space for events such as weddings, work functions and birthday parties.
Displayed on a rustic chalk board the menu offers seasonal and locally available offerings and is split into sections including To Start, From the Sea, From the Land, From the Earth and To Finish.
We started with the Meatballs which were made up of lamb and pork, tomato and Parmesan and were served in a flavourful tomato broth.
The Market Ceviche was light and fresh and the delicate fish was marinated in chilli, blood orange, ponzu and hibiscus. Edible flowers always make a dish better don’t they?
Regular readers will be aware that here at Hungry Auckland we are huge fans of pork belly and this version was very good indeed.
The fat on the pork was seared perfectly and a crispy skin gave texture to the dish. The pork was served with miso, carrot, fine beans, radish and sesame.
Star dish of the meal was the Poussin served on a rustic wooden board and cooked to perfection. Poussin can so often be dry but this was succulent, moist and had a lovely seared skin. The poussin came coated in spices and was accompanied by mint, yoghurt, eggplant, shitake and peanuts. We would 100% order this again.
Third and final main was the beef cheek. The meat was fall apart tender and was cooked to a lovely pink consistency. It was served with smoked onion, eggplant, red pepper and an anchovy crumb which gave it a hit of acidity.
A side of expertly roasted potatoes, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside proved an excellent accompaniment to the mains. We ordered 3 portions!
They came sprinkled with chives and, spring onion, roast garlic and the icing on the cake – whipped feta.
We couldn’t leave without sampling the dessert offerings and first up was the chocolate. Large, aerated chunks of milk chocolate came with freeze dried orange, popcorn, marshmallow, semifreddo and sherbet.
The deep fried churros were fluffy and crisp and not at all oily. They came with pear, pumpkin, salted caramel and pecans. Think pumpkin is an unusual dessert ingredient? Trust us, it works!
Third and final dessert was the Bombe Alaska. Big, fluffy meringues with a gently toasted top accompanied summer fruit, Pimm’s jelly and ginger.
The sundowner events at The Tasting Shed are certainly an idyllic summer experience but with winter on its way fear not. There could be nothing better than holing up inside the restaurant and working your way through the entire menu.
The Tasting Shed
State Highway 16
Tel: 09 412 6454