Get Yourself Into Pickle
I found myself in a pickle a couple of weeks ago. Not a sticky situation-type pickle, but a new restaurant- type, Pickle, on the corner of Majoribanks Street and Kent Terrace.
Bryce Mason, the co-owner of Pickle Eating-House and Bar, met us at the door. I’m pleased to say that he is a top man, and clearly extremely passionate about the experience that he wants his diners to enjoy.
He showed my companion – who is also my boss – and I to a table, sat us down and busted out the menu. Drinks? It’d been a tough week at work so I opted for Pickle’s special take on the mojito, the jarjito, which swaps the rum for vodka. And comes in a pickle jar. It’s the sort of drink I imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald would have approved of.
“All our produce is sourced locally,” he tells me. “And the menu will change as different ingredients come in and out of season.”
The head chef, Asher Boote, is also fond of foraging for some of his ingredients, something that I think is admirable in this age of waste.
I wanted to try most of the menu, and this is where Pickle comes into it’s own. There’s a range of snacks, sliders, small plates and big plates to choose from, and the fact that you can get a whole range of delicious food makes dinner more fun, more interactive, more sociable. It was great sitting there with my friend, mixing and matching and comparing dishes.
From the Snacks menu we picked the curried kumara chips, plate o’ pickles and market fresh veggies, ash salt and aioli (recommended by Bryce). It was fresh and simple and interesting, much like Pickle itself, with it’s three hundred or so pickle jars hanging from the ceiling.
We also grabbed a mac ‘n’ cheese and nana’s relish slider, fried egg, tarragon butter and asparagus (which was served in a tiny, little frying pan, bless) and – my favourite – the smoked hoki, black bread and horseradish cream.
It was a great meal, it really was. In the interest of professionalism we naturally had to sample the desserts. I can confidently recommend the golden syrup dumplings, pine and rosemary set cream (indescribably different to any dessert I’ve tried before), and the fried bread, cinnamon and salted caramel. We also tried the house-made chocolate bar filled with fennel caramel.
The atmosphere is relaxed and the staff friendly, the food tastes fresh and the variety on the menu is fantastic. I can’t think of a place in town like it.
So, after you’ve watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this week, get yourself along to Pickle.
It’s one pickle worth getting yourself into.