Modern Italian Food at Baduzzi
Wynyard Quarter, down on Auckland's waterfront, is buzzing with restaurants and bars and one of the definite must-try restaurants has to be Baduzzi. I decided on Baduzzi for my birthday lunch as I had heard really great things and they are featured as one of Metro's top 50 restaurants in Auckland, as well as having won the award in 2014 for Best Restauranteur of the Year. I can now see why! Everything there is made in-house by hand, including the pasta. Baduzzi opened in 2013 and quickly became known for their gourmet meatballs. Owned and run by top restauranteur Michael Dearth and chef Benjamin Bayly (who also own & operate The Grove), Baduzzi's tagline is 'Food of the people', a place where pleasure comes first. And that it does. For starters we ordered two types of meatballs: Fiordland Crayfish meatballs with savoy cabbage, chickpeas and heritage carrots ($18), and Wild Red Deer meatballs with portabella mushroom and parsnip crema ($14). The crayfish meatballs were the favourite, with the sweet flavour of the fish coming through, but the wild deer meatballs were also delicious with more bold flavours and would pair nicely with a rich red wine.
Wild deer meatballs
For mains we ordered Beetroot Pappardelle (main photo) with shaved paua, smokey pancetta, and slow-cooked quails eggs ($22) and Buttered Maltagliati with duck and porcini ragu, buttercup & pickled black walnuts ($22). Both dishes were cooked to perfection, with hearty, full flavours enticing the tongue.
For dessert we ordered the Tiramisu with Baileys, amaretto ladyfingers & chocolate cream ($16), and the Valrhona chocolate "torta caprese" with raspberry sorbet & vanilla espuma ($15). The torta caprese was the star of the show, with the chocolate oozing out of the brownie-like cake and the tartness of the sorbet paired with the cake perfectly. The tiramisu was silky and creamy, with a heady amount of strong coffee and was finished off with a sprinkling of coffee crunch.
Valrhona Chocolate "torta caprese"
At the same time as these two desserts came out, the waiter also brought out a special 'Happy Birthday' plate with a mini chocolate cake and ice cream. I was so touched and impressed by this gesture. Now this is one of the ways how you build a strong, loyal clientele! Thank you Baduzzi for a truly wonderful birthday lunch! I will be back!
Baduzzi: Corner Jellicoe Street & Fish Lane, North Wharf, Auckland, 1010