It’s an inspiration to Auckland’s growing hotel restaurant scene and not somewhere you expect to find one of Auckland’s smartest inner-city brasseries.
A tasteful and informal refit of the old Mercure has seen a fabulous reinvention of a dated building into a place where fresh ideas turn over frequently. The brainchild of Zac Lumsden and executive chef Daniel Na, essential simplicity seems to be one of the secrets of its success with contemporary food in its broadest sense.
There are no tricks, just confident cuisine that is simple produce based with a menu focusing on freshness, flavour and innovation from an experienced kitchen team. While the menu sticks to good renditions of traditional Kiwi favourites there is still a place to find a little adventure.
Seared Akaroa salmon, wasabi pea puree, pickled radish and tsuyu ($20), fish crudo, cream, grapes, pine nuts, dill and muscatel vinaigrette ($19) or king prawn red curry, toasted brioche, chilli, coriander and lemon ($32) are all good starts. And there’s still plenty of action with equally strong mains such as slow-cooked free-range pork cheeks served with sweet carrot puree, espresso and black cardamom ($25), grass-fed savannah scotch café de Paris, red wine jus, truffle fries ($38) confit chicken leg, chicory, orange, green herbs, hazelnut and chicken parfait ($35) and braised lamb shoulder, buttermilk, crispy parsnip and curry leaves ($34).
Sides of baked cauliflower ($17), garden leaf salad ($11), pan roasted broccolini ($13), battered tofu ($13) and truffle and parmesan fries ($10) are a lesson to many of the city’s hotel restaurants.
Desserts of coconut crème brûlée ($14), dark chocolate and hazelnut pave ($15) and lime meringue trifle ($14) are a fitting conclusion to the meal. Add a vast wine list with plenty of noise with most vintages available by the glass, and Vue has winning formula that fuses all the elements in all the right ways.
And the verdict? The care taken in the kitchen is obvious and with staff being courteous and well-informed makes for a consistently pleasurable package.
Menu 8.5 |Cuisine8.5 |Wine list 8.5 | Service 9 |Décor 8 | Value for money 8.5