Dinner place: the Commons

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Over the weekend we travelled over the Harbour Bridge to The Commons. It's been a few years since I've come here. It's almost unrecognisable. They've also just had a makeover a month ago, so now the outdoor area, the Gardens, is more green and leafy with the huge tree in the centre, sandwiched by the two restaurants on either side, a casual space to enjoy pizzas and jugs of sangria, a DJ in one corner..
But I digress, because I was here to enjoy a dinner at the Commons, not the Gardens. We could have shared the casual green atmosphere through the glass walls that opened out, but unfortunately it is still quite chilly days in Auckland, especially as the sun takes off after a good day's work.
The upstairs of the Commons area is more somber, quieter, more private. Away from the hubbub of the downstairs diners, the ambiance suits us fine. The menu calls for a decision. Individual plates or platters to share? While good friends often share similar palates, our choice is always to go for more options, to try as many offerings as possible. Thus, we decide to go for 'individual' dishes.
There are sunset inspired cool sweet cocktails, followed by hot savoury entrees. Lavender is not available for my mojito, but I am easy with pomegranate as the substitute. The spicy chicken popcorns come with really burning sauce. Even with the tiniest dash on each biteful, our mouths are on fire. I much prefer the savoury churros. Especially the truffle honey. Mmm! We are currently on a truffles phase and I cannot get enough of the taste! A and I dream of owning a truffles forest.

Continuing the trend, A doesn't need much forcing in going for another truffle dish for his main. The manuka smoked pig has been pulled then reconstructed, and comes accompanied with butternut, barley and seeds, and the truffle taste is incorporated in the yoghurt sauce. I find the barley a bit hard, but the crunchiness of the seeds contrasts well with the smooth butternut and tender pork.

If the butternut pork is a spring inspired dish, my venison, the special dish of the day, is more wintery. Our waiter's favourite dish, it has a sweet date sauce with red wine jus over beetroots and topped with watercress and crisp parsnip chips. The meat is a little too well done, too dry on the outside, but I love parsnip chips, my go to snacks in London. Actually, the whole dish reminds me of London.

Dessert, A? Poached pear clafoutis (no rhubarbs available), espresso martini? We'd love to, but we are both on the verge of exploding like the Guy Fawkes fireworks delighting us the whole weekend long. Truffle tastes still lingering on our tongues, we decide to restrain, we've gourmandised enough for the day. If only we'd had a little more space in our tummies...

The Commons
21 Hurstmere Road
Auckland 0620
The Commons Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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