If variety is the spice of life, then discerning food lovers could do far worse than a degustation menu.
A culinary term that means to carefully appreciate the taste of something, degustation typically features multiple courses of different types of food, designed to excite the palate and delight the senses. It’s a gastronomic delight – best enjoyed with matching wine.
These are some of New Zealand’s best restaurants offering degustation and tasting menus.
One Tree Grill’s legendary five-course degustation menu is prepared in-house and updated daily. Highlights include pistachio-crusted market fish, wild venison tenderloin and spiced pear, medjool date and pastry crisp.
Cuisine magazine’s restaurant of the year has a delightful tasting menu that features fruits of the sea, kingfish cevinche, caramelised pork belly and roasted quail among its highlights. The French Café’s tasting menu costs $140 per person, plus an additional $80 for matching wines.
Although the degustation’s origins are in France, new-style Japanese restaurant Cocoro boasts a degustation menu that features filo-wrapped paradise prawn tempura, charcoal-finished slow-roasted duck breast and queen scallop chawanmushi.
It costs $85 per person. Enjoy it with sake pairings for an additional $65, matching wines for $70, or sake and wine for $70.
Your personal degustation is prepared to order, right in front of you at Eight at the Langham Auckland. This is not your traditional degustation – it’s a fresh and innovative take on the centuries-old culinary practice.
Mount Eden restaurant Merediths has two degustation menus: an eight-course vegetarian menu every Tuesday for $80 and another with nine courses for $140. It also has six- and eight-course tasting menus.
Degustation is a serious business at Kazuya, where its extravagant nine-course degustation menu changes with the seasons. It’s only available within 24 hours advanced reservation and is intended for all guests at the table. It costs $125 per person.
Finally, no list of the best restaurants for degustation in Auckland would be complete without Clooney, one of Metro’s top 50 Auckland restaurants. Its tasting menu costs $140 – or $120 for the vegetarian one – and features the likes of tuna, oyster crème and pork crackling,lamb, swede, miso, date, onion and faro.
Also check out these celebrity chef restaurants.