As the seasons change, Ostro’s new head chef Josh Shields and executive chef Josh Emett embrace the cooler weather with warming classics.
A sun-trap perched over the harbour, Ostro is the perfect spot to settle in for a long lunch or evening as the wind chill rises and the sun’s path drops in the sky. Autumn’s menu is centred around local, seasonal produce, with earthy root vegetables and free-range proteins enlivened with pickles, jus, and tangy caramel.
Celebrating the sea that the restaurant gazes out on, roasted market fish is paired with squash puree, pickled cucumber, chilli and salted almond. Until the end of the Bluff oyster season, there are Bluffies served three ways – ceviche with chardonnay vinegar pearls, shallot and chives has a recommended match of Veuve Cliquot Yellow label; natural with cabernet sauvignon vinaigrette or battered with wasabi mayonnaise, matched with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc; or served as a Po boy on toasted brioche with wasabi mayonnaise and coriander, matched with Cloudy Bay Chardonnay.
From the land, there’s the crispy pork belly with creamed Brussels sprouts, black pudding, sherry caramel and sage, or lamb two ways – in a loin and braised shoulder, with Roman gnocchi, kokihi, parsnip puree and chartreuse jus.
If you’re more of a liquid diner, then the new cocktails are enough reason alone to visit Ostro. Their reinvented cocktail list explores the fusion of classics with a strong focus on organic autumnal elements like dehydrated beets, burnt mandarin and a plethora of herbs and spices.
The new season menu is available from Wednesday 3 April. To score a free lunch for yourself and a friend, visit the latest Ostro post at @britomartnz. Make sure you are following us and @ostroakl, and tag the friend you’d take and you’ll be in to win (winner drawn April 20).
Photos by Jono Parker.