19° & RAINY ON TUESDAY 28 MARCH IN AUCKLAND
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With a homely vibe, and relaxed atmosphere Dilecta is less dinner date and more a casual meal, or on-the-go bite to eat.

Nestled in the heart of the Grey Lynn shops, Dilecta is most certainly situated in an unlikely locale. But what the street lacks in sass, the delicious food and the lovely staff make up for it.

Light green walls, industrial styled lighting fixtures and an eclectic mix of decor makes for a trendy yet casual set up, to enjoy a light meal and a few evening drinks. Don't let the small shop front fool you. Dilecta stretches several metres back and into a delightful courtyard, which with weather pending provides the perfect backdrop for a casual dinner or after work tapas.

The meals are a hybrid of home-cooking style, with a Mediterranean twist - enough to warm the cockles of our hearts on what was otherwise a gloomy wet Saturday night.

We ordered off both the 'small plate' and 'more substantial' menu, starting off with the smoked ham hock croquettes and paprika mayo ($15.00). They arrived in a delicious crispy shell, with a smooth whipped centre, and a squeeze of lemon on the side. A great starter, and possibly sizeable enough to share among three depending on your appetite.

We then ordered the roasted baby root vege with hummus, dukkah and lemon ($16.50). The veges were cooked to perfection, and the dukkah gave what could've been a relatively plain dish a spiced kick. The clear winner of the night was our main, which we ordered to share. We had the braised lamb shoulder, gnocchi, pumpkin, sage and pecorino ($29.00). The lamb was tender, the gnocchi soft, and the pumpkin melted in your mouth. For those with a sweet tooth there's plenty on offer as well, like the salted caramel tart or dark chocolate fondant.

The wine list is extensive, but disappointingly lacked a cocktail menu. The friendly staff behind the bar are however willing to mix up anything your heart desires.

The waiters appeared to still be finding their feet in what seems to be a relatively new set up. There were a couple of ordering mix ups with our meal, but what could have been a drama was quickly dusted away with a smile and few apologies.

With a homely vibe, and relaxed atmosphere Dilecta is less dinner date and more a casual meal, or on-the-go bite to eat.

Published on October 23, 2014 by Laetitia Laubscher

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