The Holly Golightly of Auckland bars.
November 04, 2015
There's a new, unique and sassy little joint in town that goes by the name of Rockefeller. Aesthetically speaking, the oyster and champagne bar has the same kind of idiosyncratic sophistication that Holly Golightly has. Chandeliers that may have easily made it onto the set of The Great Gatsby hang in a stripped-back loft housing a combination of leather and wooden furnishing. Vinyl records from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, The Alan Parsons Project and Velvet Underground are lazily stacked in crates and await their turn on the turntables. Waiters are dressed in goofy smiles, bow ties and jeans.
Meals are anywhere from $16 upwards, and staying within a reasonable ambit from that mark, but the real wallet inverter is the wine and champagne list. A bottle of Krug champagne goes for a cool $1690. Although quite tempted to order one, a combination of having a cold and feeling slightly dubious as to whether I could keep a straight face while claiming a $1690 business expense from the boss made me reconsider, just. For those still wanting a sip of the high life, a flute of Krug goes for $55. On the lower end of the champagne scale you can order yourself a flute of La Chapelle for a comparatively reasonable $18. For those who don't want to drink champagne in a champagne and oyster bar, the menu also offers a very condensed and rather extensive list of French wines on offer, all paired with little charming descriptors that are worth the read.
But back to the food. Rockefeller's culinary offering has a distinct seafood theme – sashimi, crab paired with kimchi inside brioche buns, vongole and oysters all make their appearances on the menu. I sampled the Power Trip – a combination of three oysters for $11. These were the Te Matuku, Orongo and Kaipara served "undressed and untouched" with lemon and mignonette. Like any decent oyster bar, Rockefeller rotates their oysters according to the season and freshly shucks them on site, which also means that you'll be getting a different Power Trip on each visit. Unlike other oyster bars, I was also proudly presented with an optional array of Tabasco sauces to bathe the oysters in as well, should I feel the need. I didn't, but it was a little bit charming in a perplexing way. Much like their duck fat chips served with both Heinz tomato sauce and truffle aioli sides. Imagine having those with a bottle of Krug. Very Golightly.
With the right kind of personality, quality of goods and a distinct uniqueness, Rockefeller has all the makings of a well-trodden staple bar of Auckland and is well worth the visit.