Those familiar with Teed Street Larder in Newmarket will notice similarities with this new arrival on Lorne Street. Part of owner Brian Lenders' point of difference from the competition is discovering locations that create a comfortable atmosphere and complement the experience — while his larders are filled with food, they're also brimming with ideas. Lenders' aim in the near future is to offer locals a place where they can enjoy a coffee, dessert or a cheeseboard late into the evening.
The former chef of Teed Street, Reina, has now added her magic touch to Lenders' latest opening. This larder is filled with pies, pastries and pizzazz. All the dishes are decorated with a kaleidoscope of colours; the French toast in particular sticks out with bright mascarpone, dripping in hazelnut butter and sprinkled with chocolate. With four large portioned dishes to get through, it took a hefty amount of willpower to not gorge myself on the French toast alone.
Kiwi favourite mince on toast has been enhanced by Reina as she balances the overpowering mince flavour with spices, adding depth and warmth to each mouthful.
In the battle for best lunch main, the lamb with beetroot wild rice and coriander yoghurt was a clear winner. The lamb itself was tender, while the beetroot added freshness to the dish. In comparison, the chicken salad with haloumi didn't quite reach the heights of the other meals, being slightly less flavoursome and lacking that 'wow' factor.
Pie lovers who enjoy a classic steak or mince and cheese may be slightly saddened, but the feelings will be short-lived when they taste these new flavours. If chicken, white wine and leek don't get your mouth watering, the braised beef in herb coconut sauce will have even the staunchest of vegetarians green with envy.
If you just want a decent coffee, barista Owen shows his excellence at using the 3 Beans coffee to create a flat white that slides nicely between being not too milky or bitter.
With more design changes to come and food to savour, this is a larder you will want to raid.