Admittedly, this was the second time going to Paris Butter; third if you count the gratuitous crème brûlée that the handsomely chiselled Nick Honeyman gave me at Taste of Auckland. If you say, "photo or it didn't happen," then thank God for Instagram because there's a shot of him iron-blasting the crème brûlée with his rippling arm muscles extending from his tight grey t-shirt. Clearly, he slays it daily at the gym. I'm sorry, aren't you supposed to be selling chinos (while shirtless) at Abercrombie & Fitch in Spain? It's good to network, but it's great to network with head chefs – mainly because they give you free crème brûlées.
There's a few points to cover about Paris Butter. First, the food is rather indulgent with lots of butter (obviously), eggs and cream so even though the portions may appear small, it sits heavy in the stomach; if you're going for the food coma experience then this should do you right. Perhaps you could finish the night off with a peppermint tea or a digestive liqueur? Second, the interior décor is mainly white minimalist with a touch of Alessandro Michele's Gucciness. The plush turquoise seats underneath the textured mirror tiles give a gorgeous pop of colour to the space – think simple European embellishments with a Kiwi touch. In a nutshell, it's a nice place to treat your date. Third point, the menu is small when it comes to the mains. There's only three salads and four mains or "Les Plats" as they call it, although I'm sure there's one dish that should please even the fussiest of fusspots.
The first time I went to Paris Butter was with the head chef and owner of Haru no Yume and let me tell you, they are pretty hard to please when it comes to food and wine. Rex opted for the steak and when asked how it was, he simply gave a thumbs up ($37); strangely enough, he's not very good at describing food despite his job as head chef and uses his thumb sparingly to give a 'yes' or 'no'. Yumi had the confit duck leg cassoulet and I recollect her also giving a bobbing thumbs up ($33). Being the terribly critical and particular person that she is, I took her word (or thumb) for it.
I had the Prawn Spaghetti with sobrasada and parmesan crumb (again) because it was freaking delicious the first time round ($29). My partner had the ultra fancy mac and cheese with bisque and crayfish on top ($47). It's one of their ever-changing specials that jazzes it up into French-Kiwi fusion. I didn't grow up on mac and cheese so I'm not sure why people even eat it to be honest, but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it since he inhaled it in two minutes and then looked at me with puppy dog eyes wanting more. I've tried a lot from their wine list as one glass never seems to suffice. If you're going to splash out, I recommend ordering by the bottle to cut through the richness. Also, if you're into your ginnys then they have a selection of specialty G&Ts made with garnishes to suit each type.
If you're an Auckland foodie, you should definitely hit this place up with your parents and go H.A.M. on the gram. Just make sure you go on Sunday arvo so that there's plenty of light to take those food porn pics.