Almost every Auckland resident between a certain age range has had a hazy night out in the darkness of Cassette. These usually feature tea pots full of sweet boozy goodness, some decent live music, a bustling dancefloor and perhaps a few cheeky durries out on the deck.
In a bid to attract customers earlier this familiar space has been repurposed (although not redesigned), to resemble a restaraunt. I must say, it's a bit odd sitting in the middle of Cassette where you once spilled beer and danced like an idiot and instead ordering a meal and acting like a civilised human being. Everything looks exactly the same, from the cushy leather booths to the eclectic knickknacks and resewn denim jeans covering the walls.
The waitresses are a couple friendly English lasses, and their service can't be faulted (even though they're most likely bar tenders by trade). The menu is fairly simplistic, split into bar snacks, smaller plates and bigger plates. For a bar snack go for the crispy chicken ($10). It's classic fried chicken bites done to perfection: a crunchy and tasty battered exterior with juicy, perfectly cooked meat on the inside and a delicious aioli for dipping.
The These Days beef burger ($19) is perfectly fine, and the pattie is refreshingly pink (as it should be). However the mince inside was a touch chewy and it tasted fairly unremarkable, featuring tomato, mayo and pickles. Next we had the beetroot, lentil and goats cheese salad ($12). If you like big chunks of luke warm beetroot, this is the dish for you.
Another genuine highlight came in the form of the garlic and chilli prawns, served on a lively pineapple and coriander salsa. The prawns were delicious and well cooked, and the salsa was zesty and flavourful. There's also a range of Lion beers or wines if you're thirsty and a basic dessert list if you're hankering something sweet.
Overall, Cassette has made a mild attempt transforming into a casual bistro. It's a slightly weird experience eating here, and if you're in the area it's definitely worth popping in to check it out. The food sits firmly in the category of bar food and if you order the smaller more snacky meals with a beer, you're in for an absolute treat.