Slow roasted pork belly truffle oil mash, shangi pac choy, apple foam, finished with a red wine jus….
It was only natural that I spent my 27th birthday at a winery. In January I was home in New Zealand for the first time in 3 years and not knowing where was good to go I had a tough challenge to choose one of the many awesome wineries near Auckland to celebrate.
After taking to twitter and getting an awesome response from @SoljansWinery I just had to visit them! Plus on the day we hadn’t actually made a booking so I sent them a quick tweet and they replied to say we could show up anytime and there would be a table. Love the service and hats off to their social media guru!
The cellar door and restaurant at Soljans Estate is simply stunning, it has a very natural look to it. It is modern and classy yet at the same time laid back and welcoming. Of course upon entering the estate we couldn’t go straight through to the restaurant we had to stop at the cellar door to taste through their range.
During the tasting the lovely cellar door staff member explained to us about the rich history of the estate – it was 1927 when Bartul Soljans sailed from Croatia and planted the first Soljan vineyard in West Auckland. For tasting notes please check my #365winesin2013 Facebook album.
After we had swirled, sniffed & sipped our way through the tasting menu (free to do by the way!) we moved onto the restaurant. We managed to get a lovely table outside (which actually got far too hot in the end – I know that’s crazy talk for Auckland weather!).
The menu was literally to die for, both the food and wine! What I absolutely loved was that you could order a flight of 3 wines for $NZ10. Therefore you could have one for an aperitif, one with the entree and one with your main. All the items on the menu also mentioned the perfect wine match for that dish, so you literally didn’t have to think about it. The stand out dishes of the day had to be:
- Crispy potato balls with blue cheese, aioli – NZ$9.50
- Slow roasted pork belly truffle oil mash, shangi pac choy, apple foam, finished with a red wine jus – NZ$25.50.
- Dessert platter selection of tiramisu, lemon and orange tart, meringue tower, chocolate Tia Maria shot, vanilla bean tuile, sauce anglaise – NZ$25.00
The only semi-negative comment had to be from my boyfriend who said that his fish’n’chips had nothing on my pork belly with its magnificent crackling. Plus in the car on the way home I am sure I had to undo my dress just a touch as I was literally so full, I really did overindulge but it was soooo good!
All up in was the perfect setting with great food and wine! Plus the company was top notch. I definitely will be back on my next visit home. For more information on Soljans Estate, please click here.