This one is a bit of a throwback, but Ortolana was so good that it warrants talking about.
If you live in Auckland, you know this place. If you’re visiting Auckland, add this to your list.
I had read about it before we made the trip (always part of pre-travel research: find good places to eat, and work them into your itinerary), and was wary of the city guide writeups overselling them. It is part of the Britomart development, and there is a bit of a tendancy for flashy and overpriced restaurants to take up tenancy in those areas.
We went there for lunch, and were confronted with one of those menus in which each menu item is a list of ingredients, and you are given no indication of how they are prepared or combined. So you take a punt on which of them has the largest number of ingredients that appeal to you..
We weren’t disappointed by either of our selections. They do combine flavours and textures deftly, and everything is fresh.
It was so good, in fact, that we wound up going back for dinner. Once again, not disappointed. Apart from the kale chips. If you see them on the menu, don’t get the kale chips. Unless you really, really like kale chips.
They have desserts as well, and those come from Milse (spoiler: that is going to get a post of its very own).
It is a restaurant that is set up to be both social and cosy. It doesn’t, however, take reservations, so if you come in at a typical mealtime, expect a bit of a wait. You can have a bit of a wander around the complex in the meantime though. Ortolana is definitely a must-visit, and worth the wait.
Price point: Mains $18-$28. Sides: $8.Desserts: walk around the corner to Milse to look (it’s a must). $12-$14.
Value: Very good.
Address: 31 Tyler Street, Britomart, Auckland
Phone: +64 9368 9487