Rustic salad of confit duck, pigs ears, apple,
bleu d'auvergne and toasted walnuts NZ$15.90
It takes me a while to realise that the super crunchy crispy garnish atop my rustic salad of duck, apple and walnuts is not crackling, but deep-fried pigs ears, and how good they are.
I end up at Cafe Bastille on a Thursday evening, pleased that not only will I be treated to an evening of free jazz, but I've also scored front row seats to it, the two musicians unpacking their instruments right in front of my table.
My entree doesn't take long to arrive, and it doesn't too long to finish either. Softly poached apples frame an autumnal salad of baby spinach leaves, crunchy walnuts, tufts of blue cheese and a nest of aforementioned pigs ears. The pigs ears have been deep-fried to a pleasing crunch, and although a little chewy, a delicious if a little rich.
Breast of duck with kumera soufflé, red wine sauce NZ$29.90
The duck theme continues with my main, tender slices of duck breast fanned beside a squat mound of kumera mash garnished with wafer thin slices of crisp pear. Plump red cranberries huddle at the base of the duck mountain, a stain of red wine and berry sauce balancing the richness of duck flesh, fat and skin.
Double baked citrus soufflé, berry coulis NZ$13.90
Dessert is a simple citrus souffle, generous with the use of peel and warm and moist from its second baking.
It's hard to describe the simple delight of the evening. I loved the decor, with its earthy coloured walls and vintage prints of food advertisements lining the walls. There was a raft of tantalising options on the menu, all plated with love and affection. I loved the jazz music as well as the supplementing soundtrack of jazz and swing. And the service was warm and friendly, with every diner treated just like a loyal local.
16 Majoribanks Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (04) 382 9559
Monday to Saturday 5.30pm - late
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9/10/2007 06:57:00 p.m.