Piko is one of two Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT) training restaurants at their main city campus on Wellesley Street East. The bistro is opened from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday during semesters, and no reservations are required.
Piko has a very minimalist design, with a modern and fresh look.
The service was friendly and helpful, with the server championing the specials (the figs are from the chef’s own garden!). The menu was interesting, some classics and some more adventurous offerings. The pricing, like all training restaurants is incredibly sharp – around $9 for an entrée, and around $20 for a main. It was so good, I dined there twice in 3 days.
Mussel and corn fritters with tartare sauce, served with a cherry tomato and caper side salad. The fritters were generous, very tasty and the tartare sauce gave a great tart foil, $8.50 (!).
One of the specials was the chicken pate, served with a fig compote. This was a huge serving for $9.
Salmon cerviche with radish and avocado, dressed with a basil and coriander vinaigrette. ($9).
Handcut fries with aioli ($3).
Beautifully cooked and generous piece of salmon, sweet corn and potato with a coriander and lime salsa, $18.
Fish of the day was monkfish, cooked with braised vegetables and rouille (Wikipedia says this is a French sauce made with olive oil, saffron, breadcrumbs, garlic and chilli peppers) for $19.
Grilled kawakawa chicken with chickpea and roasted pepper salad. ($19)
Pork belly with udon noodles and bok choy in a spicy ginger broth.
There was a selection of 5 deserts for $6.50 each. Hazelnut tart with pistachio tuille and Frangelico cream.
Peach frangipane tart with creme anglaise and melon sorbet.
Manuka honey and Titoki brulee with macadamia nut biscotti
Double chocolate brownie with malt ice cream and summer fruit compôte
Overall, we were all hugely impressed, and it’s definitely a place to come back to. The website says that Piko is serving tapas from 4 – 8pm on Fridays, – and I look forward to trying these.