Taste at the Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland

This has to be one of the better part of the Rugby World Cup experience. Part of the temporary Cloud structure houses a pop-up dining experience called ‘Taste at the Cloud’, which runs from 13 September – 23 October (11:30am – 6pm weekdays, 10am – 6pm weekends)

Several well-known NZ chefs (Josh Emmet, Justin North, Annabel Langbein and Warren Turnbull), have combined their talents to interpret the best of Kiwi produce from the sea, orchard/winery, urban and rural sectors. Each ‘zone’ highlights 4 cocktail-sized dishes with paired wine (or selection of non-alcoholic beverages).

To enjoy these, you purchase tickets which gives you a choice of two dishes (and drinks) for $17, 4 dishes for $28, 6 dishes for $42 or 8 dishes for $54. I picked the 4-dish option, and although I initially thought the dishes were small, 4 plates is a good size for a satisfying lunch.

My tastings were:
Seaside Zone:
New Zealand natural oysters in half shell with a citrus scented jelly. The oysters were good sized, slightly briny and full of flavour. The tangy jelly matched well with the savoury mollusc. I was hugely tempted to get a second helping.

Marlborough clam chowder with cold-pressed lemon oil and fine herbs. This was tasty enough, though I wanted more clam flavour.

Rural Zone:
Rosemary & garlic marinated beef brioche burger, Whitestone aged cheddar & beetroot relish. A posh Kiwi version of a slider, the perfectly cooked tender medium rare beef pieces worked well with the sharp cheese and pickled beetroot. Delicious.

Urban Zone:
Beer braised beef & honey kumara pie with macadamia crumb. Whoever thought of using macadamia as a crumb is a genius. The buttery crunch of the macadamia crumb is perfection against the savoury beef, sweet kumara and the very nostalgic tomato sauce.

My only gripe with Taste is the insufficient seating. I guess having more leaning tables rather than seating is a good way to deal with the crowds, but these tasting plates are so good, you really want to take your time savouring them.

One thought on “Taste at the Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland

  1. bunnyeatsdesign says:

    We made it to this on Saturday, but I wish I had come earlier in the month so that I could return and try everything on the menu. The clam chowder was super and I also loved the venison tataki and kingfish cerviche. I think it's always a good sign when I eat something and then want to make it at home (so that I can have it again and again).

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