Market Kitchen is situated at the corner of Davis Crescent and Carlton Gore Road, a short walk away from central Newmarket. The first thing you notice when you enter is the welcome, – you’re warmly greeted like a regular guest. The excellent service continues for the rest of the evening.
The restaurant has a feel of a converted villa, divided into rooms that served to partition the bar from the restaurant, and create nice, intimate spaces. There is also a courtyard out the back for al fesco dining. I lived in Palmerston North for a long time (11 years), and Matthew McAlpine’s restaurant Dejeuner was the epitome for fine food and excellent service in a cosy setting. I was keen to see what he had created in Auckland.
Market Kitchen caters for a range of appetites and tastes. There were twists on traditional favourites such as meat pie (stewed beef hot pot) and fish and chips (pan-fried snapper), but also exciting flavour combinations for the more adventurous.
A colleague had raved about the southern venison on wilted spinach, potato purée, lavender mascarpone, J Friend n Co honeycomb served with a jug of dark cherry & pinot jus ($39). The venison is cooked rare, and superbly tender. The sweetness of the honeycomb combined brilliantly with the gaminess of the venison, and I was impressed how smooth the potato purée was. It was a standout dish.
Two of my dining companions had the special of the day of shredded roasted duck with homemade pappardelle tossed with forest mushrooms and parmigiano reggiono ($28). They both claimed it to be delicious, and it was a beautiful plate of pasta.
Another of our dining party has the bowl of creamy polenta w blue cheese, Mahy Farms beef cheek, preserved lemon aioli ($31.5). This is a large serving, and she wiped her plate clean.
We shared some side dishes; the seasonal vegetables ($7.5) which was asparagus and fresh peas sautéed in butter and sprinkled with toasted pinenuts, and a fresh garden salad greens with roast pear and parmesan ($9.5).
Market Kitchen & Bar lives up to its accolades of excellent food and service, and in the mass-market food landscape that is Newmarket, it is a real treasure. I am already plotting my return.
Market Kitchen + Bar
19 Davis Crescent, Newmarket, Auckland
Ph: 09-524 8994
Lunch: Wed – Fri 11:30am – 2:30pm Dinner: Mon – Sat 5:30pm – late