Every now and again I come across a dish of food that has me dreaming about it non-stop. Fortunately a number of these cravings can be instantly sorted by visiting my local Ottolenghi – as an aside, Yotam Ottolenghi’s prowess with vegetables continues to astound me. For instance, their roasted eggplant salad in whatever guise (always with a yoghurt sauce). Or their chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic, which is something I do make myself – but I hate to say it, theirs beats mine…probably due to the caramelized garlic which I’m afraid of taking too far, ending up with a bitter, acrid mouthful. Anyway, these two dishes sit right at the top of my list of addictions!
I now have another dish to add to the list…but it’s going to be difficult to address my addiction, given that it’s from a café in Auckland, New Zealand! I was recently ‘home’ (even though I have lived away from NZ for over 25 years, I still call it home), and I have to say, the quality of food in NZ just keeps on getting better and better. Kiwis aren’t afraid to experiment with different flavour profiles – Peter Gordon being the founding father of fusion cooking after all. I’ve been back twice this year and each time I have been impressed with the food options available – particularly in Auckland. But more on this in another post – first, I have to discuss my current obsession. Now hold on to your seat, this is going to be shocking, but it was a plate of chips (or fries for my North American friends)! But not just any old chips – these were friggin’ amazing chips!
Odettes Eatery is the name of the establishment that has conjured up this vision on a plate.To be honest, the listing on their menu was rather understated being “Chips – curry leaves & honey mustard”. However, my sister and I are both potato addicts and we felt that they were worth a try – particularly after the waitress gave a very strong nod of approval. They arrived, we tasted, we swooned – and then we fought over our fair share.
These are not any ordinary chips/fries – these are perfectly cooked, thick-cut Agria chips (the BEST potato in my mind…and after a quick online search, have discovered that they are available in the UK and Canada after being introduced in the 90’s, although I haven’t seen them myself…yet!) They are liberally coated in Berbere spice (an Ethiopian spice concoction which I will also be adding to my pantry) and drizzled with an aioli, which has been made with honey mustard, providing the perfect balance of salty/sweet. The most inspired of the ingredients however are the fried curry leaves that are scattered over the top – something that I am going to be doing myself to use up these delicious leaves. Let me tell you – these are addict-worthy chips.
If you live in Auckland, I am SO SO jealous. I am already plotting my return trip to NZ at Christmas and praying that they are still on the menu.
Odettes Eatery 90 Wellesley St W, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand