Jun 18, 2022 Restaurants
Whenever I get a notification in Metro’s #food Slack channel, my assumption is always the same: another restaurant has closed. Against this financial morbid mood, recently office conversation has also included updates as to what was happening next door to our perennial favourite, Eden Noodles, on Dominion Rd. Many had speculated as to what would go in the empty storefront, long hoped to become an annex to the seemingly-always-full dining space of one of the very best noodle joints in the city. Would a competitor dare open up next door only to be crushed by that unstoppable force? Or could something thrive there, helping turn the block into a less singular food destination?
Then, some time in February, a sign went up — Goldie, a “modern, healthy, posh roast shop” was looking for staff. This made immediate sense. Maybe this was a long-held dream but it seemed entirely possible that some chef sat down and thought, What kind of food makes sense now? What kind of service makes sense now? What kind of business model makes sense now?
And what they came up with may be a perfect Covid-times hospitality business. Simple, hearty, comforting food that is made primarily to take away. (There is a small amount of bench seating on bright yellow picnic tables, which is comfortable, but more geared towards dining and dashing than lingering over a family roast dinner — plus there’s no wine, so if that’s an important part of a roast meal for you, takeaways it is). It feels tailor made both for those who can’t be bothered cooking, or for dropping on the doorstep of someone in isolation. It’s deceptively simple food that tastes less like a restaurant meal and more like what your friend with the collection of Ottolenghi cookbooks might make for you. This is no coincidence — the chef/owner’s first job out of cooking school was at an Ottolenghi restaurant, and the second post of Goldie’s Instagram account was of a pile of Ottolenghi cookbooks.
As a “posh roast shop” (sorry, I can’t use the word ‘posh’ without attribution or scare quotes, but I get what they mean, and while this is not The Gilded Age or anything, it’s pretty accurate) you can choose between proteins (chicken, pork, lamb or squid), a selection of salads (mix-and-match style in different carton sizes), sides (potato, kumara, fries, cauliflower cheese, carrots and parsnip, and halloumi).
The chicken comes in quarter, half or full and is miraculously cooked — charred enough on the skin to give a full, forward flavour, but still juicy on the inside, avoiding either the dryness of most rotisserie chickens or the sogginess that can come from a roast not made to order. We chose the lemon and herb version, though I look forward to trying the tandoori.
Similarly, the pork shoulder (which, like the lamb, is sold in single-person servings) is cooked perfectly for transportation, moist and soft enough to avoid any toughness but not so slowly cooked that it turns into a quasi-pulled pork, which while delicious is not what you want in a roast. The crispy skin was perfect, with a candy-ish hardness that gave way before it became teeth threatening, and the side of roast apple was so soft it became almost unrecognisable — a near-puree in a container of the intact skin.
The lamb, while delicious, was only slightly less satisfying. Cooked for 12 hours, the flavour was strong and well-seasoned, cooked to a buttery softness, but was served in small chunks that felt too pre-cut, like a parent does for their child, so lacked the hunk of meat quality that the pork has in spades.
The vegetable sides are all highly recommended, especially together if you’re eating with a group (though we didn’t try the cauliflower as we were told the produce was too expensive at the moment — fair enough). The duck fat potatoes are crispy to the edge of hardness, but soften nicely with the liquidous and flavourful gravy. The parsnips (which come with carrots) were soft, sweet and appealing, as were the baby kumara, all of which paired perfectly with the super crisp potatoes. We also couldn’t go past trying the fries which are battered and even crispier than the potatoes — the kids loved them but as enjoyable as they were, felt out of place when putting together the meal as a whole. As did the halloumi, served in a sticky, sweet and slightly spicy sauce, which sogged a little too much in the car ride home. Perhaps the halloumi is best as a protein with salad (and probably best of all eaten in) rather than as a side to a meaty main.
The salads are where — at their best — the Ottolenghi vibe comes out the most (while the meat is flavourful and tends to come with lemon, it doesn’t have that heavily spiced/rubbed/acid-forward vibe that Ottolenghi’s meat dishes tend to). The aubergine with tomato and quinoa was dressed in tahini and is the option I’d return to fastest (it is, for vegetarians, also the best stand alone salad which could be eaten on it’s own). Perhaps I got it too late in the day, but the chargrilled broccoli with peas was dry by the time I ate it, needing the overflow dressing from the other salads to pick it up. But the peanut coleslaw was perfect for that — bright and sweet with a light smack of heat from a chilli oil dressing — especially when accompanied by some meat or potatoes.
And that’s really where Goldie is at it’s best — meat and potatoes (and kumara and carrots and parsnip and definitely gravy). While, yes, it’s new and still figuring things out a little, it’s already doing exactly what it needs to — providing comfort, convenience and nourishment, right at the time when we need those things the most.
Address 103 DOMINION RD, MOUNT EDEN
Contact 027 216 143
Hours TUES-SUN, 11AM–9PM
MEATS $14; CHICKEN $12-35; VEGETABLES $10-14; SALADS $12-22