Oyster & Chop - review
Market Square, Viaduct.
Hours: Seven days, 11.30am till late.
Dinner bill: starters $19-$23 (oysters $22-$28 half dozen); mains $28-$42; desserts $10-$15.
Opted for an Auckland staycation this festive season? And why wouldn’t you? Silo Park, Mitre 10, the little tram in the Wynyard Quarter… they’re all yours, for a while. The neighbours and their paddleboard-topped 4×4 are a dot on the horizon, their hydrangea bush left temptingly unguarded. Even the chirps of birds barely disrupt the pleasant quiet that’s fallen over the city.
But the tourists are still here. The cruise ships arrive every day over summer and some of the passengers end up eating at the Viaduct. You can understand why. It’s one of the only places in the city with a buzz at this time of year, its nautical aspect providing instant holiday charm.
I tried to remember this when reviewing Oyster & Chop, media mogul Julie Christie’s waterfront restaurant that until October was known as The Foodstore. Both iterations seem to have been purpose-built for tourists and corporate lunches — they’re sensible, safe and slightly devoid of personality.
Oyster & Chop is, however, more self-assured. Ex-Jervois Steak House chef Darren Lim is now running the kitchen, and brings with him JSH’s choose-your-own-steak-and-sauce approach. Gone are the distracting omnipresent Foodstore television screens and the bright red doors; in their place, a simple black-and-cream aesthetic and a suggestion you should be … continue reading
This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of Metro. Words by Alice Harbourne, photo by Ken Downie.