131 Smith Street
UPDATE: March 2012 - Huxtaburger for lunch and Huxtable for dinner.
I can’t get enough of Huxtable. Delicious food and gorgeously plated, especially their desserts. It’s cosy and has a good feel. Co-owner and chef Daniel Wilson is behind the counter all night.
They do two seatings each night. Their menu is short and simple. You have an array of small bites, followed by sharing plates categorised under land, earth and sea.
Rice Flour Crusted Oyster Po’Boy, Iceberg, Sriracha Mayo ($6.5)
I was underwhelmed by the presentation, but you really can’t judge a book by its cover. The bread had a delicious crunch to it, followed with a soft chewy bite, delicious mayo coated iceberg, and those beautiful oysters. A delicate crispy coating over fresh juicy oysters.
Tempura Eggplant Prawn Fritter, Shiso ($5.5)
A light crispy tempura coating a savoury fresh prawn paste, with a slightly bouncy texture. The dipping sauce with fish sauce flavours gave the fritter an extra kick.
Steamed Tofu with Chilli, Ginger & Black Bean Dressing ($4.5)
The warm tofu is simple, and I wouldn’t have minded more of the fragrant dressing, which was light and didn’t overpower the delicate tofu.
Steamed Crab & Corn Rice Noodle with XO Chilli ($5.5)
A silky rice noodle layer wrapped around crab morsels with ginger flavours, and a vibrant chilli dressing. Each mouthful had a good proportion of both rice noodles and crab.
One thing I love about Huxtable’s small dishes are how cleanly and neatly each one can be eaten with your cutlery. You don’t have to worry about taking the whole thing in one mouthful. You can take a small spoonful with a bit of everything, and savour each mouthful slowly, with the remaining looking as pristine as ever, and not collapsing into bits and pieces.
John Dory, Szechuan Eggplant, Enoki Mushrooms & Garlic Chips ($24)
The John Dory was fresh and firm, yet silky to the palate. Seated on a bed of slightly cold szechuan eggplant and enoki mushrooms. The eggplant, mushroom and diced long beans were accompanied with a slightly sour tangy szechuan sauce.
Crisp NZ King Salmon, Pomelo, Peanut & Chilli Salad ($29)
The king salmon was beautifully cooked. Crispy skin, a gorgeous golden coating reveals luscious coral flesh hidden within, which fell apart easily and went perfectly with the punchy pomelo and peanut salad. The lime wedge was a core component, beautifully fragrant and heightened the flavours of the dish.
Korean BBQ Pork Ribs, Spicy Slaw & Chilli Gherkin ($19)
I don’t particularly love pork, and yet for some reason I find myself drawn towards it, craving the gorgeous sticky crackling and this did not disappoint. Three pieces of ribs coated in a slightly spicy sauce, the crackling was chewy and sticky, a beautiful soft layer of fat nestled between the crackling and the pork flesh. The slaw was not at all spicy but the ribs make up for it and I loved the gherkins.
Rhubarb Jam Doughnuts, Orange Blossom Custard & Yoghurt Sorbet ($14)
Note: This dessert has a 15 minute waiting period as they are freshly made to order. Well worth the wait.
Huxtable plates exquisite desserts. The jam doughnuts are light and fluffy, with the right amount of sweet rhubarb jam filling in the middle. I started with the cutlery provided. But eventually I couldn’t resist and I picked one up with my fingers, enjoying the feel of its warm sugar dusted texture, dipped it in the smooth creamy orange blossom custard, and took each bite with a touch of the silky icy cold yoghurt sorbet. A wonderful marriage of flavours. I thought I couldn’t love this dish more until I nibbled on the little rhubarb decorations. A finespun candied rhubarb lay across the sorbet, and the dainty rhubarb slices resting between the doughnut and the sorbet, was sour with an underlying sweetness and had a delectable bite to it.
One of the patrons next to us ordered the Dark Chocolate Delice, Jaffa, Raspberry Sorbet & Pistachio and it looked fantastic.
Huxtable slowly coaxes and builds you up from the first course, all the way through to the final course, and the desserts are an absolute showstopper, the perfect way to end the night.