We’d just checked into our hotel and were hungry. Problem is, when check-in time is 3pm on Sunday, you can have a lot of trouble finding a good place to eat. Good thing we were staying just next door to Depot then, they’re open from 7am everyday. In another stroke of luck, Depot is relatively quiet at 3pm on a Sunday. We didn’t have any trouble getting a table for two.
First up was the water. Yes, I would like to make a comment about the water. Designed to fit in with the casual, rustic theme, the cups also do a great job of keeping the water ice cold. Small detail perhaps, but I can’t tell you how many times water comes to the table at some middling temperature that does nothing to slake a parched throat. I might track down a cup like that myself for the summer months.
Then came the pita bread and hummus, which is complimentary. Unfortunately, I was so hungry at this point I forgot to wear my blogger hat and just ripped into the bread. It was very much a case of “Mmm… this is really good, what was in that? Let’s take another bite and have a think, uh, whoops, all gone.”
Depot’s beer menu is nice and eclectic, and I really appreciated the nice little glasses they were served in too. Mrs P’s wine was served in a glass that gave me flashbacks to cordial and ginger beer from my grandparents’ house when I was a kid (actual flashbacks, they did have this exact glass). Wine’s not something I can get into in a big way, but I can imagine that many diners would be divided over having theirs served in this fashion.
Onto the food. First plate into the ring was carrying smoked brisket tortillas w/chipotle, pickled onions and ‘eAlmonds.’ Most of the show stopping luchador flair is in the chipotle and ‘eAlmonds.’ When you’re introduced to those Frankensteiner and Hurricanrana moves up front, it’s harder to take the grappling moves of the brisket and pickled onions on their own. I advise bites that takes in all parts of the tortilla and its ingredients from top to bottom. Don’t be tempted to bite the delicious top off first.
Up next were the sliders. Usually they’re snapper sliders, but this time they were turbot. Nice crispy skin, just enough taste of the sea to season without getting overly fishy or feel like you’ve taken a mouthful of salt water, topped off with an effortlessly uplifting pickled lemon mayo and watercress. The lemon mayo delivered all the flavour and character of an acerbic wit delivered with a creamy English accent. I’d also like to add that both the tortillas and sliders usually come in threes. Our waiter was kind enough to offer an extra portion for both so that we didn’t have to try to split the third one in two.
Lastly we were graced with the crispy potato skins. Where they were crispiest, they hit with the crunch of a mean offensive linesman or Richie McCaw in his prime. As you can see from the photos, some of the skins definitely went further than skin deep. This way there’s a little for both camps, those who like very crispy skins and those who like something with a little more wedge character. I can’t help my tendencies, I really missed having some sort of sauce to go with them. Maybe next time I’ll ask if I can get some extra chipotle sauce to go with them.
So a very good start to our evening, and even with the small nature of the plates, very filling. If you’re a couple, it might even be more worthwhile to get a couple of cramped stools at the bar, pushed to cosy into each other and share sticky fingered memories over some great food. Not only that, for the more casual guy, you can still take your date out for some great food without being forced to dress to the nines. Also, if you look closely at the plate your potato skins are served on, you might learn something about the finer points of engine manufacture. Good stuff.