Monday, January 27, 2014

Ten Twenty Four Restaurant

During our trip to Hawke's Bay we met up with cousins Rodney, Nicki and Georgia for lunch at Ten Twenty Four. It was a lovely hot day, and this restaurant is perfect for al fresco eating in the lovely courtyard full of flower pots. The indoor seating is equally lovely, with lots of flowers. To me the decor of a restaurant comes second to the flower compositions, vases and floral display, those daily touches that really speak of care and passion. I would love to know who pick the flowers for 1024! 

While we were waiting for our meal we received the complementary amuse-bouch, I cannot remember the description but everybody liked the passion fruit drink which bubbled and exploded repetitively in a  puff of white smoke. The kids too enjoyed this, although their glasses didn't have alcohol and the bubble/smoke effect wasn't the same. There was also a verrine with miso and a melon and vegetable aspic which was pretty and interesting, but didn't score any points. Possibly it needed more 'zest' ?

As usual I will report only on the vegetarian dishes, which is what we had. Max found his ideal starter with the baked to order fresh tortilla with avocado and 'Romesco' (not quite sure what that was, maybe it was the cheese? Pecorino Romano?). Anyway, he loved it and it was a generous portion too.

Arantxa had the Cracked Pepper Lavosh Parmigiana (and this had parmesan). 

I had the same as Rodney, the purple basil scones, but these were not on the menu so I am not sure what the green-bluish sauce was, it tasted like some kind of kale or seaweed and it was delicious.

Georgia had the Sake scrambled eggs in toasted nori roll and miring cured carrot puree, again a generous portion that could have almost been a main.

After all the veggie choices for starters there was only one for main: Grilled Aubergine Laska with coconut cream and kaffir lime. Lovely buttered Pakowhai new corn was offered at our table, and the kids love it! They also ate the laska even if it was a little spicy, but they are used to different cuisines, spices and the so called 'fine dining' (no children's menu for them, they are curious gourmands!).

And this is the close up of our main, there were so many things in it that I wondered if it was a 'one-off' or if it reproduced exactly for diners on other days. At the bottom there were both pasta and another grain, topped with the grilled spiced eggplant, and then dried citrus (orange?) and a citrus sauce. I am usually quite good at guessing ingredients, but there were too many here. Still, I enjoyed this and it was fun and different from the mostly boring vegetarian mains that far too many restaurants insist on serving.

For dessert Georgia had marshmallow chocolate ravioli on creme Anglaise, I didn't try them as I am never sure if the marshmallow is vegetarian, but they looked intriguing (and she loved them!).

Nicki and the kids had the chocolate truffles, and they were decadent and yum! I was too full and just had coffee.

Owner-Chef Kent Baddeley obviously has fun doing what he is doing, and the atmosphere of the place (which is fancy but not pretentious) compels diners to try even the strangest concoctions without passing judgment, but just for fun. Arantxa even has a photo of us showing off our colorful dirty serviettes (golly, the fish eater had electric blue sauce smeared all over)!

All in all it was a great meal and experience, I could define it like 'rustic-fine dining', and reasonably priced too, with plenty of local fresh ingredients. So yes, I would recommend it happily, otherwise I wouldn't be here writing all this :-). In fact I don't usually do restaurant reviews in this blog, and just post pictures of the dishes (mostly for the benefit of traveling Vegetarians). But on our way out Nicki saw the chef and run up to him to introduce me like a famous food blogger! Lol, no escape!

So here we are Kent, posing for the camera! Thank you for a lovely meal, and if I am back in Hastings I'll definitely come again and see what you dished up for the day! In the meantime I'll follow your blog :-)!

Ten Twenty Four
1024 Pakowhai Rd, just out of Hastings,
ph: 06-870 6440,

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

I am editing this because I forgot to say that on 26 January I logged in at 2pm (via a Pinterest pin about Tonga) and I saw that the page views for this month (last 30 days) reached exactly 100,000! I took a screen shot to celebrate, here it is. Thank you all for visiting this blog!

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