Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tapas at Zibibbo

Last night we decided to have a special treat and head out for dinner (on a weeknight and everything!), and we've been meaning to try the tapas at Zibibbo, which is just around the corner from us, for a while. They have a tapas platter which is $34.50 (designed for two to share) and on Tuesday they include a glass each of the house wine or tap beer.

I have to apologise immensely for the photos, now; I'm sorry they're so awful but as I think I mentioned our camera has gone to be repaired and my iPhone sadly doesn't take the best photos, and also lacks a flash, which would have helped immensely in the delightfully mood-lit (but oh-so-inconvenient for food blogging!) Zibibbo.

The tapas platter consists of nine items, which I didn't do an excellent job of recording; chicken liver pate; figs wrapped in proscuitto; marinated olives; chorizo marinated with prawns; groper and parsley fritters; ceviche; plus some risotto-ball-type things (though not the same as the suppli they do so well on the bar menu); delicious morsels which were about the consistency of stuffing but much, much better tasting (and I love stuffing!); and another pate dish (if you would call it that) but with fish.

The chicken liver pate was amazing, though too rich to eat all of. It came with mission fig jam - sweet and perfectly paired with the pate - and cheese straws which were flaky and moreish and gone far too quickly. I always love olives, so they went down a treat. The figs were tasty, with a bit of blue cheese as well. The ceviche was a nice change from most of the dishes; it was light and refreshing so was a good thing to try somewhere in the middle. The groper and parsley balls were fantastic, crispy on the outside, soft and flavoursome inside. Why do deep-fried things always taste so good? ;-) The fish pate was really nice - I don't think it sounds nice in theory but in actuality it was very tasty and we ate it all up. The chorizo and prawn wasn't my favourite but was still nice - but I'm not a huge prawn fan and maybe my tastebuds were dulled by all the other flavours but I wasn't dazzled. Overall I think the groper and parsley, the chicken liver pate, and the olives were my top picks - but they were all great and fantastic value, considering we both got a glass of wine too!

Mr Cake wanted to try a cocktail (another thing they're very good at - last time I was there for work drinks I had an amazing drink called "Toblerone". Guess the theme!) and I wanted to try the dessert tapas - yup, they have a dessert tapas platter too. So we ordered that (and Mr Cake got himself a very tropical seeming cocktail with lots of juice from the "experimental" menu).

From left to right ('scuse photo!); feijoa creme brulee; marshmallowy custardy thing (okay, it had a fancy name I didn't recognise and can't spell); citrus jelly; berry sorbet (in super cute mini cones!); and chocolate mousse. They were all fantastic - so good we had the battle of the chocolate mousse because we both wanted more than our share!

The creme brulee had a nice, subtle hint of feijoa, and also a piece of stewed feijoa at the bottom for some texture. The little financier with it was moist and soft and lovely.

The eggy thing was soft and marshmallowy on top, with a little gooey yolk, and then custardy stuff underneath (that is a real egg shell, in case you were wondering).

The citrus jelly was topped with a layer of chocolatey stuff (mousse, but much lighter than the chocolate mousse dish). It was so full of flavour - definitely the best jelly I've ever tasted. I got to this before Mr Cake and was definitely tempted to just keep eating till it was gone!

The berry sorbet in teeny tiny scoops on teeny tiny cones definitely scored on cute factor, and was also zingy and refreshing - Mr Cake loved this.

And last, but certainly, certainly not least - the chocolate mousse. Soooo decadent and rich and smooth - and topped with two little light-as-air donuts, dusted with cinnamon sugar. Put my efforts to shame!

The whole meal was great - we ate in the bar, and though it was rowdy when we arrived most of the people there were waiting to be seated in the restaurant and we ended up being the sole customers for most of the meal. My favourite thing about Zibibbo (and the food is excellent, so take that and add some for how good this is) is the service. Without exception the staff I've dealt with have been friendly and helpful, and go out of their way to ensure everything is fine. I've been there a couple of times for drinks and once you're seated at a table with a drink in front of you they usually bring complimentary nibbles to whet your appetite - which is so nice.

Thanks for a lovely evening, Zibibbo - we'll be back!

Zibibbo is located in the old police building at 25-29 Taranaki Street, ph 04 385 6650,

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