Sure, they’ve got one of the best terraces in town. Sure, they know how to put on a damn fine Sunday session. Sure, you can go there at any time on any given day knowing that the atmosphere will be buzzing. But the one thing we can never, ever go past at Soul Bar & Bistro is the unfailingly delicious food. Given that Executive Chef Gavin Doyle has crafted some sensational new dishes for spring, we felt it a good time to let you in on how to best order from the menu. Behold, our top three picks.
1. The Hawke’s Bay lamb rack with pepitas, salt baked kumara, cultured cream & za’atar
Doyle himself has admitted that this is his favourite main on the menu right now. The world famous cut of meat is cooked sous vide and served medium. It’s a succulent piece of juicy, tasty heaven, accompanied by red kumara which is salt-baked then re-fried per order. “The salt bake keeps the moisture in the spud, so when its re-fried it’s moist, crispy, salty and naturally sweet,” says Doyle. It is then dressed in house pickled jalapeños, garlic shoots, garlic chips, pepitas and seasoned with za’atar spice for a serious flavour kick. But wait, there’s more. The base of the plate is dressed with cultured cream (similar to crème faîche) which adds a creamy, richness to this incredible dish.
2. Green Goddess salad (ft. peas, edamame, broccolini, avocado, crispy quinoa furikake)
This has quietly been a long-time favourite dish of the Denizen team, and it certainly remains that way as we endeavour to make healthier choices in the lead-up to summer. The salubrious medley of peas, edamame, broccolini, avocado, cashews, coriander, crispy quinoa furikake is pulled together by a big smear of ‘Goddess dressing’ made from coriander, parsley, lime, cashew nuts, extra virgin olive oil and green Tabasco. Seasonings of lemon and maple vinaigrette add a touch of tang and sweetness to the generous dish, which will likely boggle the eater at how something can be so delicious and yet remain so healthy.
3. Sichuan butternut with lemon crème fraîche
Another hot pick of Doyle’s is this simple and super tasty side dish. Butternut pumpkin is pre-cooked in the steamer then refried per order, after which it is seasoned well with salt and dressed in a house made Sichuan sauce (made from chilli paste, yellow bean paste, garlic, ginger and yellow rock sugar). “The spicy sauce pairs so well with pumpkin because of its natural sweetness,” says Doyle. “It’s then cooled by the lemon crème fraîche… Salty, sweet, heat and creaminess — it’s a winning combination.”
To book a table at Soul Bar & Bistro, click here.
Soul Bar & Bistro
16-18/Lower Hobson Street and Customs St W
(09) 356 7249