Food lovers rejoice because American Express Restaurant Month is here!
From 1-31 August, American Express Restaurant Month celebrates Auckland CBD’s diverse dining scene, offering 25 unique dining events and the chance to experience over 100 special menus, priced at $25, $40 and $55+.
It is also a great opportunity to step outside the box and eat odd – try a food you wouldn’t normally eat and have a whole lot of fun doing it!
Last Sunday, a friend and I were invited to dine at SOUL. In honor of Restaurant Month this year, SOUL goes NOLA! They have a limited edition menu which is inspired by the colours, textures, flavours and food trends of New Orleans! The SOUL goes NOLA menu will be available until 26 August for both lunch and dinner, for just $40 per person for a two-course meal or $50 including dessert. It’s bold, it’s funky, it’s pure southern deliciousness!
We indulged in their $50 three course lunch, matched with their Restaurant Month special cocktail featuring house-made limoncello, fig and thyme cocktail and two Church Road wines – McDonald Series Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. I particularly enjoyed their Fried Chicken with Hot Sauce Aioli, Creole Lamb Shoulder and Black Bottom Key Lime Pie.
Here’s a peek of the dishes we tried:
To start: ‘It’s about fig and thyme cocktail’ with house-made limoncello, fig, thyme, lemon and tonic. Lovely refreshing cocktail with strong flavours. A great start to our lunch!
Fried chicken with mint and hot sauce aioli. Wasn’t expecting to see fried chicken on Soul’s menu, but was presently surprised. And, my oh my, the chicken was beautifully cooked – juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside. I could have eaten another two plates!
Gem lettuce with calabrian chilli, soft herbs and cornbread crumb. This is the only vegetarian option on the menu, and to be honest, it is a strange one. A plate of piled high lettuce and topped with cornbread crumb (we enjoyed this), but drenched in sauce! We had to send it back to the kitchen and ask for the sauce to be on the side, because, wow, it was way too much!
For mains: When it came to order our mains, we were told that the Monkfish ‘Fisherman’s Style’ with Collard Greens was not available! We were both disappointed by this as we were looking forward to trying this dish. Never fear, we did enjoy the other two main dishes on the menu. These included:
Cajun chicken with fat rice and pickled jalapeño. The chicken was perfectly cooked and it had a great kick! We also loved the addition of edamame beans.
Creole lamb shoulder with hushpuppies and celery. This dish was beautiful – the lamb fell off the bone and was melt in your mouth. As for the hushpuppies, well, like the Fried Chicken, I could have eaten two bowls of them!
For dessert: Black Bottom Key Lime Pie
Beignets filled with Peanut Butter and Jerk Caramel
The Black Bottom Key Lime Pie is one of the best desserts I have eaten this year.
It was amazing. Seriously. Dreamy lime curd, crunchy base and perfectly piped meringue. What more could you ask for in a dessert? A note to you all – you have until the end of August to enjoy this beauty, so get there quick!
The second dessert – Beignets filled with peanut butter and jerk caramel, or fancy deep fried dough balls, were tasty, but nothing to write home about… I would skip this dessert and order two Black Bottom Key Lime Pies instead!
Food aside, service was friendly and attentive – we couldn’t fault a thing! A special thanks to our waitress, Faye, who was amazing! The atmosphere was also buzzing and the setting always a highlight. Think spectacular waterfront views, that take in the super yachts and boats, plus it felt like Spring with the pretty white flowers hanging above.
The SOUL goes NOLA menu is available the whole month of August and costs $40 per person for a two-course meal or $50 including dessert. Plus you can enjoy two glasses of Church Road wine for $18 per person or give their Restaurant Month cocktail a whirl for a cheeky $10.
For more information about American Express Restaurant Month and a full list of events, click here.