Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Geraldine Johns passes verdict on Giles Luncheonette

CLEARLY, this is the launching pad for the Corporate-ati. It’s where the suited sorts fuel up before ascending Shortland Street for another important day. It’s where young women with heels as high as their calves manage to stand up straight.
   What a marvellous start for the lawyerly brigade. For that matter, what a marvellous opportunity – for anyone at any time – to relish in the delights that await at the base of the big city hill.
   Welcome to Giles. And welcome back Peter Chichester and Rekha Dayal: benchmark-setters of the food scene (Gala, Benediction, Metropole, Veranda Bar & Grill and Orleans). We have missed you. 
   Have they still got the right touch? They’ve certainly chosen a lovely spot: one at which we can gaze as much upon the goings-on outside as we can at the offerings within. 
   There is considerable relief to be had in the re-appearance of our old faves: the mother-in-law’s eggs ($14.50); the cute takes on the standard that elevate it beyond the norm without making it look stupid. Consider, for example, the side offering of a poached egg with an Ortiz anchovy ($4.50).

   A hungry woman is tempted by the latter but falls instead for the goats cheese and chive omelette ($16.50). Her sponsor opts for the aforementioned eggs. Had we not been so ambitious we could have happily scoffed any of the cabinet offerings: the freshest of breads stuffed with a zingy array of fillings. Or just supped on something from the coolest smoothie and juice selection.
   The main plates more than meet expectations. We are indeed a happy duo, as are the office escapees who surround us. There’s the likes of the guy next door who has just bought a book from Unity round the corner and is now devouring both it and his extraordinarily hearty lamb mince on toast ($16.50). A lovely combination.
   More buoyancy to this outing is added by the coffee: a wallopingly good example of Supreme. It’s so good we’ll have another. We pass on the sweetest temptation of chocolate fudge cake that beckons.
   Coming to Giles is like being back in the company of an old friend who greets you and treats you as such, but who has kept the relationship alive by adding a newness and freshness to their life, in the form of food. You, like its habitues, would do yourself justice by attending.

21 Shortland Street,
Auckland CBD
Phone: (09) 309 6056
Hours: 7 – 4 Mon to Fri; 8 – 3 Sat

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