Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Clare Inn Irish Pub

I've written a lot of reviews about eateries on Dominion Road.  Yes, it is close to where I live, but mostly it's because there are a lot of truly great places to eat there, seemingly more than in other areas.  Yesterday, we had a late lunch once again at our local Clare Inn Irish Pub.  It can have dusty cutlery, and loud music on certain nights, but its consistently delicious mains were such a contrast from our previous night's mediocre experience only a stone's throw away in Kingsland that I just have to write about it.

We've walked past this pub many times before.  However, not being great drinkers, it took a positive review in a newspaper before I could convince anyone to eat there with me.  We were not disappointed.  The interior furnishings and service at the Clare Inn is exactly what you would expect in any pub, but the main dishes we have tried have always exceeded our expectations: absolutely delicious, well presented and also very reasonably priced.

The offerings include familiar favourites, such as a Sunday Roast Special or a Mushroom and Blue Cheese Risotto.  These are what you might make at home, but are well executed and beautifully decorated with fresh herbs or a similar garnish.

Chef's Special: Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and all the Trimmings
Mushroom Risotto with Spinach, Blue Cheese and Parmesan
Then there are more exotic dishes, such as the Slow Roast Duck with Pickled Beetroot, Courgette & Parsnip Fritter and Blood Orange Marmalata.  The friend who ordered this was literally bouncing up and down with excitement after having a bite.

Slow Roast Duck with Pickled Beetroot, Courgette & Parsnip Fritter with Blood Orange Marmalata
Even the dishes which sound somewhat strange manage to taste surprisingly good.  We were unsure about the "smoked salmon wontons" served with the Fish of the Day, but they went well with the panfried blue warehou and the blue cheese coleslaw.

Fish of the Day: Panfried Blue Warehou with Hot Smoked Salmon Wontons and Blue Cheese and Fennel Coleslaw
After these beautiful choices have put you into a happy humour, stop eating.  The desserts may sound tempting, and they certainly aren't bad, but they are nowhere near the standard of the mains.  Your waistline will thank you for it, and there's only one tea (a strong Irish Breakfast) you could have had with your pudding anyway.

Panda Recommends

Mains: Chef's Special: Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and all the Trimmings ($19), Fish of the Day: Panfried Blue Warehou with Hot Smoked Salmon Wontons and Blue Cheese and Fennel Coleslaw ($26), Slow Roast Duck with Pickled Beetroot, Courgette & Parsnip Fritter with Blood Orange Marmalata ($27.50), Eye Fillet Roasted with Two Mushroom Ragout, Garlic and Parsley Champ & Truffle Oil ($33.50)

Vegie Pandas
Not a great variety of options for you here.  The modified Pasta of the Day: Mushroom Risotto with Spinach, Blue Cheese and Parmesan ($16.50) was excellent though.

Main Menu

Bar Snacks Menu
Restaurant Details

Clare Inn Irish Pub
274 - 278 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
(09) 623 8233
manager@theclareinn.com

Opening hours:
Mondays to Saturdays 11am - late (officially 2am, but could close earlier)
Sundays 12pm - late


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