We came here because The Black Hoof is not only the newest tapas bar to open in town, but is created by an experienced and passionate team formerly of Waiheke Island's Casita Miro. We were interested to see how they would transform the venue, which has housed a number of failed restaurants, including a Mexican one, an Asian fusion one, and very briefly, a place serving Uighur cuisine.
The menu was on one page, with sufficient Spanish words to make it exotic and exciting. The four main sections were Charcuteria, Queso, Tapas and Dulce. The dishes offered were varied, with meats, seafood, rice and vegetable options.
The setting was beautiful, with high ceilings, swinging chandeliers, polished wooden floors, and handmade tables. The brick walls also gave it an inviting warmth.
|Legs of jamón ibérico above the bar area.|
The service was friendly, and suited to the casual atmosphere. You help yourself to cutlery and serviettes from a flower pot on the table, which means a spoon for soup can get overlooked.
What we ate included:
- bread with extra virgin olive oil and romesco ($8) - the nutty red capsicum sauce was tasty, and the loaf proved very helpful for accompanying some of the other dishes we had.
- gazpacho verde ($6) - the green chilled soup was refreshing, but also rather tangy, so that it was difficult to have more than a little sip at a time.
|Gazpacho verde, and bread and dips.|
- Southland clams with jamon, farro and fino sherry ($14) - this came in quite a salty broth, which went well with the bread we had.
- chicharrones: crunchy pork, fennel seeds, lemon & parsley ($16) - the flesh of the pork belly was amazingly tender and just barely clung to the crispy skin. A wedge of lemon helped to cut through the fat, but it was good to have some bread on hand too. This dish alone is worth visiting the eatery for.
- roasted cauliflower with kale, pine nuts, sherried raisins and anchovies ($9) - sweet and salty at the same time, this is a good way to eat your vegetables.
- copa de chocolate with PX prunes, cocoa crumbs, candied orange ($12) - excellent blend of flavours and textures, this is a smooth, creamy, chocolate dessert dressed up with sweet sherry, crunchy biscuit crumbs, chewy prunes and strips of intense orange flavour.
|Copa de chocolate.|
Overall, The Black Hoof is a great choice for a casual lunch or dinner. Some dishes did not inspire us, but other ones were magnificent. And we haven't even tried the namesake of the restaurant yet.
The Black Hoof
12 Wyndham Street, Auckland Central
(09) 366 1271