Monday, 19 August 2013

WOAP lunch: Astoria

Wellington on a Plate continues this week. Today's lunch was at Astoria, a bustling café in Midland Park on Lambton Quay. The $15 lunch menu has two courses. There is also a burger option available.

Astoria is usually very full and I was wary about getting a table for six during a busy lunch hour, but was assured that we wouldn't need to book as their staff keep tables moving efficiently. I got there a few minutes earlier anyway and was really impressed with the service. Although the café wasn't so full today, staff quickly pushed two tables together and reserved them for our group while I waited for everybody outside. Fantastic!

The two courses are served together on a large plate, with a mug of roasted pumpkin soup with Lot Eight olive oil and herb and parmesan croutons to begin with. As a huge pumpkin soup fan, I was keen to try this. The soup was steaming hot and I needed to let it cool awhile before eating it so I began with the burger instead and came back to the soup later. The croutons soaked into the soup, making it thicker and leaving a very sweet flavour. Lovely!

The main course is Island Bay Butchery sloppy joes on a soft Astoria bap with housemade coleslaw and pickles. This was my first experience with sloppy joes and, given that I'm not the most coordinated burger eater in the best of times, I wasn't sure where to begin so did my usual hack job of deconstructing the burger and eating it bit by bit. This meant that I got to appreciate each of the individual ingredients. The housemade toasted bap was very good.

Pumpkin soup and sloppy joes
A great tasting lunch that's good value for money.

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