Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ebisu's Goat Cheese Roll in Auckland

If you have the time, as I did during a short layover back in Auckland, why not take an overpriced taxi ride from the airport to Ebisu? The cab driver had tried to con me into paying an exorbitant amount until I haggled and talked it down to a slightly more reasonable total, though it was still overpriced.

Located in a historic building in Auckland’s Britomart precinct, Ebisu was actually not my original choice, but a place called Fukuko, which got a higher rating on my list of Internet-researched picks. But for some reason, Fukuko, not exactly reflective of its online review, turned out to be a tiny and casual izakaya that only served Japanese tacos and snacks. But as luck would have it, Ebisu was by the same owner, and located right down the hall on the other side of the building.

Ebisu featured a full bar and a deejay booth, and although there was no sushi bar, its menu at least showcased sashimi, sushi rolls and nigiri, as well as tempura and side dishes.

I don’t know if it was the goat cheese topping that appealed to me, but a Seared Beef Roll with avocado, spring onion, black truffle, tobiko and goat cheese sounded really good. I am not unfamiliar with the pairing of sushi rice or meat with cheese; I have had bluefin tuna sashimi with Burrata cheese, which was delectable. I have loved almost all the Philadelphia Rolls ever served—you can’t really go wrong with combining cream cheese with raw or smoked salmon—and I have loved eel and avocado rolls with cream cheese added inside them, which you will see once in a while.

I have also had items at sushi bars paired with cheese that turned out to be not so delectable, like a Crab Mozzarella appetizer, or “The Cheese Roll” at a few generic sushi places that try hard to be Americanized. But goat cheese? Had to try it.

The creation was a tasty one, and the goat cheese was definitely the highlight, but the roll was a bit dry—a problem solved when I requested extra truffle oil on the side. Ebisu also features tasty real wasabi, which quizzically mixed well with the truffle oil.

116-118 Quay Street, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
+64 9 300 5271

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