A conveyor belt of new openings is creating an exciting hospitality scene in central Auckland- and needless to say, Odette’s is doing a pretty good job of contributing to this. Odette’s is the newest improvement to the City Works Depot on Wellesley Street. City Works, as a small grouping of eating establishments, excels in its variety. Odette’s provides a completely different experience to the area, if not the outright best so far. Taking over the space Miss Pings occupied over summer it was definitely going to take a flamboyant new opening to live up to the standard set by its predecessor.
The showmanship starts before you enter with the large Hollywood-esque lettering above the entrance. Colourful and precise, an expansive dining room is dressed up as if it were a showroom. The interior feels very intentional with details added to make you feel as if you are a part of the showroom itself not just an alien observer. The seating is lush and welcomes you for a lengthy stay; we easily spent two hours over lunch. The feel of the place definitely fills out a warehouse-like space that could have easily seemed hollow or cavernous. Although definitely carefully constructed, the interior design was warm, welcoming.
Following with the theme of exuberance the menu is split into three- morning, noon and night- and the options invite intrigue. The tapas style doesn’t buck the trend, but the food itself does. We started with the scallops and confit pork hock complimented well by mandarin, beef cheek fritters with chipotle nestled amongst charred leek, and a decadent soft shell crab slider. Some items definitely left you wondering how they do it, often asking ourselves if it was possible- technically. Like the duck pastrami, how do you get duck pastrami? Hats off to the chefs. The scallops were amazingly succulent, as you would expect, and the sliders are a must try. Given that I'm a sucker for soft shell crab I was damn excited by these sliders- everything I expected and more, like happiness in a soft bun. The food was fantastic but the bill was not, although on the pricey side for the quantities served I would definitely come back no questions asked.
The service was calm and friendly. Clearly confident in the supreme quality of their product, for being open for such a short amount of time our waitress knew her stuff. The staff could be relaxed and fade into service while the boldness of the setting could be left to stand out. It’s quiet and calm, makes you feel at home and want to put your feet up while marvelling at what is one of the most pristine of interior designs of all the new openings we have seen. The place would make for an awesome date spot, if a relaxed and refined inner city escape is what you’re after then Odette’s will not let you down. A fantastic experience which I would rush back to repeat.
All Photo Credit // Andre Kong Photography