Today was our Anniversary.  14 years married, 20 years together.  We decided to go somewhere we hadn’t been before, yet had seen lots of our friends try over the recent Xmas holiday period.  So with the booking made earlier in the day, off to Soho we went for our Anniversary Dinner.

More reknown for its parties and bar, we walked into the industrial modern styled restaurant.  Lots of couch and relaxing area when we first got in, heading towards the back where we saw some tables set up near and past the bar.  With only a few couples seated, we grabbed a seat near the pool tables in the back after a polite hello from the staff member behind the bar.

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Within a few minutes of being seated, we were brought the drinks and food menus as well as a large bottle of water and glasses.  After a few more minutes to think over our drinks, we put in our orders of drinks.  Still thinking over our food at this stage as so many different things to choose from.

Drinks

I couldn’t resist the cocktail menu and love my feijoa juices, so got a ‘Take me home’  Cocktail ($12) as well as a feijoa juice ($4).  Hubby must have liked my choices as he picked the same.

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Yep, thats a 42 below vodka bottle being reused as a water bottle.  lol.  OMG that cocktail!!! 42 below, feijoa, passionfruit, lime.. yummmmm.  I could have had more, but being sensible I settled for my feijoa juice and the water once it was gone lol.

Entree

Remembering the deep fried camembert from our White house meal, hubby was in the mood for something cheesy, so checking out the menu we decided to share a tapa/sharing plate of Deep fried Mac & Cheese balls ($13)

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They arrived and were not small.  About 2-3 bites per ball.  However, with two of us, that meant 1 & a half each.. interesting way of sharing a ‘sharing’ plate.  Anyways, we each grabbed one and dipped it in the aioli, taking a bite before stopping and looking at each other.  With love… nope.. with amazement.. nope.. with.. disappointment.  Sadly the crumb was very oily and other than an occasional taste of cheese, the mac and cheese was bland and heavy.

Hmmm.. oh well.. Mains was still to come and we’d ordered some beauties!

Mains

They had a Seafood platter and it had so much on it that we just had to try it!  Even paua patties! So we ordered a Seafood platter to share ($65) and hubby also ordered the Grilled pork belly ($32).  It was our anniversary after all so we wanted to spoil ourselves.

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Wow!!! What a wicked looking presentation!  But some of the things that were listed on the menu were missing.. No oysters, No tiger prawns, no shrimp croquettes.. No discount either o.O  Well what was there did look delicious so we dug in. I absolutely loved the smoked salmon and seared tuna.  The soy dip had something special in it that worked so well with the tuna.  And of course I love the salt and pepper squid.  But that sadly is where my happiness ended.  The muscles didn’t taste fresh, the paua fritters were way too floury, the shrimps in garlic tasted like from frozen in a shop garlic butter and cold shrimp salad was watery (frozen maybe?)

Hubby wasn’t doing any better with the pork belly.  The meat was dry and no crisp on the skin or fat.  The avocado and lettuce leaves were nice and crisp and fresh but the bread crisp underneath was so greasy that neither of us could eat it.

Honestly, hubby and I were trying to eat it but often just sat there looking at each other as though, oh hell no.  After eating only the salmon, tuna and half the squid, plus only half of one of the pork belly pieces we shook our heads and gave up.  After spending so much money though we asked for doggy bags to take it home to see if the kids liked it.

Sadly, our kids gave the same critique that we did and that was without us saying a thing to them on our thoughts.

So what do we reckon?

Service – Minimal polite service.  Took a while to get our food order taken but meals were cooked quickly.

Presentation of venue – Very clean semi industrial venue.  Mostly known as a bar, but has good areas near wharf of Gisborne where you can sit on couches with friends or have meals with a friend or a small group.

Presentation of food – Gorgeous drink and mains presentation.  Very good portion size and would be good for a small group of friends who want to pick at a few things.

Length of meal – 1 hour 10 mins

Total cost – $142.00 (ouch)

Additional notes

  • Great location at Gisborne wharf area
  • Fantastic cocktails
  • 5 tables for couples, 3 for slightly larger groups as well as a couple of couches.
  • 2 pool tables for entertainment.

The Paua Award

This one took a bit of debate to settle on.  The cost vs the disappointment of the meal overall had us debating from 1 paua to 2 and a half.  The venue and food presentation was great but what good is how it looks if its not palatable.. so, we finally settled on 2/5 pauas.

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Their Details

Website – Soho

2 Crawford Road,
Gisborne 4010
06 868 3888

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