Biff Guevara: Kermadec's - A Restaurant Review
Kermadec's A Restaurant Review
by Scoop food critic Biff Guevara
I was extremely pleased to get a table for lunch at the Auckland restaurant Kermadec, a place where the food has become legendary.
As I entered I was immediately struck; there was a scuffle as a staff member was being escorted from the premises. I asked a spotty waiter what was happening, and he told me it was one of the 23 managers leaving.
Once inside I was pleased to leave the fishy smell behind me. Kermadec's is also clearly a place to be seen; journalists queued outside interviewing patrons and TVNZ seemed to have a mobile studio parked out back. Someone who could have been Richard Marshall was taking a doggy bag to eat during a surveillance at an Auckland house.
I was very impressed, Scoop had obviously tipped off the restaurant, as I was told as I arrived that my lunch would be complementary.
Even given this, the experience was less than satisfactory. The rot set in when I started to order. I asked after Terakihi but was told this "Asian fish" was unavailable.
Looking through the menu I asked for a description of the tangled net special, I was told it was naïve fish caught by a company owned by the owners of the restaurant that had tried to escape but got into more and more trouble as they struggled. In the end I decided against getting involved with this.
As I waited I noticed that the clocks on either side of the restaurant showed different times. I thought to myself that this could cause some confusion!
Finally my food arrived, although there was a mix up. It wasn't what I ordered and the first plate turned out to be for the restaurant owner, who I was sure they said was a sumo wrestler called Peter.
Although they kept insisting I take it, I sent it back. Finally my cold Scampi entrée arrived, but it was clearly dodgy. Although the complementary wine washed it down well. Apparently Kermadec's just give away the wine as I never asked for it and it was never mentioned again. The cod arrived, it was however a little rich.
The real confusion occurred, however, as I was trying to leave.
At the till there was a Spanish Inquisition about whether I had been at Kermadec's before and if so how many times. The Maitre d insisted I had and the waiter said they had never seen me. It seemed to not matter because then they tried to charge me despite the food being supposedly 'on the house'.
The farce continued as the waiters argued over the price of the dishes. One said that only hoki was free and the other said I would get two cods for the price of two if I paid for both now.
Disgruntled I opted to charge the dish to the Sumo wrestler on the understanding that if I ever came back I would be charged twice, no questions asked.
As I left I struggled passed TVNZ journalists and the Herald photographers, and I waved to a couple that looked like Donna and Wi. I left cursing the day that I ever thought anyone could get a free lunch at Kermadec's.
Next week: Forgetable food with Sealords.