Shed 5, City Works Depot
90 Wellesley St
(09) 309 0304
7am - 4pm
Tuesday - Friday
7am - late
8am - late
8am - 4pm
I leaned back on the plush cushions and felt as if I was on holiday, which was nice because it was really just brunch. Odettes looks as if you’ve just wandered into a fancy resort on the Mediterranean, all azure blue, turquoise and sea green. All that popping colour gave me the feeling that regardless of the weather outside, it would always feel sunny and warm in there.
Odettes Eatery is owned by Clare and Joost van den Berg, whose previous ventures Zus & Zo and then Zomer in Takapuna, meant that my expectations upon entering where high. The gorgeous fit out was designed by Clare herself, with advice from Nat Cheshire along the way. It’s a stunning tribute to the best of NZ design, with award-winning Parison pendants hanging from the ceiling and Pick up Sticks chairs by Simon James for Resident.
The fit-out isn’t even the best thing about the place, although it certainly puts you in a mood to enjoy yourself. The menu is a treat to read, regardless of whether you turn up for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It consists of casual dishes that are intended for sharing (although I found that quite difficult). Every dish I tried at Odettes was filled with flavour and presented ever so perfectly. Head chef Josh Kucharick’s creations are seasonal and fresh, and fancy enough to make your casual dining experience feel pretty close to fine. The stellar service helps with that too.
On the brunch menu, the Tahitian vanilla crepes are served with lemon yoghurt, blueberry compote and mandarin sugar and they are feather light but arrive in so generous a portion that they feel ridiculously decadent. The smashed avocado with chilli, coriander and toasted rye served with a poached egg has a lovely freshness and bite. Later on in the day, it’s really hard to know where to begin, and where to end. I started with the spinach empanadas with kidney beans, quark and dill – crispy and bursting with flavour, they were the favourite of the day for me. Then there were the seared atlantic scallops served with mandarin, confit pork hock and salsa verde, a divine surf and turf. Dessert was perfection, particularly the caramelised pear tarte tatin – it looked beautiful and tasted like my Grandma made it.
That dessert actually embodies the thing I liked most about Odettes; the way it combines a sense of luxury with a whole lot of heart.