My old boss had a mantra when the team went out together for a work occasion such as this – spend lots of money and flaunt one’s success. This is possibly the only thing (apart from continuous supply of bottles of wine in the work fridge) that I ever agreed with her about, you only have to see our fridge or come to a work Christmas do to prove it! This year, we all decided the most outrageously decadent place to dine for lunch would be in the over-the-top splendour of Mollies in Herne Bay.
There was a flurry of K’Road op-shop clothes purchases once our admin man Dean realised that at an express team Christmas lunch, one cannot wear a t-shirt and stubbies. He’d missed the bit on the invite that said “dress to impress, people”.
Pictured left is Dean, newly dressed and after a lunch that included many glasses of Moet. Dean explained that he’s never had a better job than the one he has at express and then got so excited he started jumping around! This was exactly the feel of the lunch – sumptuously long and fun with lots of stories looking back at our time together and what we are looking forward to in the future.
The menu was a set one, with a fixed price not including sides or beverages. Having eaten at Mollies in the past, the $60 per person including a glass of champagne, a main course and dessert or cheese seemed like a very reasonable deal. Our table was large and beautifully decked out, it took up the whole room, and like the rest of the many-roomed restaurant, was fabulously adorned with flowers and Christmassy themed items that were so modern and cool it at no point seemed gaudy. The decor is stunning, totally modern and glamorous – just being in the space makes you feel like you’ve fallen through the looking glass. Every few minutes I imagined a very rich madam walking through the door to ask why we were in her private dining room.
The choices for mains were: Mollies garden salad; spinach risotto with feta; oven baked market fish, pay lentils, cherry pickle, miso beurre blanc or confit duck leg, kumara, bok choy, orange and star anise jus.
Of course I went for the duck… and it was divine. It was moist and sweet, the side of mashed potato was so creamy it neared on runny and the asparagus was drenched in beautiful olive oil and roasted almonds. We all congratulated ourselves on our differing choices and quietened down to enjoy in the delicious fair. Mollies’ “Dining Room” has a truly worthwhile mid-week special on Wednesday and Thursdays. For just $175 two people can enjoy a 3 course a la carte dinner including entrée, main and dessert plus share a bottle of wine. This is a great way to go five star dining without blowing the budget (depending of course on extra bottles of wine!). This is exactly what we did on this occasion!
The restaurant is part of a larger business offering boutique five star accommodation. Frequented by stars both foreign and local, I can only imagine what they thought of our group taking over the back garden. Prolonging the experience for another few hours after eating on this lovely summer’s day, we sat out in the quaint pergola and steadily drunk Moet, and chatted loudly and outrageously while friends and partners slowly joined us. It was a delicious and decadent occasion; our choice of venue could not have been finer.
Address: 6 Tweed Street, Herne Bay, Auckland
Ph: 09 376 3489
Open: For breakfast, lunch and dinner
Bottom line: I don’t think its possible to feel more glamorous than you do when dining at Mollies.