Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Occidental: TERRIBLE!!

Contrasting the highlights I've had in Auckland was the low point of eating at a Belgian pub called Occidental.  There are several branches of this restaurant across Auckland.  The one I went to is in downtown, just off Queen Street (the city's main street).

Despite being a favourite haunt of Thai International flight crews and appearing in many city guides, this place is over-hyped and serves terrible food.

Here are reasons why:

  • DISGUSTING mussels.  Even though it's the restaurant's signature menu, the kitchen team didn't pay enough attention to making it deserve that title.  It was very unpleasant to find that the mussels have not been cleaned properly.  I don't just mean there was some grit and dirt in the shells - that is at least a forgivable offence - I mean the mussels still have mini crustaceans in them that they have semi-digested.  It's like eating a creature along with its last meal.  What's shocking is that it wasn't only the one accidental mussel that had something half-consumed, I had multiple ones in the very same order!!
  • The pommes dauphinoise gratinés that accompanied the lamb shank main dish was stone-cold, had no nutmeg and was sickeningly sweet in taste.
  • The lamb shank itself was also cold, stiff and very dry.  It also had a distinct smell of stale refrigerator air when you bite into it.
  • The sauce that came with the main dish was gloopy, looked more like a watered-down BBQ sauce with chunks of under-cooked onions in it and it was spilled over every part of the plate.
  • The vegetables that came with the dish was under-cooked, bland and gave this diner a new understanding of "anglaise".

I whole-heartedly recommend that you AVOID this place, and save yourself the traumatic experience of "dining" there.

Miserable-looking vegetables accompanying stale lamb shank with stone-cold potatoes.  Seconds?  Yes please!  :-P

Oh, the trauma!

The only saving grace of the meal was this.  I mean, if you manage to even screw this up, then you really do need to voluntarily close down.

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