Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The byline at the top of this blog has a passing mention of food, a subject which originally was the intended focus of this thing, but one which I've avoided to date..cowardice maybe. So to it..... I hate to start with a brickbat but I'm going to. There are so many wonderful restaurants in Auckland town, many of which I'm something of a regular at, however I'm sorry to say, flavour of the week, Soto, in St Mary's Bay, is, on first visit, not one of them. The old fire station at the top end of St Mary's Bay Rd has, over the past decade, had a fearsome reputation (take that as you will) as Plusone but its time was well past and the appearance of a good and inventive Japanese in the area was well overdue, so there was quite a buzz about Soto, some seven months in the making. Sadly good and inventive are two words that can't be applied to Soto. However, slow, unimaginative, poorly prepared, over priced ($5 for green tea anybody?) and disorganised can be. I mean, the place looks wonderful but from the initial attempt of the waiting staff to place us by the front door on a cold windy night, we should have known something was not right. There was no liquor license, even BYO (with seven months available to get one) Then a one and a half hour wait for a cold, fatty and bland Tenshin. You can get a better, more exciting Japanese dinner box for twelve bucks in any food hall. There was, by way of apology from a staff, an inedible seafood soup offered however the manager / owner, who was leaning on the bar made no effort to even offer a word. Soto...well maybe it will improve but it will be a cold day in hell before I'll venture back. I'll try to make my next food thang a little more positive...I promise.

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