Located downtown, opposite the Crowne Plaza Auckland and just a stone’s throw away from Auckland Skycity is the enduring Lord Nelson.
Firstly, the place reminded me of Western* restaurants of yesteryears like Jack’s Place and The Ship with rather cheesy decorations and interesting memorabilia. Then I am in New Zealand, so it would be a true-blue “Western”.
*what we colloquially refer to in Singapore those restaurants that served steaks and other European cuisines in general, not the American Wild West themed restaurants.
And then the cuisine. Do not expect a gourmet Michelin-starred meal that has been plated properly that looks nice but may not be delicious. Everything here is delicious but not plated to look so.
Point in case, the lamb brains. New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of lamb, but the world has not gained a liking of the animal’s cerebral organ. Lucky for us travellers to New Zealand, we can enjoy these cholesterol-laden, tofu-texture morsels of deliciousness.
Lamb brains, golden crumbed and lightly fried, with a delicate dijon mustard sauce.
I ordered an appetiser portion of deep-fried brains, and they came like a plate of deep-fried brown mushrooms, served with side of thousand island sauce in a plastic container and lemon wedges. They were succulent and filled with umami.
Lamb chops, best fresh mid-loin chops, gently grilled
You have to have lamb chops in New Zealand. They produce them in abundance in NZ, so you thought it would be relatively cheaper here than anywhere else. Example, this plate of lamb chops with three large pieces of succulent lamb rack cuts would cost upwards of $35 in Singapore, but here it is still $35?
The reason is simple. NZ has one of the world’s best social system and therefore a very high personal tax regime. Income tax starts 10.5% (no floor) to 33% above NZ$70K. And GST is 15%. Also a minimum wage and strong labour laws. All these will add to the price of the goods and services, which is fantastic for a country dependent on export and tourism. But I digressed.
The lamb chops were delicious and done perfectly. They reminded me of the Western food stores in Singapore with their boiled vegetables and the definitive carrots, with a cup of greens.
Tony’s Lord Nelson opened some 35 years ago as a simple kiwi steakhouse. Their steaks are always good, sometimes excellent and occasionally magnificent. With a menu full of classic dishes, the Lord Nelson is the place to go when you have an appetite for hearty servings of tasty traditional fare.
Tony’s Lord Nelson Restaurant
37 Victoria Street, Auckland City
Tel : 09 379 4564
Date Visited : Jul 2014