The pristine waters of New Zealand produce some of the best oysters in the world. And who can resist a meal consisting of mainly oysters when you are in Auckland.
Oyster & Chop is a very popular bistro and bar along the tourist and local dining destination of Viaduct. With stunning harbour views, fresh local ingredients and talented chefs, it is a good choice for a quick lunch or a long dinner.
The ground floor is a bistro with a good selection of meat and seafood that suits any per diem budget. It was a cold winter night, and I was sitting next to the open kitchen. If it was summer, I would recommend the outdoor seating that overlooks the Viaduct harbourlight in the evenings.
And this place is a drinking hole too. While the ground floor is a dining hall with white table cloth and proper seating, the upper level is a cosy couch and sofas setting with some high bar tables. There’s a simpler bar menu for the upper floors, but their selection of oysters is available throughout.
Oysters are said to be “the purest expression of the sea outside the sea itself: Briny, light, and slightly metallic, they remind you of the top of the sea, rolling waves, foam and bubbles clinging to sand as the ocean pulls back from the beach and the sun beats on”. Right at the entrance there’s the neon that shouts out the selection of oysters available today.
Rock oysters from the coast east of Auckland, just off Waiheke. Big, robust oysters, richly flavored, strong & intense. Low salt. https://clevedonoysters.co.nz/our-oysters/
Rock oysters farmed in the Coromandel. Plump oysters with a clean sweet creamy finish and rare vitality. https://www.freshoysters.co.nz
A raw oyster has that special precious liquor or juice inside the oyster that keeps it alive once it’s out of the water. There’s no need for any condiment if an oyster is fresh and alive, just a fresh squeeze of lemon would do for me.
Besides oysters, they are also the place to go steaks. Not the New York style steakhouse, but a nice bistro along the harbour waterfront of the Viaduct. They dry-age their own cuts, and typically you have between 10-12 cuts to choose from.
300gm Hand Picked Sirloin
In Oyster & Chop, you should order some chops. I picked something local from Southland, pasture fed 300gm Hand Picked Sirloin that has been dry-aged for 55 days that intensified the flavour profile.
Came with a side of garden salad with mustard dressing and brandy peppercorn sauce.
This was so different from the NZ pasture-fed that you get from Jack’s Place. Exceptional marbling despite a pasture-fed piece of beef and a clean flavour profile that was intensified with the house dry-ageing.
I was quite disappointed by the side garden salad, weak and soaked. Should have picked fries, but my mom always says I have to have a balanced diet.
Burnt Passionfruit Tart
OK, I manage to have some room for a small dessert. As one gets older, one develops a sweeter tooth. And it felt incomplete for a good meal to be without a good dessert (scientifically proven too). But this passionfruit tart was too sour for me.
In my week long trip to Auckland after 4 years, the supply chain challenges facing the F&B industry here was real. However, Oyster & Chop was one of the better oyster bars along the Viaduct in Auckland with a consistent supply of fresh oysters from all around the islands. Service is great and attentive, be it a single diner or a big group of diners. The place is really popular and you cannot get a walk-in seat on a Friday evening, so reserve ahead of time.
Oyster & Chop Bar & Bistro
Market Square, Auckland Viaduct, 1010
Tel : 09 377 0125
Visited in Jun 2022