We've always known Conch Records as that quaint little indie shop on Ponsonby Road that has an impressive global range of vinyl, CDs and music merchandise (not to mention a mingling hotspot for DJs and music-lovers). This time however, our Christmas staff lunch brought us to their stylish new backyard, which had recently been transformed into a surreptitious boteco serving South American cookery.
The day-time restaurant (open Wednesday to Sunday, 8am to 3pm) features wooden cabanas on both sides, lined with brightly coloured leather seats and stained-glass mosaics; we huskies became giddy with the delicious aromas of the wood-fired oven and fresh timber. We squeezed (all five of us no less) into a sunny cabana, leaving Blair to mind the three young ones - thank goodness for smart-phone apps and the classic pencil-pad combo.
The chirpy waitress informed us that the menu is modified weekly to adjust to the new creations from the kitchen (every aspiring chefs' dream no doubt), and, of course, in accordance with seasonal produce. They helpfully supplied the children with kid-friendly versions of our lunch menu, which proved to be a big hit. Try the Soft Tacos if they are still on the menu - four out of five Huskies ordered to prevent order-envy with no regrets. The food was flavoursome and authentic (as far as we could tell as none of us had been to South America); we also shared a beautiful moist Lemon Syrup Cake, Summer Fruit Tart and Chocolate Brownie with Blackcurrant Coulis at the end – as usual, when it comes to dessert, we don't have a lot of self-control. Well-played Conch - we'll definitely be back (with more sunscreen and fewer layers of clothing perhaps) - either way, you haven't seen the last of us.
Louise had the Soft Tacos with Chilli Beef, Tinga Chicken Organic Lamb and a Carrot, Apple & Tangelo Juice. She said 'Really liked the design vibe of the store & new cafe area, especially the smell of fresh wood/sawdust. Waitress lovely and accommodating. Desserts yummy. Great experience.'
Innie had the Queen Avocado Salad with Woodfired Chicken and Yoghurt Dressing and a Carrot, Apple & Tangelo Juice. She said 'Great place to chill out! Love the authenticity and love the appropriate portion size of the main meal. Although won't complain if the dessert is slightly bigger. Ha!'
Katie had the Soft Tacos with Chilli Beef, Tinga Chicken & Organic Lamb. She said ' Maybe because Christmas is in the air too, this place is A.MA.ZING. Loved how the meat isn't minced but freshly stripped, packed with flavour. I could eat ten of these.'