Cuisine: Japanese Fusion
Price: $70 for set menu
Location: 44 Queen Street, Auckland
Not A Food Review is an informal first impression of a restaurant I've eaten at, in which I did not taste enough of the dishes to form a definitive opinion of the establishment.
Everybody’s (also known as Everybody’s Izakaya) recently refreshed their menu. Previously offering Japanese fusion, their latest menu has a heavier slant towards European and Western flavours. The décor is rather minimalistic with the low lighting projecting a casual, yet refined atmosphere. I arrived at Everybody’s with a vegetarian friend. The set menu looked appetising, so we ordered it for two people and challenged the chefs to use only vegetarian ingredients. What followed was an incredibly boring experience.
Half a dozen courses were served, most of which were cold or warm. Vegetables comprised the bulk of each plate with minimal dairy, grain or eggs. Disappointingly almost all of the dishes were bland, under seasoned and boring. What was truly baffling was that if I cook some bok choi with soy sauce, sesame oil and light spicing, I can create a delicious vegetarian dish. How is it a kitchen of full time chefs, with dozens of ingredients, could fail to create a memorable vegetarian meal? I will say that the presentation was excellent, and there was a discernable effort made to use several ingredients per dish. As a result there was a variety of textures from the different vegetables. Perhaps the only enjoyable savoury plate was a potato heavy, creamy dish. The potatoes were fantastically crisp and the cream added a nice silky texture, which contrasted fantastically. The only true high point of the meal came at the end, in the form of a delicious chocolate lava cake. It was indulgent and we utterly enjoyed it.
At Everybody’s we gave the chefs a tall challenge, and it’s one they failed almost entirely. The dishes were typically bland, cold and under seasoned. The only saving grace was the excellent dessert. I will not be back to Everybody’s in a hurry, even if the meal included meat.