• Shed 22, Princes Wharf, Auckland Central, Auckland
  • American International BBQ/Grill Dietary - Vegetarian Friendly
  • Celebrity Chef Ocean Views Restaurant Month Family Friendly - Kids Menu
    • $$$ - Avg Main $30+
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The Culpeper

Shed 22, Princes Wharf, Auckland Central, Auckland
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Professional Reviews: The Culpeper

MetroEats - Feb 2016

Metro Eats 9 February 2016

Given my glowing review of Euro, you might think The Culpeper is where Nourish Group let their hair down. Sadly, it has a seasidey décor, especially on the terrace, that looks like it was thrown together with bargain bin items from Briscoes, with a kitset colour scheme to match. That Princes Wharf site deserves better. As for the name: when did it become okay to copy a London bankers’ hangout?

The rest is far more likeable. The floorstaff are friendly and functional, and the bartender made me a martini that was so dirty I suspect he tipped in half a can of olive juice. Not exquisite, but definitely tasty.

As for the food, I ate a divine heirloom tomato salad with slices of big green toms, halves of little yellow ones, ricotta and strawberries, and a few decorative wild strawberries too, all put together with a sharp sweet dressing. It was the perfect counterpoint to some of the most delicious brisket I’ve ever had. Fourteen hours on the fire, juicy, fatty and also sweetly meaty, it fell apart to the touch.

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Weekend Herald - Dec 2015

New Zealand Herald 12 December 2015

An incidental pleasure for those who eat out regularly is watching how techniques
and ingredients become fashionable - almost literally the flavour of the month. The reverse is also true. When did you last see duck a l'orange on a menu except in a self-conscious retro treatment?

Apparently independently, Auckland chefs have all discovered the joys of American-style barbecue smoked and slow-cooked meats, usually of cuts that were once at the very bottom of the butcher's price range. So it is no surprise that The Culpeper, which forms part of the Euro enterprise, has a kitchen boasting a formidable smoking and charcoal grill battery. There is skirt, brisket and ribs and the American influence isn't restricted to the smoker, with corn dogs, butter milk, chipotle and hush-puppies appearing - although I wouldn't expect the latter to arrive often in the Deep South with kimchi as part of the description.

This sort of food, with its inclination to the sharing approach, calls for a lively and cheerful setting with appropriate service and The Culpeper delivers.

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Viva Review - Nov 2015

Viva 25 November 2015

Like clothes, haircuts and sexual positions, cuts of meat go in and out of fashion. A few years ago it was pork belly. Now the flesh du jour is beef brisket. Both followed a rise in a certain style of restaurant: with belly it was the low-fuss bistro, and with brisket it’s the barbecue joint.

Belly is much more forgiving than brisket. You can totally screw up the cooking and it’ll still come out pretty good. That’s what makes it so popular with the home chef, and why something the butcher used to almost give away now costs as much as some prime cuts.

Brisket is a different beast. It takes a very, very long time to cook properly, with precise temperatures required throughout, and I don’t think any of Auckland’s otherwise brilliant new barbecue restaurants are quite getting it right yet.

It ends up tasting like brisket, sure, and it’s not unbearably tough, but the only places I can guarantee you’ll get that unrivalled, fall-apart texture is at Woodpecker Hill, in a sandwich at The Fed and, now, here at The Culpeper.

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TripAdvisor Reviews: The Culpeper
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