I recently visited this new eaterie one evening with the fam. It occupies a rather odd geography – being on the rooftop of a backpackers’ in downtown Auckland. I’ve done my fair share of backpacking and can report that Fort Street Union is most certainly not your average backpackers’ bar – far from it. It has a definite focus on providing well planned, well executed food (nothing frozen, nothing resembling Vegemite), it’s a ‘safe’ place to take a toddler (just watch they don’t run for the open sash windows which are at seat height), and there is (I’m just guessing here) no chance of finding yourself in the middle of a wet t-shirt competition. It calls itself a ‘social house and kitchen’ and happily it seems to live up to that moniker from what I’ve seen.
Given that it prides itself on being social, we ordered the speciality, a rotisserie chicken (for two in our case) which comes with two sides of your choice. First you choose the marinade for your chicken (which has been marinated for 24 hours or so, they say), then you choose a sauce to have alongside, and the said sides. We were kindly given an extra side free of charge, so ended up with a very generous amount of chicken (damn near a whole bird) marinted Peking-style, with hoisin and plum sauce on the side, plus herby potato wedges, a tomato, rocket and feta salad and a green salad. Too much food for two and half people, but we did a pretty good job on it, it was that tasty. The more people you order this dish with, the cheaper it becomes – for two people it’s $25 each for example, or something like $22 each for three, and so on. A decent wine list and selection of tap beers, inlcuding one of their own brews.
Oh, and as I mentioned, it’s a rooftop joint, which is pretty rare in Auckland, ina 100-year old heritage building, and really quite lovely. Old claw-foot bathtubs have been planted with creepers which grow towards the sky, strung with fairy lights.
One gripe – seeing as the rotisserie chicken is their signature meal, I’d like to see them using free-range birds. Go on, Fort Street Union, do it.
Fort Street Union
16 Fort Street, above Nomads