NZ Cafes - The Apothecary Cafe

The best medicine - Auckland's The Apothecary Cafe has delicious food and plenty to look at.

by Leigh Stockton | Cuisine issue #154 | Thursday, 8 November, 2012
Don’t be surprised if you can’t find a seat at Howick’s The Apothecary Cafe on a Saturday morning – locals come in droves to stock up at the nearby farmers’ market then refuel here. The cabinet is full of temptations, including apple and caramel frangipani tarts, while breakfast toasties and lemon honey pancakes are among the listings on the blackboard menu.

But for first-timers, it’s the intriguing decor that draws you in. Ted Waters, who also owns The Antique Shop next door, shipped the contents of an old French pharmacy to New Zealand.

“I was looking to on-sell, but Gill [O’Brien, his business partner] and I were in talks about opening a quality cafe in Howick, and so The Apothecary was born,” says Ted.

Ted’s finds, from wooden skis to vintage dispensary bottles, are dotted throughout. All are for sale. “Just don’t ask to buy the candelabra – it’s become part of the place!” says Gill.

The cafe has recently started serving dinners on Thursday and Friday nights, with dishes including this terrine, which Ted enjoys with a chilled pinot gris. apothecaryhowick

Pork, pistachio & prune terrine (pictured above)
For the ham hock

500g smoked ham hock
250ml malt vinegar
250g brown sugar
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2@1/2-3 hours or until the ham is falling off the bone. Remove from the liquid and set aside to cool. Once cool, shred the meat off the bone.

For the terrine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
700g pork mince
2 free-range egg whites
250g pitted prunes, chopped
100g pistachios
500g sliced speck (or use prosciutto)
piccalilli, bread and salad to serve

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat half the oil in a frying pan then add the bacon, onion, garlic and thyme. Fry gently for 7 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. Set aside to cool.

Put the shredded ham meat, mince, egg whites, bacon mix, prunes and pistachios in a bowl. Mix well.

Brush the insides of a loaf tin or terrine mould (ours is 11cm x 26cm) with the remaining oil then line with 3 layers of cling film, allowing a 3cm overhang. Line the tin with the speck, making sure 2cm overhangs all sides. Fill with the pork mix then fold the overhanging speck over the pork.

Fold the overhanging cling film over the top, making sure to seal it tightly, then wrap the whole mould in another layer of cling film.

Place the dish in a roasting tray then add enough water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides. Bake for 1@1/2-2 hours until firm to the touch.

Remove from the water bath and allow to cool then turn out. Serve slices with piccalilli, bread and salad.


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