Non Solo Pizza
Address: 259 Parnell Road, Parnell Auckland
It’s twilight on a balmy autumn evening as we walk along the main street through Parnell. The street’s buzzing with families and friends out celebrating. The closed shops and galleries are brightly illuminated inside, to show off the expensive pieces of art and clothing. Our destination tonight: Non Solo Pizza.
This Italian bar and restaurant is owned by the same husband and wife team as Poderi Crisci, a stunning vineyard restaurant on Waiheke Island. Having spent a dreamy four hours with family savouring the degustation there, my hopes are heightened for tonight’s dessert.
The restaurant is thrumming with conversation and laughter, with no tables available, so we take a seat in the courtyard bar area – separately branded as Osteria – under a canopy of vines, fairy lights and a deep blue sky.
Our dolci arrive within minutes of ordering. An affogato for Mr C and my tiramisu.
The presentation is beautiful. A craggy cuboid, topped with chocolate scrolls and generous pourings of vanilla and chocolate sauce.
I close my eyes with pleasurable anticipation as I taste my first spoonful. Then the dry cocoa powder tickles the back of my throat, making me cough. My first few spoonfuls of sponge are dry, as though the cream, coffee and alcohol have all been forgotten.
Then, at last, I hit some soaked sponge. Strangely, though, there’s no coffee infusion, no boozy kick. It just tastes… wet. And I still haven’t found the light, delicious cream I’m looking for.
By about halfway through I’m stalling. The sauce, chocolate and cake are heavy. It’s large. Not a pick-me-up so much as a weigh-me-down.
Mr C generously helps me to clear my plate and we start talking ratings. Should we boost it up for the magical ambience and lovely presentation? I don’t think so; the tiramisu must speak for itself. And that, disappointingly, is why tonight’s tiramisu scores a trifling two stars.