On business trip to Auckland I stayed at the Pullman Hotel - a good standard travellers hotel in the heart of the city and went looking for a dining venue not far from the hotel. On a wet evening staying close to lodgings was a plus. Encouraging , Trip Adviser co- travellers recommendations for The Cafe within the hotel decided the venue. The menus was limited but covered most tastes. For Entree I selected a lavender smoked duck breast served on quinoa and raisins infused with jasmine tea and served with buffalo curd. Tasty but not outstanding. The main dish was a specialty of the house and is only served between Oct and Nov each year. The Milk Fed lamb is served as a small individual rack, quiet rare and beautifully tender and as a ragu of shoulder wrapped in a light puff pastry. The dish was complimented with fine mint sauce, green peas and lightly backed new potatoes. Overall outstanding. If you are in New Zealand in late spring or early summer I thoroughly recommend the milk fed lamb and Chef Arun Pillai has done it justice.
Service was very prompt and professional and while it wasn't a busy night, drinks, food and table service were attended to promptly.
The surroundings are very hotelish and rather uninspiring however that is where The Cafe lives. The only real detraction from an otherwise enjoyable meal was the "elevator music" emanating from the adjoining bar and lounge. A shame really, because the restaurant staff and particularly the kitchen are punching above their lodgings. Not an issue if you are a lone traveler on a short visit
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