Eating our way around NZ. So looked forward to this night. In fact we decided to alter our travel plans to make sure we locked in a meal here. Rang 2 days prior to arrange dinner booking for Mon night. All seemed good.
Arrived at South Island that day and rang restaurant when arrived at Blenheim. Sorry but no booking arranged...no apology or alternative arrangement offered. Even when speaker asked who made the booking, I replied it was someone with your voice, as he had a very distinctive, educated tone. Despite being put out by this, we were made feel it was our problem! We were told that if we still wanted to dine then we would have to wait until 8pm instead of the original 7pm.
When we arrived at 8 we were told that the kitchen was busy for 10-15 mins and offered complimentary drinks....2 beers. Another 30 mins later we were eventually seated in what seemed to be a not so busy dining room.
Beautiful building and interior decor, staff very friendly and attentive in what was obviously becoming a difficult situation with the kitchen struggling to keep up with orders. Despite this, we thoroughly enjoyed entrees of scallop, venison carpaccio, salmon and whitebait. These were available as individual tasting entrees-half normal entree size....very good way of tasting more varieties of food.
My main of Wagyu rib eye was largely inedible. I always order Wagyu if available. Promoted as a 7-9 marbled grade, I must have received something different as there was no marbling or taste of rendered fat. Thick sinews prevented cutting through a large part of the steak. Dining room manager returned after showing the chef the returned uneaten meat and returned, to his credit, most apologetic about the cut.
To my surprise I received the bill with not only being charged for the complimentary drinks, but also $75 for the Wagyu! Fortunately, they could see the reason for my suggestion for review of the bill and both items were credited.
Overall, good and bad. Very good staff, great venue, some wonderful food however some unfortunate sequences of events. Maybe just a bad night.
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