It was easy to find the restaurant, with a clear sign on the main road and opposite the subsequent turning. There is a dedicated car park and clear signs to the entrance.
I was greeted immediately on entering and shown to a table. The dining room has several large windows and the tables are set with white cloths. However, the service is informal and friendly. Three tables were occupied early on a Wednesday night.
The food menu is short with a page of starters, mains and deserts. The problem for me was that all of them were tempting and promised interesting combinations and flavours. There was a short but interesting wine menu – one of those occasions when I would love to try the wine – but I don’t drink.
I settled on green-lipped muscles in garlic and butter, and a main of roast pork belly, with salad and a puree of roasted pumpkin. I thought I had chosen lighter options – but I was very full at the end.
The cooking was excellent: good flavours, well balanced. The garlic and butter had a wonderful bitter undertow. It was well herbed and dressed. The pork belly was beautifully cooked with white meat inside and a well roasted exterior. The pumpkin puree had plenty of flavour and the salad had variety and an interesting dressing. The salad mainly used green sprouts – with no lettuce. Before I tasted the dish I wondered how salad would work with hot food but it was a success. (If I was dressing the salad I would have used more lemon to balance the fattiness of the pork – but this cooking was much more subtle than my cooking). Again, a beautifully presented dish.
The bill including a soft drink (and complementary water) came to under NZ $50 – very good value for cooking of this standard.
With a pleasant and efficient waitress this restaurant was a hit with me. I am sorry a tight schedule means that I can’t go back to sample more of the menu.
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