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“Great coffee”

Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar and Restaurant
Cuisines: Cafe, New Zealand
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
219 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great coffee”
Reviewed April 24, 2014

The views from the window are just breath taking. Good selection of food with helpful and friendly staff. The coffee was good, strong and good value.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DJandR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Ahh, when a Kiwi loves our coffee, we're happy, as in NZ we seem to have the best coffee in the world. Thanks so very much for taking the time to write a positive and lovely review. M&C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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813 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    313
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    40
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
79 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Excellent Food, Grouchy Service!”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Food variety and quality gets a big thumbs up but the younger waitress with the French accent was extremely sour faced and grouchy! Could have been a bad day for her - but we were there at lunch and then at dinner and she had a very curt 'take it or leave it attitude' and did not bother to smile - just very sullen and resentful looking. Kinda spoils your experience of this otherwise delightful cabin restaurant with great views!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Elaine Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed the quality and variety of food available, and everything else. I'm sorry that our usually cheerful French waitress came across with a tone that was less than ideal. As it happens, she had a rib injury and is off work now until it gets better. M&C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Amazing view”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

You only have 3 choices in mount cook value, average and expensive. We ate at the cafe and it was nice a little pricey but ok. The service was very good and the owner wanted to ensure we were happy. Our friend has a strict diet and they wanted to assist in finding her a meal she could eat. Over all we enjoyed our dinner and the view in the morning.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PixieMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for your lovely review. I remember you all arriving tired and hungry, and am so pleased we were able to help make your journey more pleasant. Travel safe. M&C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
2 reviews
“Meh (explained)”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Pleasant but not really rising above the level of good pub food, in our opinion. It was adequate but uninspiring, and we couldn't help the impression that they were skimping a bit, which seems like a bad idea when you're a climber serving a traditionally 'hearty' menu at remote-location prices to colleagues who are potentially straight off the mountain.

I had the organic beef burger and chips, which was served on an excellent bun and was certainly skillfully cooked. In contrast to some of the other middling reviews here, I thought the chips were perfectly fine. Thing is, there was absolutely nothing interesting about it--no flavours to mark it out as anything other than a perfectly adequate burger, the kind I would be happy to serve at home if I'd forgotten to buy the aioli, and run out of spicy tomato relish, and found that I had to skimp a bit on the patties due to a couple of unexpected extra guests. It's a pet peeve of mine to find a tiny burger hidden inside a big bun, and this one had a mighty healthy margin. My father had the salmon salad, which again was adequate, uninteresting, and his only comment was, again, "I thought they skimped a bit on the salmon".

The staff (including the owner himself) were all friendly, professional, and attentive. In my experience that is the norm for New Zealanders in the hospitality industry and the variety of young travellers from many nations they often employ. The location is of course spectacular.

After all he and his partner went through to get The Old Mountaineers up and running (fights with DOC and the Hermitage, which they make much of in the restaurant), it's ironic that the vibe from the food is that they are also 'getting away with something' because of a lack of real competition. In the same way, up the road at the Hermitage a 'standard room' will be more than 1.5 times the price of a standard room at the Edgewater in Wanaka, and missing all the niceties and amenities (such as free internet) that are so often the 'standard' for good upper- mid-range accommodation in New Zealand.

I'm sure OM's is in a constant struggle with costs, no doubt partly due to their choice to use organic ingredients, which I applaud, but my feeling is that the changes necessary to make the food equal to the location are not ones that would entail a huge cost. If you want to eat out in Mount Cook Village, this is probably still the best bet, but it could be so much better.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PeterFromCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, April 23, 2014
The organic beef burger does not contain msg, it is totally organic, it is provided at great cost and less profit margin as we love that our guests are served with good quality genuine food that is also kind on the environment. Yes, we could provide more meat at less cost and plaster it with sauces that obscure the taste of the onion, lettuce, tomato and organic steak in the sourdough bread, but the organic meat is far superior. The bun was baked by an artisan baker and is sourdough; locally made. Climbers don't usually order the salmon salad with their hearty appetites and we are very generous with our servings in comparison to other places. We have had several complaints recently that we serve too much. We consciously make a LOT less than others because of the high quality of our organic food and it would be great if guests would be able to also keep in mind we are in a distant location, there are substantial costs in transport, and there are substantial extra costs working in a national park, including taxes and DOC fees.
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Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Bad timing?”
Reviewed April 22, 2014

We came in for a cup of coffee at around 5 in the afternoon. I have to admit that we were served fast enough, but the staff made us feel like we came in at the wrong time. We've been to this restaurant before, when we visited Mount Cook 10 years ago. We knew that there are very few dining options in Mount Cook so we were planning to have several meals here.

The not-so-good experience led us to look for dining options elsewhere.

The place is worth a visit...fantastic views at a reasonable price. But maybe you should consider the time of your visit.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jeff C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, April 23, 2014
Not sure how the staff made you feel like that but I remember that day was totally frantic and we were short on one of our key staff members who is unexpectedly away for the week. Our staff were setting up for dinner service and asked you to sit at the bar as coffee service at that time is just available at the bar as we had a full restaurant that evening booked early.
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