About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dinner at Wakatipu Grill

It was our first evening in Queenstown and once again we met up at the Pit. I am really liking the name of this round setting/fireplace area located just outside the grill.

Before we headed for dinner, we had some drinks, chatted and there was an official get to know you time. This group consist of 20 ladies plus Maeve and Kate. All hail from different parts of Australia, such a diverse and interesting group of ladies. Looking forward to getting to know all of them.

Mauro Battaglia is the head chef of Wakatipu Grill. Maeve introduced him to us just before dinner started and I was lucky enough to have a personal introduction to Mauro even before he met the group. He is from Northern Italy (never been to Sardinia and is now on his to do list after Maeve and I couldn't stop talking about wonderful Sardinia). A very nice, friendly, unassuming man who is passionate about his food, with emphasis on using as much local produce as possible.
Chef Mauro
Chef Mauro with Maeve
For dinner, we had a choice of 3 dishes for entrees, 3 dishes for mains and 2 dishes for dessert. Before we ordered, Mauro was kind enough to explain to us some of the dishes (now this is something I don't get to experience first hand unless I am with one of Maeve's groups). When I think about it, how many restaurants/cafes have I dined at over the years? How many of them do I get to meet the chef and have a personal run down of the menu and ingredients? Nada.

For entree, I chose the Venison carpaccio with wasabi, cucumber, crisp shallots and chilli with a herb salad.  This is was the first time I have had venison. I chose the venison dish because one of the many well known produce from this area is venison. My verdict - I loved it, loved it, loved it! The venison was slightly salty but very thinly sliced and beautifully tender. Loved the Asian touch to the dish and the hint of mint leaves lifted the saltines of the venison.
Venison carpaccio
The other very popular entree was the Roasted red beetroot salad, barrel aged feta, date, navel orange served with a hazelnut dressing. The ladies verdict was it was very good!
Roasted red beetroot salad
For main I had the Slow roasted merino lamb shoulder, with garlic, smoky aubergine, buffalo yoghurt tzatziki, broad beans and mint. This dish was ordered by 80% of the group. There was also the Master stock braised Angus beef short ribs with carrots, pearl onions, ginger and pickled shiitake mushroom. The seafood dish was the Citrus baked salmon, with English pea vichyssoise, asparagus, lardons and tarragon.
Beef short ribs
Slow cooked lamb shoulder
Citrus baked salmon

Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal and I can honestly say that I did too. The lamb was 'fall of your fork' tender, the aubergine was beautiful smoky and creamy and the interesting spin on the tzatziki went very well with the lamb.
Sunset while we were dining
For desserts, we had a choice of a deconstructed lemon tart (or as Mauro accidentally said 'decomposed' lemon tart and then proceeded to correct himself! Poor fella, I couldn't help but tease him about it but all in good jest) or the Baked bittersweet chocolate molleaux, with spiced cookie and cinnamon ice parfait.
Chocolate molleaux
I had the deconstructed lemon tart which was plated so beautifully, it looked like art on a plate. It came with pink grapefruit gelato, brown butter crumble, mini lemon meringues and some 30 second cake which was crumbed. The baked lemon creme was sublime and the whole dish was superb! What a lovely way to end a very pleasant evening. Bravo Mauro, the food have definitely met my expectations!
Deconstructed lemon tart
When I adjourned to my room, I found a lovely goodnight present from Maeve and Kate. They were iconic NZ lollies! Lovely, and thank you ladies!

Wakatipu Grill
Kawarau Hotel managed by Hilton Queenstown
Tel: +64 3 450 1650
Website: queenstownhilton.com/restaurants-bars/wakatipu-grill.aspx

1 comment:

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