Ale house fan un­moved

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS -

The Wanaka Speight’s Ale House opened in De­cem­ber and, hav­ing had good ex­pe­ri­ences at most other Speight’s ale houses around the South Is­land, my part­ner and I were ea­ger to check it out. We shared the chicken liver and ba­con pate, served with toasted whole­meal crisps ($16.90), as an en­tree. It was very nice – the pate was creamy and the crisps, sim­i­lar to pieces of toasted whole­meal pita bread, con­tained seeds and had a very tasty nutty flavour. For my main, I chose grilled lamb rump with pan roasted pota­toes, minted crushed peas and a red wine jus ($34.90). The lamb was beau­ti­fully cooked and very ten­der, but the jus was a tad strong and over­pow­er­ing for my lik­ing. There was a very gen­er­ous amount of lamb and potato but I could have done with a few more veg­eta­bles. Peas and a small salad gar­nish were the only greens. My part­ner chose a Speight’s ale house clas­sic – black cherry chicken – chicken breast stuffed with a cream cheese and cashew nut mix, wrapped in ba­con and served on ku­mara mash with a black cherry whisky sauce ($27.90). I have had this dish at other Speight’s ale houses and al­ways find it hard to go past, but I am glad I did on this oc­ca­sion. The chicken was a bit tough and there was a lack of cher­ries, which I think makes this dish. It was swim­ming in a jus sim­i­lar to the one served with the lamb and, again, it was a bit strong. It would have been eas­ier to eat if the ba­con rind had been re­moved, too. There were more veg­eta­bles with this dish though – broc­coli, cau­li­flower, green beans and car­rot. For dessert, we shared the Clutha rhubarb crum­ble with ice-cream. It was a meal in it­self and de­li­cious. To drink, my part­ner tried the Mt Dif­fi­culty Rose and I had a St Hal­lett Game­keeper’s Shi­raz. There was also an in­ter­est­ing range of non­al­co­holic drinks. The ser­vice was gen­er­ally fine and ef­fi­cient. We were en­joy­ing sit­ting in the sun on the deck, but were told we would miss out on a ta­ble if we did not go in­side right away and then we were sur­rounded by empty ta­bles for our en­tire meal. Side plates with our en­tree and be­ing in­formed of the dessert spe­cial would have been ap­pre­ci­ated, as would the re­moval of the rem­nants of some­one else’s lip­stick on our wine glasses. The Wanaka Speight’s Ale House is in a great lo­ca­tion – on Ard­more St across the road from the lake and be­side Bul­lock Creek. There are sev­eral dif­fer­ent places to sit – on the deck in the sun or shade, in the bar, or the restau­rant. It has been dec­o­rated really well, with plenty of in­ter­est­ing items which cre­ated talk­ing points. I detest televisions in a restau­rant and un­for­tu­nately for me there is a very large one play­ing mu­sic videos on the restau­rant wall at the Wanaka Speight’s Ale House. As I said, I have had good ex­pe­ri­ences at most Speight’s ale houses and have al­ways thought you could rely on them for good, con­sis­tent food, al­beit noth­ing fancy. I cer­tainly would not go so far as to say you could not rely on the Wanaka Speight’s Ale House for this, but I think there is room for im­prove­ment. I would def­i­nitely give it an­other go and have heard good re­ports from other peo­ple, so per­haps there were just some early teething prob­lems the evening we dined there.

Good lo­ca­tion: The new Speight’s Ale House in Wanaka.

Clas­sic dish: Black cherry chicken.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.