Quin­tes­sen­tial taste of Queen­stown

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -


In more than four years in Queen­stown (don’t worry I’m not call­ing my­self a lo­cal) I’ve never been here for din­ner. In­side is a low-light af­fair, the kind of place where you can cosy up, sip wine and while away the hours en­joy­ing good food. We or­dered wine and Cen­tral Otago rab­bit ril­lette ($18) and br­uschetta with roast beet­root ($15) for en­trees af­ter a while study­ing the new menu. They were fan­tas­tic, the ad­di­tion of beet­root to br­uschetta was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent but re­ally worked. The ril­lette was amaz­ing; chunky fork­fuls of rab­bit on crusty bread with sups of wine goes down well. The ril­lette was packed so tightly it was a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to han­dle but given the flavour and tex­ture that’s hardly a com­plaint. For the mains we or­dered An­gus eye fil­let medium rare with slow-cooked beef cheek and York­shire pud­ding ($36) and a trio of duck, con­fit, cro­quette and roast breast with mash and cab­bage ($41), both of which were ex­pertly cooked and faultless meals. The fil­let steak was per­fectly medium-rare and the cheek was melt-in-your-mouth while the trio of duck pre­sented a de­li­cious va­ri­ety of flavours and tex­tures. The con­fit was the win­ner. It was suc­cu­lent and ten­der, the cro­quette was full of flavour and the breast was fall­ing apart.


Great. Our Ir­ish waiter was at­ten­tive and chatty with­out be­ing ob­tru­sive. We were seated on a rea­son­ably quiet night in May but even on a busy night the ta­bles are set far enough apart to en­joy a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion. Through­out the meal the staff checked on us, of­fer­ing wine, top­ping up wa­ter and en­sur­ing we were happy with our meals. Dur­ing the meal the re­viewer was, how­ever, rum­bled and told the waiter that there might well be a re­view. It was only at the end of the meal that we told staff that, yes, a re­view was on the cards. The idea when re­view­ing is to stay incognito be­cause we don’t want ex­tra ser­vice. We want what any other diner gets any night of the week. In this case, the ser­vice was very good and all the other din­ers ap­peared well looked af­ter too.


High-end, Pier 19 of­fers a din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in the heart of the tourism dis­trict and en­joys views of Lake Wakatipu and, if you’re lucky, the TSS Earnslaw prac­ti­cally steam­ing past the win­dow. In­side, with low light­ing, min­i­mal decor and an invit­ing bar, it’s the kind of place that will en­tice plenty of tourists. The pro­pri­etors are well-known around the re­sort (they also run Cap­tain’s Restau­rant) and there is no rea­son why Pier 19 can’t be a restau­rant for tourists and res­i­dents too. The food was very fill­ing and our meal for two with three glasses of wine and an Ir­ish cof­fee was $160.

Fine din­ing: Pier 19’s trio of duck, con­fit, cro­quette and breast and An­gus beef with slow­cooked beef cheek and York­shire pud­ding.

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