Small serv­ings spoil Starlight ex­pe­ri­ence

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

At­mos­phere:

Starlight is the new Chi­nese kid on the block at Re­mark­ables Park, and ap­pears to be keenly an­tic­i­pated judg­ing by the steady flow of lo­cals through the doors. The restau­rant it­self is a bit of a box with some sim­ple decor and a touch of the Ori­ent.

Food:

None of us were sure what would ap­peal to the 7-and-un­ders. A chil­dren’s menu was avail­able and sounded like good value at $10 for a prawn cracker en­tree, a choice of mains (all chicken, in­clud­ing lemon, sweet and sour, and chow mein) and ice cream dessert, but we were not keen on or­der­ing them a sin­gle dish when chances were they would like the look of their par­ents’ bet­ter. For­tu­nately, it is one of the joys of Asian din­ing that the dishes can be shared, and we de­cided to or­der a se­lec­tion to try to suit all tastes. The veg­etable spring rolls ($8) were nicely pre­sented with a smart slice through the mid­dle and sweet and sour sauce. The seafood menu was limited to five items and we opted for king prawns with broc­coli and mushroom in oys­ter sauce ($22). The meal was small and grey, the least ap­peal­ing of our dishes. While many of the oth­ers had great flavour, it soon be­came clear that the small quan­ti­ties – about the size of a bread and but­ter plate – were stan­dard. Two favourites, chicken in lemon sauce ($18) and chicken with veg­eta­bles and cashew nuts ($18) were solid ver­sions. Per­haps the high­light was the sweet and sour pork ($18), which had great flavour. We or­dered a ‘‘big’’ bowl of rice ($5) but as soon as we saw it or­dered an­other. There was a good se­lec­tion of drinks and we en­joyed Speight’s ($6) and a Set­tlers Hill chardon­nay ($7.50)

Ser­vice:

I felt a bit sorry for the serv­ing staff on the night we vis­ited. Our crew rolled in like a small storm al­ready for­ti­fied by an af­ter­noon of so­cial­is­ing. We or­dered items that weren’t on the menu, and were cheer­fully ac­com­mo­dated. No-one stayed in their seats and the chil­dren were most de­lighted when they dis­cov­ered long beads

at the en­trance way to the toi­lets.

Ver­dict:

Starlight is a good ad­di­tion to the Re­mark­ables Park shop­ping cen­tre. We en­joyed the meal and were made wel­come de­spite be­ing a prob­a­bly over­whelm­ing ad­di­tion to the clien­tele on a Satur­day night. We were dis­ap­pointed with the size of the dishes and I was sur­prised to learn from friends who had lunch there the next day that their meals were very large. Maybe we dined at the wrong time of day but there is a lot to be said for con­sis­tency.

Photo: DEB­BIE JAMIESON /628230445

Ris­ing star?: Starlight Restau­rant, the new Chi­nese kid on the block at Re­mark­ables Park.

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