Ser­vice:

Central Otago Mirror - - MOTORING -

Food:

My part­ner and I shared the spe­cial of the day for our en­tree, but had the main-sized ver­sion. It was the meat from lamb shanks in spring roll pas­try, which cre­ated half a dozen spring rolls. It was served with a fruity chut­ney, rice and a small salad. It was very tasty and an in­ter­est­ing way to use the meat from lamb shanks (last night’s left­overs?) but a bit dry – a dip­ping sauce in­stead of the chunky chut­ney would have im­proved it ($19). I chose steak for my main course. It was grilled an­gus rib-eye served with pinot noir jus, po­tato gratin and veg­eta­bles, which were broc­coli, cau­li­flower and car­rots ($31.50 for a 250-gram steak). The steak and veg­eta­bles were well cooked and nice, not amaz­ing, but nice. I also had a side of mush­rooms which were nice and juicy, but I thought three or four small but­ton mush­rooms for $5.50 was pretty steep. My part­ner had the pasta. It was penne pasta with a creamy sauce, hous­esmoked salmon, basil pesto and parme­san ($26.50). Very nice flavours but there was a lot of pasta and not a great deal of salmon. We shared a dessert, a warm sticky date pud­ding with lo­cally-made fig and honey ice-cream and but­ter­scotch sauce. Again, very nice, not un­for­get­table, but nice. The wine list in­cluded some lo­cal op­tions

by the glass at a rea­son­able price. It was un­for­tu­nate to wit­ness a cross ex­change be­tween wait­ing staff over a con­fused cof­fee or­der at another ta­ble and very em­bar­rass­ing, I would imag­ine, for the din­ers at that ta­ble, who were tourists. Oth­er­wise the ser­vice was very friendly, how­ever, we were not given cutlery for our en­tree so had to use dirty knives and forks for our main course and we were not of­fered a sec­ond drink. The spe­cials board was also too far away to read and not brought to our ta­ble, so we had to leave our ta­ble a cou­ple of times to go and read it.

At­mos­phere:

The Lake Hawea Ho­tel is in a stun­ning set­ting. Our ta­ble was be­side the win­dow so we had a gor­geous view over the lake. The din­ing room is very spa­cious so, while it is not in­ti­mate, there is plenty of room be­tween the ta­bles. The fire­side sofa looks like an invit­ing place to sit and have a cof­fee or a glass of wine. The ta­bles had white pa­per table­cloths which I thought was a shame, given the oth­er­wise rea­son­ably el­e­gant set­ting.

Verdict:

This has been a hard re­view to write be­cause the food was fine – there was noth­ing wrong with it at all – it was just not that mem­o­rable. So I would not rush back for the food but the ho­tel is in a beau­ti­ful set­ting and the view is breath-tak­ing, so it is worth a visit for those rea­sons alone. The deck, which over­looks the lake, is also a great place for lunch on a sunny day – I had a de­li­cious burger there last sum­mer.

Tasty: Lamb Spring Rolls at Lake Hawea Ho­tel.

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