An array of mixed boards, crispy fresh salads and wine were sitting on other guests’ tables when we arrived. It was warm, bordering on hot on an early spring day surrounded by quintessential Central Otago views, vines, farmland and craggy hills. We decided against entrees based on the generous farmgate board servings. That said, the rabbit rillette ($12.50) and goat’s cheese souffle ($12) sounded really good. We ordered a farmgate board ($50) and Northburn Station merino ($28) with glasses of Northburn pinot gris ($8.50) and pinot noir ($13.50). Both were delicious, with standout juicy tender lamb and Akaroa salmon. The selection board included amerino terrine, the salmon, chicken liver and thyme pate, mussels with salsa, Northburn pickles and chutneys, Whitestone cheeses, farm-baked bread and spreads. All lipsmackingly delicious. The slow-cooked lamb shoulder and smoked short-ribs were served with wild thyme potatoes, greens and a pinot jus. The lamb was exceptional, tender, juicy and flavoursome and cooked to perfection, nicely matched with a glass of the signature pinot noir. The farmgate kitchen is supplied with organic produce from the onsite gardens, producing seasonal vegetables and fresh touches for many of the dishes. Great. Seating is available inside and out, it was warming up so we were seated outside with a view to Lake Dunstan, vines and the farm. Our waitress was attentive and thorough, explaining the dishes and their provenance. The coffee beforehand was very good. At the end of the meal, with almost everything except the cheeses polished off, we were given a takeaway box of bits for later. It was hot though and it might be an idea to offer more shaded seating, an umbrella or sunscreen for customers.
It’s a relaxed vibe and a venue that offers great value casual upmarket dining. The venue is also ideal for parties, functions and weddings given the setting and its ample photo opportunities. With views to Lake Dunstan and the Pisa Range, the station has one of the best outlooks in the district.
Amust-do Central Otago lunch stop.
Delicious: The farmgate board.