Mixed re­sults for din­ers at pub

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

At­mos­phere:

When our ex­tended fam­ily group ar­rived at Pub on Wharf we didn’t re­alise we were just in time for a late-af­ter­noon All Blacks test in Tokyo but were de­lighted to find a large booth ta­ble at the back of this busy and sur­pris­ingly spa­cious restau­rant/ bar with an agree­able view of the game. The place was hum­ming in­side and out where you can also watch tele­vi­sion or the world go by, mostly with visi­tors it ap­peared. We were keen to get some food un­der way so headed to the bar.

Ser­vice:

I sought drinks and menus from the bar and, while set­ting up a tab, pointed out that our ta­ble was the one with the chil­dren. I also asked for a bar menu as ‘‘there might be some­thing suit­able for the kids’’. Oh, said the barman, we have a kids’ menu. Yes, that would be handy. Then I no­ticed the kids’ menu has a colour­ing pic­ture on the back – do they have any crayons or pen­cils? Yes, sure, came the re­ply. About five min­utes later I was still wait­ing for the pen­cils at the bar and re­quested them again be­fore they ar­rived, which all seemed a lit­tle bit silly. I had to prompt for ev­ery­thing. When we were seated at our ta­ble one staff mem­ber paid us con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion at first so that our or­ders were quickly sorted but later we strug­gled to stop any pass­ing staff mem­ber to get some at­ten­tion. In fact I’m still wait­ing for the dessert menu I re­quested af­ter our meals. As we pre­pared to leave, hav­ing paid our bill and while the two kids fooled around at an empty neigh­bour­ing ta­ble, the staff mem­ber who ini­tially looked af­ter us hissed at us to keep the chil­dren nearby – that the venue was a pub now, not a restau­rant. The time was about 7.45pm and it did not ap­pear we were both­er­ing any­one. We cer­tainly weren’t made aware that there was some change in the venue’s clien­tele re­quire­ments. It took us a lit­tle by sur­prise and de­spite hav­ing rather en­joyed our meals, en­sured we left with a sour taste in our mouths.

Food:

The menu is eas­ily nav­i­gated with adults’ mains cost­ing ei­ther $18 (pasta and sal­ads) or $20 and all sides $6. We started with a de­li­cious gar­lic flat bread to share ($10) be­fore launch­ing into the mains. Karl had a whole baked floun­der (oven baked, served with rose­mary pota­toes, salad and ca­per but­ter sauce) which he re­ally en­joyed al­though the size of the fish would have made it the throw-back va­ri­ety if you’d caught it your­self. Kevin feared he wouldn’t make it through the BBQ Pork Ribs (coated in sticky plum sauce, served with coleslaw and fries) but was un­able to stop un­til he had pol­ished off the whole lot while Glenda couldn’t fin­ish her thick chunks of South Is­land Lamb Rump (served medium-rare with rose­mary pota­toes, green beans and a harissa sauce). She felt they could have been cooked longer but, fin­ish­ing the left­overs, Karl thought they were per­fect. My own Pork Belly (soy and sake glazed and served on Asian-style veg­eta­bles) had won­der­ful flavour but was dis­ap­point­ingly dry. The kids’ menu is $10 for a main and our but­tons both wanted the cheese­burger and chips. The burg­ers were good but re­ally small and bal­anced out by the mas­sive plate­ful of thick-cut chips. They also each en­joyed a $5 dessert (ice cream sun­dae or spi­der).

Verdict:

The food was mostly pretty good and cer­tainly good value for money at Pub on Wharf. The en­vi­ron­ment was fun and lively and would be a com­fort­able fit for most groups. The ser­vice was mostly good but it ap­peared that while Pub on Wharf was equipped for fam­ily din­ing, the staff were ei­ther un­fa­mil­iar with deal­ing with fam­i­lies or not keen on them.

Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion: Pub on Wharf, Queen­stown.

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