Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

Les Alpes is only me­tres from Queen­stown’s water­front, and takes ad­van­tage of this with lots of out­door seat­ing, which we went for. How­ever, on the in­side they seem to be go­ing for the French pro­vin­cial/rus­tic feel, which I’m not a fan of, un­less it’s the real thing. How­ever, I think Les Alpes’ main point of at­mos­phere, and ser­vice, is the fact that all the staff are French. The phys­i­cal at­tributes of at­mos­phere take a sec­ondary role when you’ve ob­vi­ously im­ported all your staff from France. They pro­vide the at­mos­phere and the face that you’ll re­mem­ber when you in­stantly for­get the wall­pa­per or lay­out, so I’d say at­mos­phere is a win­ner here be­cause of the staff.


The staff are at­ten­tive, en­gag­ing and charm­ingly French. There were a few wind gusts com­ing off Lake Wakatipu be­fore our mains and one of the own­ers came to our ta­ble to make sure we were OK with it. As we nod­ded she pulled into the fa­mous Kate Winslet pose from the Ti­tanic movie, and we all started singing the film’s theme song. Those kind of an­tics are gold in the right con­text.


We got stuck straight into mains which were hearty with a real rus­tic feel. I or­dered the Poulet Roti – which is roast chicken ($26), in this case served with ku­mara chips and a green salad. Mean­while Alex went for the En­tre­cote au beurre cafe de Paris, ses legumes du soleil et pommes frites, which in English trans­lates to an­gus rib­eye steak with cafe de Paris but­ter, Mediter­ranean roasted veg­eta­bles and french fries ($31). Per­son­ally, I like rus­tic with a twist, but the food here is just straight up rus­tic. So, the chicken tasted, smelled and looked like it could have been home cooked, and the steak looked like a su­per­mar­ket cut. The steak came un­der quite of bit of scru­tiny be­cause Alex works at one of Queen­stown’s best steak­houses. So, the end verdict was that the steak was slightly over­cooked for medium rare. For $4 more you can get an amaz­ing steak at cer­tain other es­tab­lish­ments, and for a great steak I’d rather spend the ex­tra and be as­sured I’ll get some­thing to re­mem­ber. I didn’t ac­tu­ally re­alise un­til later that the fries were missed from Alex’s or­der, which is a pretty big let­down to any diner’s ex­pe­ri­ence (we were just too busy yarning to no­tice). On the bright side, the desserts were amaz­ing. With choices made from a cab­i­net, we picked an eclair ($6.70) and choco­late opera cake ($8), and both were en­joyed im­mensely.


Les Alpes copped flak in the last re­view for omit­ting some of the very ba­sics of hos­pi­tal­ity. While they seem to have rec­ti­fied some of th­ese, bring­ing a steak main to the ta­ble with­out fries qual­i­fies as another ma­jor fail.

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