Pub at­mos­phere, menu ticks all the boxes

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Not many Queen­stown pubs have been around for as long as the Pig ’n’ Whis­tle. Some might call it an in­sti­tu­tion. Sure, it’s moved a lit­tle and we do miss the beer gar­den but our re­cent visit has con­vinced us it has re­tained much of its tra­di­tional fare.

At­mos­phere:

Our first im­pres­sion as we wan­dered in­side on a chilly Thurs­day night was that this was a very blokey place.

Be­ing the Thurs­day be­fore Easter, it was packed with trades­men en­joy­ing a be­gin­ning-of-the-long-weekend drink.

It was like a typ­i­cal Fri­day night at a Kiwi pub.

There’s a great out­door space for sunny af­ter­noons while the in­side is warm and invit­ing with amix of quirky and his­tor­i­cal pic­tures around the walls.

We were happy to sit in the main bar but no­ticed there was a qui­eter and more spa­cious space up­stairs with a pool ta­ble.

Ser­vice:

We helped our­selves to menus and learned there was a chil­dren’s menu also (with colour­ing and puz­zles on the back – and a container of crayons) when we asked at the bar. We asked to set up a bar tab but were as­sured it would be fine to have drinks put on our ta­ble.

We ap­pre­ci­ated that a staff mem­ber popped over to take our or­ders.

Our meals ar­rived in good time, ex­cept the girls’ ice cream desserts which seemed to get lost some­where be­fore their even­tual ar­rival. Ex­tras re­quested (tomato sauce, more servi­ettes) were no prob­lem.

Food:

The menu is long with a bit of ev­ery­thing from starters and light meals (from light bread $9 to cala­mari $16) to lunch spe­cials (only $9 for bangers and mash with peas and gravy); from ‘‘pub favourites’’ (fish ’n’ chips, beef roast) to the main fare.

Karl chose the Beef ’n’ Reef – 200g rib­eye steak, topped with prawn skew­ers, served with fon­dant pota­toes, gar­den salad and gar­lic but­ter ($29.50) and he loved it. The steak was cooked to a per­fect medium, there were two full skew­ers of juicy prawns and the pota­toes were crisply roasted.

I liked the sound of the Ja­maican Pork Belly ($25), though har­boured some con­cerns the au­then­tic West In­dian spice mari­nade, creamy co­conut sauce, pea and ba­con cous­cous and naan bread might have been a few too many mixed flavours. I was right. Each el­e­ment was pretty good on its own but not com­fort­able com­pan­ions. The pork wasn’t as melt in the mouth as I had an­tic­i­pated ei­ther.

The chil­dren had a sur­pris­ing num­ber of good choices in­clud­ing a roast meal with veg­eta­bles and bangers, mash and peas but our kids pre­dictably chose the cheese­burger and chips ($9.90) and fish and chips ($10.90). Both in­cluded a free drink.

The cheese­burger had a thick and juicy pat­tie and while the child didn’t care at all that it was only meat, cheese, tomato sauce and bread, this mother would have ap­pre­ci­ated a green let­tuce leaf or a slice of tomato to ease my con­science about tak­ing the kids for a pub meal.

The fish and chips were qui­etly and com­pletely con­sumed by Madam 4 in the cor­ner. The qui­etest time at our ta­ble all night. The kids fin­ished the night with an ice cream sun­dae each ($4.50). Choco­late was the only op­tion so we had one with and one with­out the top­ping.

Ver­dict:

So far as pub meals go in Queen­stown the Pig ’n’ Whis­tle of­fer­ings cover all the bases and then some. The prices are rea­son­able and the at­mos­phere homely. De­spite first ap­pear­ances on the night we dined, it is fam­ily-friendly.

Tempt­ing: Beef ’n’ Reef from the Pig ’n’ Whis­tle.

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