Mixed bag at Sky­line cafe

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT -

It was Mother’s Day and this mother had de­cided her chil­dren, hus­band, sis­ter, mother and the pet dog would mark the oc­ca­sion by walk­ing one of my favourite tracks, the One Mile Track, to Sky­line. En­thu­si­asm lev­els var­ied but I suc­cess­fully bribed them with the prom­ise of lunch at the top.

Once we worked our way through the moun­tain bik­ers and ne­go­ti­ated around the con­struc­tion work that is un­der­way we found a spot in the sun at the Mar­ket Kitchen Cafe with a beau­ti­ful view to­ward Coronet Peak. We en­dured the chill in the air to keep the dog com­pany.

In­side we dodged a tour group and me­an­dered mean­ing­lessly around the cafe, try­ing to fig­ure out the best op­tion for lunch. It is dif­fi­cult to get an over­view. At one point there’s a pie warmer, an­other spot has sushi, there’s some­one cook­ing pizza over there, and fur­ther down is some dish­ing up curry while cook­ing pan­cakes. To add to our con­fu­sion we strug­gled to find trays to put things on and could not fig­ure out where we were to or­der and should we do that be­fore or af­ter get­ting food?

Even­tu­ally we found a staff mem­ber who was free to ask how the sys­tem worked and were sent in the right di­rec­tion. Then we or­dered some pan­cakes from her and watched them be­ing made.

By the time ev­ery­one had picked some­thing to eat and we wan­dered to the counter, I felt ex­hausted. It was not an easy sys­tem.

The food was also a mixed bag. Mother and I or­dered a curry each ($17). Her Chicken Tikka Masala was ten­der, creamy and flavour­some. My Lamb Madras had clearly been sit­ting in the pot too long as the lamb chunks had formed a hard crust on top and were luke­warm to taste.

The Jumbo Lamb Roll ($7.50) also looked as if it had sat in the warmer for too long. How­ever, Karl was lucky to get it as I over­heard other cus­tomers com­plain­ing that there weren’t enough pies or other op­tions avail­able in the warmer.

Karen eyed up the sushi but we agreed it looked like very small por­tions so she had a per­fectly en­joy­able egg and may­on­naise sand­wich in­stead ($5.50) while Anna was de­lighted to see a bas­ket of freshly cooked hot chips slide into the servery, and grabbed those ($7).

Bethany prob­a­bly had the best meal of the day with a fresh stack of blue­berry and cream pan­cakes ($12). De­spite her best at­tempts she was un­able to fin­ish them and left that task to her mother, who was wish­ing she had or­dered a cus­tom de­signed pizza in­stead of the curry.

There’s a lot go­ing for the Mar­ket Kitchen Cafe. It’s in a great spot and there are lots of choices. How­ever, it would ben­e­fit from some clear sig­nage de­tail­ing where to pay, how to or­der and what the op­tions are. Some of our meals were dis­ap­point­ing. It was be­fore 1pm and the cafe was busy so there should not be over­done food sit­ting in warm­ers.

DEB­BIE JAMIESON

Curry for lunch at Sky­line’s Mar­ket Kitchen Cafe.

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