Have not been to St. John’s Bar to eat their food for a very long time. I do go there a few times a year for drinks and also went their last year as part of Wellington on a Plate but ate there when Rockwell and Sons took over the kitchen and served Southern fried chicken. I was expecting a more fine dining experience, but I was let down.
So this was a very nice dish. Made from Duck liver and had a cherry and apple chutney with toasted brioche, which was slightly dry. It was nicely presented and also had some nice rocket with balsamic reduction. The pate was very fine and a had a good flavour with the chutney. However, I did have a problem with the dish and that was, why give us three pieces of pate with only two pieces of toasted brioche. It was such an awkward dish. The pate was also sliced quite thick, so I ended up just eating the pate and chutney by itself.
Confit Duck Leg
This was a promising dish with Kumara, smoked paprika and orange puree, steamed bok choy and red current and sort jus. The duck was nicely cooked and the kumara was thinly sliced and deep fried like a potato chips. The puree also added a nice flavour to the dish. However, I did feel that the jus was over powering the duck especially the black currents and mixed with the puree there were too many contrasting flavours. Also the bok choy was overcooked and very stringy. It was nicely presented though.
Crispy Onion Rings
They were not, had a nice flavour, but were not crisp and tasted more like they were once fried and then reheated in a oven.
Truffle Potato Gratin
This was the only dish that I had no qualms with. It was very nice and the truffle flavour really came through. Yum.
I have to say, I was very disappointed with St John’s. It use to be very good and the service also top notch. However, as time has gone by it has aged. It is confusing to identify who works in the restaurant and who works in the bar. The staff now wear T-shirts and look kind of casual . Also there is no communication between staff as when I was waiting for V at the bar and she arrived a staff member asked us what she wanted to drink. We replied back saying we were here for dinner and didn’t need a drink. He then walked away and we ended up walking to the restaurant and waited for three minutes looking like idiots and no staff to be seen before someone asked us if we wanted to be seated. I think St John’s has now turned into a gloried bar and it is a shame as it use to be a nice place to go out for a nice dinner. One bonus was the food came fast, maybe a bit too fast.
Website; St John’s Bar and Restaurant