I was actually excited to stay at home on a cold winter night.  However, “Momma Bear” asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner with her to Spruce Goose and as she paid I said “yes”.  Had not heard a lot of things from Spruce Goose but as they were a finalist with their burger last year I thought way not try it.  We arrived and I was more interested in the set menu.  However, I decided to go for the burger while “Momma Bear” ordered the set menu

Paua Toa

Wildfish Export’s pāuā and chilli fritter with fennel and green apple slaw in a Zaida’s brioche bun, with lemon salted handcut fries

I was impressed with this burger.  It was presented very nicely with elements from the sea.  The lemon salted hand cut chips were very nice and crisp as was the aioli that went with the chips.  The bun was very nice.  However, I did feel the cumin that was baked on top of the bun did slightly overpower the burger.  The slaw was very refreshing but the paua was the star of the show and very nice  Overall the burger was very nice. However, the difficult thing about the burger was trying to squirt the lemon on top of the paua.


Wairarapa coast crayfish bisque with pāuā dumpling

This was very nice with the paua dumplings.  It was tomato based.  However, it was slightly a bit too salty for my liking.


Wildfish Export tarakihi with celeriac purée, tangelo marmalade and rocket

Again a very nice dish and “Momma Bear” really liked this dish.  She really like the celeriac element of the dish.  It was great to see some mussels also added to the dish and the fish was nicely cooked and seasoned.


Poached Ōtaki tamarillos with creamed rice and Carello del Gelato chocolate sorbet

“Momma Bear” also loved this dish.  It was very nice.  She really liked the tamarillos and surprisingly the creamed rice.  I thought the cream rice was very nice and had a nice vanilla base to it.  Also the gelato was really nice and based on dark chocolate not milk chocolate.


Overall I thought the meal was very nice and also the service was really good.  The burger was very nice and worked really well.  The only thing I did not like about the burger was the overpowering flavour of the cumin seeds.  Otherwise a very good burger.  My score 9 out of 10.