Papa Bear is back in town and he wanted to catch up over dinner, so I suggested Portlander for two reasons. He could eat New Zealand lamb as there are several lamb dishes and because they are in the Entertainment Book. A win win situation.
Wakanui Beef, Truffle Toast, Traditional Garnish
This was pretty cool how it was served in a deconstructed way. The beef was nicely cut and had a nice egg yolk in the middle. Separately on the spoons were nicely cut red onions, capers and Worcester sauce. Also there was salt, chilli oil, and some dijon mustard I think. When you mix it together it is nice. It had quite a punch to it in terms of pepper / chilli. The toast was very nicely seasoned and had a good hint of truffle. Overall a nice dish.
Slow Cooked BBQ Brisket
Smashed Potatoes, Confit shallots, Baby Carrots
A nicely presented dish. The BBQ brisket was tender and nicely grilled. It did not have a lot seasoning to it and was rather natural. The potatoes were nicely cooked and tender, as was the confit shallots. he baby carrots were a nice addition and as well nicely cooked as well. The jus bought everything together rather nicely and overall a nice dish.
New Season Asparagus
Lemon Butter, Pistachio crumbs
Overall very nicely cooked asparagus and nicely seasoned with lemon butter. The addition of the pistachios added to the dish and overall was a nice side dish.
The dinning experience was good. I would not say fantastic though. I did try the lamb rack and that was very nice. The service was OK and I felt that the waiters concentrated more on their hotel guests/international customers compared to the “locals” though. Overall a good place if you want NZ lamb and to showcase NZ produce.
Address: Rydges Hotel, Whitmore Street and Featherston Street, Pipitea, Wellington