To be honest, this is not a place I would usually go. I cannot remember the last time, I have been to a Restaurant in a Hotel. However, Mamma Bear apparently does and has been here a few times and where possible uses First Table. They changed the menu seasonally and they had just introduced their Autumn menu. She managed to get a voucher for the night and wanted to try the new menu, so off we went.

Firstly, I forget at times there is this Hotel here on Courtney Place and didn’t even know there was a restaurant connected to it. The decor though is pretty plain, a bit sterile and could use with a bit of character if you asked me. However, you do get a nice view of Courtney Place if you sit at the window and great to people watch.

The meal started with a amuse-bouche of a small piece of paneer with some chutney and that was really nice, a bit of a kick and a nice variety of flavours to entice the taste buds . We decided to share the 40 degree poached salmon as an entree, which was really good, with a good serving of salmon. The corn puree was a lovely match and was also nice to get some salmon roe in there. For a main, I had the Venison, which was perfectly cooked, the kumara mash and cauliflower puree were paired perfectly with the venison, the cauliflower and carrots had a lovely crunch to them and the prune and red onion jam added a lovely sweetness to it. Momma Bear had the Lamb rack, which was also cooked perfectly and the first time I have ever had lamb sweetbread

For dessert, I had the Chocolate Entremets which was really nice, but slightly too big in serving and became too rich for me. Momma Bear had the Panna Cotta, which I preferred it more and she preferred my chocolate dish. Go figure.

Overall, a lovely dinner here and very good service. I would potentially go back, but I do find the decor to clean for my liking and needs some colour. Also, the first table we got was at 6.30 so actually wasn’t actually early to have dinner anyway. Also, the menu is rather limited with only four different dishes for entree, main and dessert. However, I can see why restaurants decide to do this as it cuts down cost and waste.

Address: Address: 89 Courtenay Place, Wellington 6011

Website: Oak & Vine Restaurant