In a world blighted by complicated menus, overworked dishes and overreaching chefs, one of our most corporate hotels offers sweet relief that ticks all the boxes.
Beyond the mute chatter of the adjacent bar is a cocoon of hospitality and an aura of warmth. The décor is striking with plenty of talent. A wall to wall wine bottle mural blends effortlessly into elegant surroundings with unstinting attention to detail.
When it comes to the menu the hardest decision is what not to order. On offer is conceptually appealing classic French cuisine. Call it a meeting of the minds. Between master chefs Arun Pillai and Yannick Cayrol their passion and energy caters for the timid and the adventurous.
We started with a six oysters three ways ($15), fish kokoda, coconut, onion chilli, lime, tomato ($16) and yellow fin tuna, smoked eggplant and black garlic with each dish punching well above its weight. The kitchen finds plenty of room to flex its muscles with other culinary triumphs as beef tartare ($19), confit ratatouille ($16), wagyu beef albondigas ($21), sticky pork belly ($19), octopus salteado ($21) and green lipped mussels ($16).
Yannick knew when to tweak our mains. The fish of the day bourride style ($34) saffron shellfish mariniere, baby potatoes and angus beef ribs in coconut stew ($34), lime, chilli, rice noodles and caramelised peanuts were competently cooked and attractively plated. Otherwise you might try chicken roulade ($37), black seafood paella ($38), organic freekeh ($32) and quinoa pilaf ($32). And there’s a lesson from the grill on how to be big and bustling without compromising quality and finesse. Wakanui sirloin ($39), beef rib to share ($48), merino lamb loin ($41), free range pork cutlets ($39) and fresh water salmon ($36) all add serious protein to the menu.
Desserts lend truth to the “save room for” cliché saving the best till last. Sweet pleasures as apple tart ($15), rhubarb and feijoa sabayon gratin ($14), red berries vacherin ($15), roasted pear ($14) and valrhona dulcey chocolate and hazelnut delice ($16).
Wines are a hard hitting collection dominated by some of our most acclaimed wineries with many by-the-glass temptations.
And the verdict? We could fill a separate entry analysing the quality of the food which has found its true home. In all this was one of those rare occasions where we experienced an immensely satisfying and near perfect meal underscored by smart swift service.
Wine list 8
Value for oney 8.5
Tapestry: Licensed, Waterloo Quadrant, City, Ph 09 353 1000, Dinner 7 days, Credit cards 1.5% surcharge, pullmanauckland.co.nz
Words: Dennis and Rosamund Knill
353 1000 | Open 7days