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By Heather• 7 Mar 2017 • 1 Comments
Just before Christmas I spotted a Grabone voucher for fine dining at the Tinakori Bistro and couldn’t help but take the bait.
I arrived with much skepticism about the ‘fine dining’ bit, but was very surprised by the quality of food presented, and came away rather intrigued.
After talking to Aaron Stott recently (chef/relatively new owner), all became clear:
And the three-course dinner we enjoyed showcased all that.
We found the flavours and textures to be well judged – tart pickled beetroot against smoked mushrooms and truffle dressing, hazelnut praline crackling against a gentle banana parfait and salted caramel ice cream – and the execution of all dishes to be very good.
The chip fiend’s steak was a perfect medium-rare, and my smoked duck was also tender and nicely smokey.
Aaron apparently tinkers with the dishes continually, so the smoked duck salad for example, might be on something different this week to last (we sense much menu re-printing and very patient front of house staff!).
The wine list provides one of each varietal, carefully chosen by Aaron and partner Katy from both NZ and around the world. This will also morph a little like the food menu - having just added a couple of Portugese wines this week.
On the night we visited, the Bistro was showcasing Matawhero wines, so I enjoyed a tasting flight of three. The Pinot Noir Rose went well with the parfait, as did the Chenin Blanc with the smoked duck salad, and the Albarino with the coconut cake. Totally planned of course!
The non-alcs, beer, aperitif and spirits also offer one of most things, with the beer selection probably the smallest. I also spied a range of special hot chocolates for next time – salted caramel and rum, chocolate orange, and coconut malibu.
The charm of the old cottage has remained, but the décor is now modern and contemporary, with some interesting art works featured. There's also buckets of space upstairs for functions, big groups and future degustations.
On top of the current à la carte and set menus, Aaron plans to introduce a $45 pp six-course share dinner very soon, and replace the gas oven with a charcoal version to further enhance the flavour notes within his food.
Definitely a place to experience some pretty fine eats without breaking the bank.