For the last few weeks, Simon has been enjoying teasing me about where he had booked for my birthday dinner tonight. I had a short list of suspected locations, but, as I found out literally once we got outside the restaurant, I was completely wrong on all counts! Simon would have had me believe he had booked us in for McDonald's - asking me if I like happy meals and whether I'd prefer fries or salad. But no, he had booked us in at Meredith's on Dominion Road.
So yes, absolute top marks to Simon for booking a beautiful restaurant for dinner and for keeping it secret for so long! He thought I'd worked it out a couple of times, but no, I had no idea.
We had a beautiful meal in a lovely setting, with polished but not stuffy service - which I sincerely appreciate.
My entree was a taste sensation that I could happily live through again - Tuna with Abalone (aka Paua), Crab, Mirin and Mustard. The menu was on all counts somewhat enigmatic - which made a nice change from the current tradition of detailing every single item in a dish on the menu. Much was left to surprise - for example - the mustard was in fact a mustard sorbet. And I believe it was also dressed with a wasabi caviar and puffed rice (although not puffed like rice-bubbles!!!!). The mirin was lovely and the combination of flavours delicious. I had a glass of Simmonet Chablis with this - a great match and a lovely wine.
Simon had a crayfish entree which I couldn't begin to tell you about. Perhaps he'll share later.
For my main I had the Poussin which was served with a Paprika foam, a cauliflower puree (really really good) and baby leeks. Ooh, and scallops. How could I forget! I wasn't entirely fussed on the paprika foam, I felt it detracted a little from the rest of the dish, but I just moved it aside once I'd decided that and enjoyed the dish without it. The puree was my favourite part of this dish. I had a glass of Envoy Chardonnay - I am not usually a chardonnay fan, particularly when it is wooded, but this was delicious and a wonderful match. Thanks to our server for this recommendation.
Simon had the market fish, which by all accounts was really good.
Dessert. Ah yes, the enigmatic and fascinating menu continues! This time, Nachos. Yes, a dessert entry titled simply, "Nachos". I had to have it. :-) Corn chips with chocolate mince, apricot melted cheese, yoghurt sour cream and, hmm, not sure what the guacamole was come to think of it. But as you can hopefully see from my sketchy camera-phone photo below, it was convincingly nacho like! And yes, it was really tasty! Very novel, but tasty too! Ooh, and in fine form, yes I had a glass of dessert wine with this - a Hunters 2007 Riesling - beautiful and light and luscious and hintingly flowery, without being coying or syrupy - a delightfully balanced sticky.Simon had a white chocolate tube with 'liquid mango', melon and a variety of other delectable morsels.
All in all, a wonderful birthday dinner, great food, lovely wine, excellent service and of course marvellous company! Thanks honey!