Sunday 15 November 2009

Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2005, Central Otago

home_strip1 Unscrewing the cap of a 2005 Wooing Tree Pinot Noir from Central Otago the first thing I noticed was a magnificent cherry aroma that was released.

Once in the glass, this accentuated the cherry, but I then smelt a strong aroma that I attribute to alcohol and Jane also got leather.  The alcohol aroma dissipated over time.

This beautiful looking ruby red coloured wine is lighter than I expected for a 2005.

This is a big wine with quite a bit of complexity, well balanced, few tannins, a little bit of acid and remarkably smooth.  A delight to drink.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Fratelli, Blair St, Wellington

I went to Fratelli on Wednesday night in Wellington with some family friends I came across in my travels for dinner.  This was my first time here, but they had been here before.

We started with one of the best Margherita pizzas I’ve ever had.  I then followed this with a Risotto with slow cooked Duck, Beetroot & Orange.  Beetroot and Orange together in a risotto is a tad bizarre but it made for a tasty (although not outstanding) risotto.

The restaurant had a nice ambience, good service and the food was a high standard Italian meal that I thought was reasonably priced.

One Red Dog, Queens Wharf, Wellington

I went to One Red Dog on Queens Wharf in Wellington during the week for dinner with a colleague.  I had a large half and half pizza with:

  • ‘The fastest indian’ - real tandoori chicken, red onions, poppadoms, buttered chicken sauce + garlic yoghurt, and
  • ‘terayaki lamb’ -lamb marinated in red wine, honey & garlic with spring onions, mushrooms + teriyaki sauce. 

Both sides of the pizza were good and I would order them again.

The restaurant was quite quiet when we were there, the food arrived swiftly and it was a nice relaxed environment.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Manuka Restaurant, Devonport

For lunch today we headed along to Manuka Restaurant in Devonport.  We have been here a few times over the years, with mixed experiences.

Today I had a Beef burger which was okay, but nothing special.  I would have preferred the fries to be fatter than the shoestring fries that accompanied it, and the fries didn’t actually taste that great.

Jane had a fish pie, that was comprised of salmon, white fish and chewy prawns.  It was under-seasoned, and she would not order it again.

On the positive side, the coffees were good and the food and drinks arrived in a timely manner.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the pizzas here in the past and would look to return to eating these on our next visit.

Clooney - fabulous again as expected

Last night we took a friend out to Clooney for her birthday. We first visited Clooney back in May and Simon has referred to it as his favourite restaurant ever since. Well, last night served only to further secure that status in both of our minds.

We had the same waiter as last time and he was once again excellent, and we really do appreciate having a waiter who you can completely trust to choose an appropriate wine for you and be surprised and delighted by the result. I also appreciate that he is incredibly gracious in his approach - I can sometimes feel a bit stupid hazarding a guess at what I am drinking or asking questions about wine that I perhaps ought to already know, but this is certainly not the case with this waiter (apologies but I have no idea what his name is), and he taught me a few things along the way as well.

Still waxing lyrical about our waiter - I made a point of commenting to my girlfriend that 'we could sing you happy birthday with your dessert' while our watier was in earshot. And sure enough, when dessert later arrived, hers had a candle and 'Happy Birthday' piped in chocolate on the plate. Splendid, wonderful man!

Despite it being our second visit, we still really appreciated and enjoyed the decor and how classy it all is - despite knowing that if the lights were turned all the way up, it would just be a fairly raw, fairly ugly warehousey kind of space! But it is far from that with the ambient lighting, the subtle curtaining and the privacy afforded by clever placement and private lighting.

The menu was essentially the same as our previous visit, but we all chose very different dishes, and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I'll say no more about the food - it is fabulous and flawless sums it up perfectly.