Tuesday 4 January 2011

Mills Reef Restaurant, Bethlehem, Tauranga

Located in a beautiful setting, Mills Reef have a superb selection of wines and an excellent cellar door experience (Morgan, in particular, was very knowledgeable and friendly).

After sampling some (okay, a lot) of wines, we proceeded through to the restaurant and a nice table outside sheltered from the sun by one of their numerous outdoor umbrellas.

We started with some lovely fresh breads which were accompanied with butter, olive oil and a salmon and sour cream spread.  The olive oil was nice, but the salmon spread was a bit too salty.P1000151small

I then had the Chinese poached duck with plum, kumara mash and wilted bok choy and Jane had the Vietnamese prawn salad with peanuts, iceberg lettuce, mint and coriander.  The duck dish was nice, although the duck was a little dry.  Jane found the prawn salad was disappointing; underdressed and the mint and coriander could be described only as sparing.

The service started off great and our waiter was eagerly refilling our water as soon as it got below half and our meals arrived promptly.  As the restaurant got more populated, the service declined and we observed a number of other tables trying to get attention.  We decided we would like to order coffees but after 15 minutes of inattention just asked for the bill instead.  15 minutes later the bill still hadn’t arrived, so we went up to the counter and paid there instead.

For an experience that started so well, it’s a shame that we ended up leaving disappointed.

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