On our flight from Auckland to Nelson, the Mongolian was flipping through one of the on flight travel magazines and he came across an advertisement for the NZ Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards, which “acknowledge the consistently high standard of beef and lamb cuisine.”
Once we landed in Nelson, we did a quick search of the website for restaurants nearby who have received the award and selected Panama Kitchen Bar for dinner.
House smoked fish with caper and lemon salsa – this turned out to be pate, which the menu doesn’t state. I’m a bit meh about pate in general, but the Mongolian liked it. He only finished half the jar with the provided croutes, so we asked for the remainder to be taken away for our lunch the next day, but the kitchen threw it out!! I was pretty upset about that but they gave us a 50% discount on the dish | Panko crusted Portobello mushrooms with blue cheese aioli – loved this dish, those big, juicy, meaty pieces of mushroom were just perfect! and the aioli had a distinct blue cheese flavour but not overpowering.
Marinated lamb chops, mozzarella and pea arancini, roasted vine tomatoes, garlic parsley, lemon, balsamic reduction jus – the lamb was quite fatty, but dish was good apart from that.
350g 21 day dry aged ribeye steak with duck fat roasted potatos and garlic butter – the beef was good, but the potatoes were a let down as they weren’t flavoursome enough and not fried for long enough. Probably would have used smaller potatoes anyway…
Local rose and local ale to go with the food
Vanilla bean ice cream with strawberry and orange liqueur couli, white chocolate and short bread bark & whipped cream