We celebrated the Mongolian’s birthday in Queenstown at Rata Dining by Josh Emett, who is one of NZ’s Masterchef judges and previously worked in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin starred restaurants. It was a fantastic meal, the Mongolian considers it better than some of the fine dining restaurants in Sydney. The service was terrific, our waitress was very personable and informative about the menu.
Treacle rye bread w/ house smoked butter – the bread was a bit cake like in texture with a super crunchy crust but lovely soft and bouncy inside. The treacle also lent a sweet yet bitter flavour to the bread. The butter so airy and creamy, it was like spreading whipped cream, with a very subtle smoked flavour.
Buttermilk spiced chicken oysters, spring tomato harissa – chicken oysters lie on the side of the chicken’s backbone, and is very tender and juicy (some consider it the best part of the chicken). The batter was perfect – not too thick, not too thin, well seasoned and went well with the spicy harissa
Wood smoked salmon, snow peas, asparagus, confit lemon, pea feather – the salmon had a delightfully delicate smoked flavour (not overpowering, like some smoked salmon can be) complimented perfectly by the tart creaminess of the mayo
Seared Wakanui sirloin, crispy ox tongue, oyster mayonnaise, edamame – the sirloin was tender with a slight bite. There was an interesting flavour combo with oyster mayo tartness from the yellow pickled radish.
Beef wellington with portobello mushrooms – this was an off the menu special that everyone raved about on Instagram. Normally they are for sharing between two, but luckily on our night they had some giant single serve portions. The beef was a bit chewy and tasteless, but the portobello mushrooms both smeared inside the pastry and served on the side added a meaty tastiness to the dish. Also a very sizeable side salad.
Marinated Merino lamb rump, spring green vegetables, rosemary, goats cheese & shallot – the lamb was super super tender (NZ lamb is amazing!!!), the goats cheese was also surprisingly pleasant.
Lychee panna cotta, lychee foam, fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce, watermelon sorbet – all my fave summer fruits in one, but I was a bit disappointed the panna cotta was a flat round disk at the bottom of the plate, so I couldn’t wobble it.
Valrhona chocolate mousse, salted chocolate macaroons, raspberries and coffee ice cream