So I am back at my favourite restaurant / bar in Queenstown, The Bunker. I always make it a point of dining here when I am in Queenstown. The restaurant is focused on sourcing fresh and wonderful New Zealand produce along with simple culinary application to ensure the natural flavours of the food shine.
I get there a little early and I curl up next to the fire with a beautiful espresso martini to kick-off the evening. The beautiful waft of espresso and the alcohol hit keeps you awake and warm at the same time!
Eventually I head down to the restaurant and am seated in the cosy cabin environment with a beautiful table setting.
I select this beautiful Chardonnay to pair with entrée.
Wine: Mahi, Chardonnay (2014), Marlborough, New Zealand
The aromas of grapefruit and stone fruits tingle the nasal senses and flow onto the palate. The wine has a rich creamy texture with notes of nuts, stone and a fresh minerality which runs through the palate. A very good wine to pair with a seafood dish.
Fricassee of Stewart Island Langoustine, Crab Meat, Crème Fraiche, Chervil in a lemon and dill crepe, carrot jus and whole poached No.2 Scampi.
The baked doughy crepe contains the rich warm Fricassee which displays a beautiful array of fresh creamy seafood flavours (The flaky crab and sweet langoustines). The carrot jus offers a delicate base which doesn’t overpower the seafood. The scampi which sits on top of the crepe has a beautiful fresh sweet meat which I savour for as long as possible. Its a very interesting dish indeed.
Vasse Felix, Cabernet Sauvignon, (2012), Margaret River
The waft of redcurrant and blackcurrant fruits typical of most Cabernets ease me into this wine. On the mouth the beautiful rich blackcurrant and red fruit flavours flow effortlessly with a velvety texture to arouse the palate. There are little hints of cedar and reasonable tannins (which is probably fine given it was paired with a venison). A very nice drop and perfect for the cold winter of Queenstown.
Seared Striploin and Braised Osso Bucco of South Otago Venison, Crisp Polenta, Sautéed Beans and Almonds, Macerated Cranberries and Spiced Chocolate Jus
The beautiful rich expressive gamey flavour of the venison striploin dominates the dish. The osso bucco is interesting, given it is typically best used for fatty meats. It proves to be well executed with the flavour of venison asserting itself while the there. It is not too tough and has a lovely texture.
The crunch of the polenta is a lovely textural contrast and gives that comfort feel to the dish. The cranberries and chocolate jus add a lovely sweet and strong flavours to match the venison perfectly.
I stick with the Vasse Felix given how much I love it and opt for the cheese platter for dessert.
Brie with Stonefruit Chutney, Honeycomb, Walnuts and Crackers
The wonderful creamy soft buttery brie is the perfect signature to end the evening. The honeycomb is sensuous and the walnuts add a lovely texture to plate. It is a simple and beautiful end to the afternoon.
As with all my prior dining experiences at The Bunker, it was a lovely simple dinner with the quality New Zealand produce being the star of the evening.