Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spectacular View - Pegasus Bay Restaurant, Wairapa

On a fine sunny day in summer, if you happen to be in Wairapa, South Island, New Zealand (40min drive north of Christchurch), you have to come here to Pegasus Bay Restaurant/Winery, either for some wine tasting or a sensational lunch.  Booking is essential here especially in summer.  I have always arrived early to sample the latest harvests follow by one of those 3 hour lunch.  The service here is wonderful, staffs are lovely and the food is just amazing!

The complimentary appetiser is always different.  The most memorable ones that I have sampled throughout the years were the lightly smoked fish ball and the amazing creamy asparagus soup.  This time the chef prepared a light and refreshing berry soup with a hint of mint, absolutely delicious and a great way to welcome summer.  Entree was the smoked hapuka (a white meat fish) carpaccio with shallots, sorrel, grapefruit, truffle dwarf peaches and house made fennel pollen accompanied with grissini. this was a flavourful and well balanced dish.  The light smoky flavour on the tender hapuka contrasting the sour grapefruit finished off with the salty crunchy grissini, yum!

Now for the famous main, duck for two!  Muscovy duck, braised & crisp fried, kirsch cherry jus accompanied with rocket, butter crunch, mint, pomegranate, ricotta, pistachios, aged balsamic with new season potato, aioli, olives.  Year after year I have returned for this dish, it is a good thing that it is made for two so I always had an excuse to invited good company to share this amazing duck with :) crispy duck skin with enriched flavours of pinot noir and cherry, absolutely amazing!  A great wine to accompany this is the Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir, since the chef from memory used the same wine to marinate and braise the duck for two days. 

Lastly desert, my favourite part! Cassis and pinot sorbet with polenta shortbread.  Passion fruit soufflé with anglaise. To me there's nothing more exciting than a fluffy soufflé accompanied with fresh creme anglaise and this one is definitely a winner, so delicious! The Cassis came in an ice vessel, took us a while to decipher how it was made - I'm thinking two balloons, one filled with water with the other air-filled balloon inside it? How do you think it could be made?  I had the 2007 Pegasus Bay "Aria" Late-Harvest Riesling.  Aria is a very fragrant wine that tastes fruity and not too overly sweet like other Late-Harvest Riesling on the market which goes well with sweet desert like my passion fruit soufflé, absolutely heavenly together! 


FOOD: Fantastic food and delicious wine.
PRICE: A bit on the pricey side, but it is worth your every penny.
WINE SELECTION: Very good selection.
SERVICE: Super friendly.
ATMOSPHERE: Great outdoor dining area with a spectacular view.

Summary:  Dining here is definitely a treat, you will enjoy every minute of it, so be sure to make this your next destination while you're in the South Island, New Zealand while the summer is still smiling at us :)

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