We came here for dinner because we were staying in Gisborne for a night, were looking for somewhere to eat, and it started to rain as we were walking past.
The restaurant is housed in an old building, there's a fab ceiling but not much decor and the modern interior felt a bit cold, partly due to the grey weather and relative emptiness. The staff made up for this with a warm welcome however, sorting out menus, drinks etc.
The menu was 'reduced' since the head chef was away, but with at least 6 choices for each course, a few of each of which looked tempting, we didn't feel at all limited. There's a great pricing system of $30 for a main, $40 for two courses or $50 for three, and a good wine list with plenty of local Gisborne and NZ wines.
We started with scallops in bacon, and risotto cakes. The scallops were cooked just right and the accompanying bacon, cauli puree, pumpkin blini and leeks made for great flavour combinations. The risotto cakes were basically arancini, served with halloumi type cheese and a tomato chutney. Not as good as the scallops but still tasty.
Mains of Porterhouse steak (perfectly cooked) with mushrooms and potato gratin, and hapuku with ratatouille and creamed mussels were perhaps slightly less ambitious and more simply presented, but both delicious with generous portions, and we decided we could just about manage a dessert, sharing a chocolate cheesecake, which was a generous slice of not too rich chocolate, with chocolate ice cream and berry compote. We cleaned the plate!
Service was excellent, the courses not coming too quickly and our water being topped up. We topped up our own glasses of a great Marlborough PN, but maybe that's because we drink quickly! Staff were just the right side of chatty. It's a shame there weren't more diners present, and we thought it slightly odd that some walk-ins were told at 8.10pm that the kitchen had closed, but Gisborne on a wet Wednesday was completely dead.
Highly recommended if you're ever in Gisborne, on a wet or dry day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC