Well aren’t you lucky if you live at Sovereign Palms out in Kaiapoi, because that’s where you’ll find Jagz of Sovereign Palms too. I had met Anne, the owner of Jagz, at a Silver Fern Farms formal dinner and we had talked about her menu. So when a friend recommended I try it, I made the 20 minute drive north to 416 Williams Street in Kaiapoi. It’s very near the entrance to Sovereign Palms so you can’t miss it. We were welcomed at the door by Alice, Alice Cunningham to be precise. I got her full name as we struck up a conversation. It’s that kind of place, friendly staff who are there but not there if you know what I mean. I don’t want a hovering buzzard while I’m trying to have a conversation but when my Matawhereo merlot is nearing that desperate stage of one more mouthful left, you want one there straight away. POOf there she was. She’s great.
I met her at the door and she showed us to our seats in the corner with two other couples. Looking over the menu, I found a lot of choice, Tempura battered squid, seafood chowder, salt and pepper prawns to name a few on the entre’ list. Grace chose Salt n pepper prawns and I went for seafood chowder. Sounds like stock standard stuff eh? Yes, bloody good stuff too. It’s cold in Christchurch at the moment their chowder hit the spot. As I’m writing, it’s the “go for a bowl right now” kind of good. Grace ordered the prawns which was great, because I wanted those too. Alice looked me with that “boyfriend orders what he wants too for the girlfriend” look.
As I said earlier I was having the Matawhereo Gisborne merlot while were waiting and Grace was having the Three paddles Martinbourough Riesling. I ALWAYS enjoy the Matawhero.
Jagz is a very warm and inviting place, it wasn’t just the service and the food. While we were trying to make up our mind I kept looking at what the table next to us was ordering and discussing it with Grace. They overheard our conversation and recommended that I try the Venison as a main. Ray, from Elite Carpet Cleaning, (there you go Ray and his partner Margy were great conversation and they gave me some details about Jagz which is why if you live at Sovereign Palms your lucky. They look after the locals with “for the local” deals. Street by street deals. How cool is that?! We took their advice and ordered the Venison hotpot and Grace went for the fried chicken.
The entrees arrived. The chowder was full of fruit de mere and creamy, not flowery. Good consistency with just the right mix of everything needed to make it a good chowder experience. Over the years I’ve got picky about chowder so that’s high praise. The prawns were great, Grace was lucky I didn’t eat all of them. Good spicy aioli to go with them. Not overcooked. We had not waited long either.
Grace doesn’t like me having the slow cooked food at home, says she likes having the variable tastes but I LOVE slow cooked meat if it’s done well. The Venison arrived and the chef had got it right. The Venison was good. The entrees had been a good size and it hadn’t helped that I’d had half of Graces prawns so I found myself unable to get through the rich gravy and tender morsels of venison on the hot pot, so it found its way to my lunch the next day. Don’t you love a good dish that’s great the next day too? Grace got through the fried chicken, which amazed me because it looked bigger than my dish. I tried a tiny bit (YES! I go to the gym!) and it was moist, chips were good too.
I had skipped half the main for a reason. I’d eyed up the desert menu as we were ordering and there was no way I was going to miss that! Yet again some good choices there, Chocolate and hazelnut brownie, sticky banana pudding, lemon meringue pie. The list went on but I settled on the ice-cream selection, Cookies and cream, maple and walnut, hokey pokey covered in a chocolate sauce. A good size serving again and I found room for it. Grace had gone for the Affogato, which is Vanilla icecream with a double shot of espresso and a baileys to mix. Quite a coffee hit for that time of the night but yet again the mix was right. Biscotti was perfect. A great way to finish a pleasant evening.
All in all, Jagz was a great experience. The staff were good, service was good, and food was really good. Totally worth the 20 minute drive from town and aren’t you lucky if you live out north of the city. Go to Jagz of Sovereign Palms, it’s worth the trip. Enjoy.
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