Wellington Restaurant: Boulcott Street Bistro

Wellington Restaurant, Boulcott Street Bistro, Review, NZ Dining, North Island

Boulcott Street Bistro Wellington, New Zealand

Restaurant in Wellington

15 Aug 2007

Boulcott Street Bistro

Boulcott Street Bistro and Winebar – Wellington, NZ

Visiting Wellington we came across a tiny wooden house swamped by tall modern glass and steel office / hotel blocks. Out of curiousity we crossed the busy road to check it out. It was a restaurant, a very inviting looking one at that. The wall-mounted menu looked varied and affordable for a special night out.

The door was unlocked, so we went in to see if we could book a table for that evening. A man, polishing the brass edges around the bar, told us that no bookings could be taken for evenings at the restaurant, it was ‘first come first served’. He recommended we come back at 6pm. At 6pm we were back. Another two sets of diners were already tucking into their dinners. One had brought their very well-behaved baby. Not a problem, though I wouldn’t say the atmosphere of the place lent itself to children in general.

The tables were for two or four settings and all dressed with good quality white table cloths, candles, good quality cutlery and salt + pepper. We were shown to our table, and the waiter produced the menus and a winelist. We decided to skip the starters and go for a glass of ‘NZ bubbly’. This was without regret, in spite of the seven mouth-watering listed starters, ranging from twice-baked goats cheese souffle at $17 to seared Nelson scallops with citrus salad, also at $17.

While we enjoyed the bubbly, fresh baguette with butter was served. Our glasses of water were constantly refilled and we read the menu’s offerings of main courses. Before we had finished our entrée drinks, our chosen bottle of white wine arrived. A little rushed, but once we asked for it to be put in the cooler behind the bar, we felt we’d started to set the tempo. We felt the slight rush was perhaps attributed to the fact that no table bookings had been made by any of the guests, and quite a group of wanting diners were building up in the bar.

Adrian decided on the Fillet Bearnaise with homemade fries (chips) at $34, and I went for the Pan-fried fillet of sole with caper butter, broccoli and, instead of the ordinary potatoes, I asked for ‘anna potatoes’, totalling $32. When the waiter described what ‘anna potatoes’ was it sounded lovely and light. However, in reality it was another story. Our dinners arrived without delay.

Presentation was not pretentious, yet not ‘greasy spoon’ either – just perfect. Adrian had ordered his steak rare, which it indeed was and served with a small, but sufficient portion of fries.

My sole was beautiful with lovely tangy capers (maybe not enough) to set off the butter sauce. However the ‘anna potatoes’ were heavy, oily, stodgy and tasteless. I instantly regretted being adventurous. Our meals were accompanied by the afore mentioned bottle of white wine, which was periodically brought out of the cooler to replenish our glasses.

After dinner we were left to digest for a minute before being showed the dessert menue. On the menu we found a good variation from ‘Rhum baba’ which was a doughnut dipped in rum, to the usual cheese board. Adrian decided on the Chocolate Marquis, and I went for the so-called legendary Crème brûlée.

The waiter assured us, people would travel from all over New Zealand just to indulge in the Boulcott Street crème brûlée. This clearly got my gastric expectations excited. However, I had spotted a little mention of almond ice cream as part of something else on the menu, so I asked if we could possibly have a little taster of that as well.

The desserts presentations were again perfect. Adrian’s choice of Chocolate Marquis could have been served with a little strawberry, or ice cream to break up the heavy chocolate taste. However it was delicious and light in texture. My Crème brûlée was lovely too, with a nice thick layer of caramelised sugar to crack through, and it was served with a little fresh fruit on the side. Having said that, I would not have travelled through an entire country the size of the UK to eat it again.

Our total bill was $175 including wine.

We felt a little rushed, but didn’t give in and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Location: Boulcott Street, Wellington, New Zealand

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