With an unfavourable Friday involving a west to east crossing of the international date line – making my day last around 40 hours – ahead, I thought a relaxed Thursday would be in order.
Accordingly, I focussed my main dining out adventure on lunchtime and decided to make perennial Wellington favourite Logan Brown my target.
Having been trading for some twenty plus years, it has long been regarded as the flagship restaurant of the city. I suspect that means that it’s viewed as old hat by some. It certainly has a very formidable appearance with their dining room a neo-classical bank conversion with elegant columns and some all too familiar cornicing. While some may perhaps find it a little intimidating, I thought it was rather splendid.
Dining at lunchtime allowed me to take advantage of their high-value bistro set menu which offered three courses for $50. Their full a la carte and tasting menus were available but I was happy with the set list.
I did add a couple of their signature abalone ravioli to open. Served with a zingy lime beurre blanc, the pasta was beautifully thin and delicate while the filling showcased the flavour of the abalone while deftly negotiating its often dense texture. This was a very worthy signature dish and I enjoyed it very much.
I then moved on to a dish of slow cooked carrots with whipped goat’s cheese and beets. My love of the carrot has grown no end on this trip and this was another splendid dish. It was a bonnie and delicious plate of food.
The main of confit duck leg atop smoked celeriac puree and white beans with lardons was a real stick-to-your-ribs classic, ideal for what was a typically squally Wellington day. I enjoyed it muchly.
The dessert was hazelnut beignets – little savoury doughnuts – with toffee apple, orange, and cardamom ice cream. This had good complexity to the textures and was an accomplished dessert.
So overall, Logan Brown served me a really top notch lunch, one of the best ones I had in my time in New Zealand. It’s a classic occasion restaurant but with the bistro menu it becomes a highly accessible spot for a business lunch or a catch-up with friends. Next time I’m in these parts I’ll check out their tasting menu as on the evidence of today’s lunch it’s likely to be of very high quality.
Blythe scores Logan Brown
4.5/5 for food
4.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 17.5/20
I ate: paua ravioli; slow roasted carrots; confit duck; hazelnut beignet
I drank: grapefruit rosemary shrub, water
I wore: linens
Total bill: $70.50
Address: corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets, Wellington 6011