The City Dining restaurant at the West Plaza hotel surprised me.
I wanted to try their Wellington on a Plate menu since it had some interesting vegetarian offerings, and is somewhere I haven’t eaten before. So the invitation was issued and five of us went to check it out.
I expected nil ambience and yet the lighting and fabrics lent a pleasant air to the space (sorry forgot to photograph the decor after all that!). And we enjoyed a drink first in the plush, slightly-darkened, cosy lounge bar on the other side of the foyer first. Huh.
The restaurant service was very good and it was warm and peaceful, and so the scene was set for a very nice time catching up with friends.
The Parkvale mushroom tortellini with Prana micro herbs and parmesan was very good, and the prune and walnut bread on the Kapiti aged cheddar and quince cheeseboard outstanding. And the perfect size. Enough bread/crackers for the cheese, not too much cheese, and crisp complementing fruits. I’d even go as far as to say this is the best cheeseboard I’ve had in years (primarily because of the bread).
The vego WOAP West Vege burger was pronounced far more than met the eye and very good also (even by a fairly carnivorous lad among us), and the creme brûlée desserts also had just the right textures and flavours.
The only wrong note was the venison on the Island Bay Butchery osso bucco and saffron risotto dish being tough (overcooked or cooked too quickly we suspect). When pointed out they immediately offered to bring replacement meals which was the right response. The risotto got the tick as well.
So although it probably still wouldn’t be any of the first places I’d think of when heading out for dinner, it’d be the perfect place for a work lunch or business dinner, or even just dinner somewhere peaceful to enjoy good conversation over good food.