The major to Strawberry Fare’s id is stumbled on on its menu: entirely half of it’s devoted to desserts.
And in a signal of how significantly the sugary stalwart of a restaurant treats desserts, they’re even destroy up into sections on the menu – specials, chocolate, warm, frozen and chilly. If that does no longer earn you angry, then I’m betting you place no longer prefer a sweet teeth.
If that is so, don’t push apart Strawberry Fare, on story of the savoury half of the menu is rarely any afterthought. My meal used to be so just I could presumably well even contain happily skipped dessert (though I’m obvious at ease I didn’t).
I contain complained about what number of Christchurch restaurants peep out on parking plenty but Strawberry Fare’s is shrimp, so know which that you just would possibly also very successfully be likely in for a hunt at some stage in the busy and labyrinthine Carlton Mill Rd conclude of Bealey Ave.
The doorway to the restaurant is additionally a tiny bit confusing. Though there is a little welcome desk downstairs, a signal directs you upstairs to register. Then, as another of finding a host’s desk, wait team will intercept you and inquire about your booking. It results in awkward traffic jams at the cease of the stairs, or, as came about to our eating neighbours, seating your self at a desk handiest to be told the desk is reserved (it turned out to be their reserved desk in spite of the whole lot but they’d to endure an awkward wait at the bar first).
As soon as settled into a desk in the centre of the eating room, we admired the elevated behold over the Carlton Mill nook of Hagley Park. It used to be an attractive window over a key Christchurch intersection and the changing twilight sky over Hagley Park made for a graceful backdrop. The decor of bare tables and Scandinavian form chairs felt casual and a tiny bit limited but the excessive-ceilinged, airy room compensated.
Our suited and involved waiter used to be unable to answer a couple of routine questions about the menu. Nevertheless she used to be attentive and the most convenient precise hitch in the carrier – a lacking sharing plate and situation-up – came about when she used to be on a destroy.
Intent on saving room for dessert, we ordered two “lighter dishes” and one major. The lighter dishes, additionally billed as only for sharing, were giant parts and will contain served as mains.
The Pacific-model kokoda used to be a successfully-balanced version of accelerate, with little chunks of gurnard marinated in lime and lemon juice, coconut cream, current chilli, coriander, cucumber and tomato. It used to be served with triangles of toasted tortilla and I used to be ecstatic to peep that irrespective of the suited serving, there used to be masses of tortilla to spoon it on to.
A cheese plate featured a giant wedge of Kikorangi Blue cheese, served with current Medjool dates stuffed with goat cheese and quince paste – and lots of perfectly toasted and tranquil warm ciabatta.
Each and each were easy dishes that took perfect substances, treated them with the utmost care and presented them superbly. The dwelling made quince paste from the proprietor’s quince trees used to be the very ultimate counterpoint to the rich creamy tang of the Kikorangi Blue and the velvety current dates were a revelation to this date sceptic.
Our shared major used to be the pan-fried fish of the day – gurnard – served with a herb and lemon mash, unhurried roasted tomatoes, salsa verde, roasted garlic aioli and a balsamic glaze. The fish used to be perfectly cooked and each ingredient complemented the others, making every chunk a shrimp see in steadiness.
The roasted cherry tomatoes were sweet and flavour-packed, the parsley and lemon salsa verde added acidic tang, and the buttery mash and creamy aioli made for unctuous mouth feel. My glass of Matawhero Gewurtztraminer used to be an very ultimate accompaniment, plucked from a successfully-chosen but no longer overwhelmingly long wine list.
Round us, many diners were ordering suited desserts and I could presumably well not encourage but feel they were lacking out. On the diversified hand, every dessert that came out looked extra graceful than the earlier.
To earn a massive desire, we chose the chef’s dessert tasting plate, a trio of smaller versions of some classics: a creme brulee, a passionfruit cheesecake and a “sunken” chocolate and berry cake, which came with blackcurrant sorbet and a berry coulis.
All were perfect and that would contain sufficed, but there used to be no plot I could presumably well also plod previous the salted caramel and shadowy chocolate mousse gateaux.
Layers of shadowy chocolate mousse alternated with a moist chocolate sponge and a delightfully salty and thick caramel sauce, accompanied by chocolate icecream that had shrimp balls of chocolaty honeycomb and chocolate tuille.
I could presumably well also peep why Strawberry Fare earned its if truth be told-earned reputation for desserts, but I believed the restaurant undersold its perfect savoury dishes. Greater trained wait team and some crisp linen tablecloths would contain helped signal that that is a significantly just restaurant, no longer suited a massive situation to transfer for a sweet repair.
At a look: Strawberry Fare
19 Bealey Ave
Ph (03) 365 4897
Open: Monday-Friday, 7am-wearisome; weekends eight.30am-wearisome
Costs: lighter dishes: $21.50-$26.50; mains: $26.ninety-$37-50; desserts: $18.50-$23.50.
Stamp: $123 for two (except for for drinks)
Drinks list: ★★★★