Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar, Te Aro (2nd March 2011)

After putting off going to Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar several times, Jono and I finally booked ourselves in for dinner at this well-known Wellington fine dining restaurant located on the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets. This was our final week in NZ before moving to Sydney so it was now or never!

I went to pick Jono up from work around 7pm in his car (correction, it's now Cheryl's car since she's bought it from Jono - we are technically borrowing her car). I think I'm quite a careful driver and despite having driven Jono's car a few times, I still feel nervous being in the driver's seat. There's always this niggling fear that I might dent or scratch his car though I don't seem to feel as bad if it was my Yaris...

Our table was not ready when we arrived so we had to sit by the bar until the maitre d' came to call us. "I suppose we may as well order drinks while we wait," I said to Jono and requested the drinks menu from the bartender. I tried the VIP cocktail, the restaurant's most famous cocktail made from a blend of passion fruit, citrus, Plymouth gin, Dolin Dry and Pimms while Jono ordered the Japanese Yebisu Lager (334mls). Sitting by the bar sipping our refreshing drinks, we soaked in the atmosphere of the restaurant - located in the restored 1920s historic bank chamber with its high ceilings, the place was lavishly decorated with leather couches near the bar, taxidermy game animals hanging on the walls, a grand chandelier illuminating the restaurant with soft lighting, and most interestingly, a bar top that is actually a salt water fish tank which stretches across the bar from one end to another. You can see small fish, baby crayfish (so cute!) and anemones through the glass top - it was very cool :)

Twenty minutes later, we were still hanging around at the bar so Jono went to enquire if our table was ready. It seemed that the maitre d' had forgotten about us (and the restaurant wasn't that busy). We were seated immediately but like earlier, the wait staff left us on our own for quite a while and we had to try catching their attention to put through our orders. Fortunately we were not in a hurry so the wait was ok - still, I would have expected a much better service than this from a top-end restaurant.

We finally got the attention of the wait staff and placed our orders. Boasting their use of the finest NZ ingredients (favouring organic, fair trade and responsibility gathered ingredients), this restaurant serves contemporary food prepared using classic cooking techniques. There was no contention on what I was having for dinner - steak! I have been told by friends that Logan Brown serves the best steak in town and you all know how much I love a good steak. Would Logan Brown outdo Arbitrageur and become my new favourite steak place? Well, we shall see. Jono had the lamb dish for his main and we shared a side of Wagyu Fat Potatoes with Habanero Mayonnaise, as well as a glass of red wine each served in large round bottom glasses (the bottom fits into my whole palm) to go with our mains. Photos taken at Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar here.

When we first looked at the menu, our eyes nearly popped out when we saw the price. Our mains were around $50 each which was a lot and I'm sorry to say that their steak did not live up to its reputation; Arbitrageur still reigns in my books and more appropriately priced (at the $35-$40 mark). Jono agreed with me that the food was rather average. I didn't find the wow-factor I had expected given how amazing the restaurant is hyped up to be. Cost us $171 all up (ouch!) but thankfully we had a voucher from the Entertainment Book so that saved us on the cost of a main (the cheaper of the two mains) plus Jono had a $50 discount voucher he received from his company as a bonus for his 5-year tenure so that made the bill a lot easier to digest. Well, at least we can now say we've been here and I highly doubt we would come back. "I still prefer Arbitrageur," I said to Jono as we left the restaurant. It's not just the quality of food and cost that makes Arbitrageur a winner but their excellent service and ambience too trumps that of Logan Brown's (Arbitrageur is an ideal romantic dinner venue whilst Logan Brown has stuffed up dead animals that stare at you while you eat the cooked version - not very appealing). Perhaps we should have lowered our expectations to start so we didn't feel this disappointed :/


Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon


Ah, finally home around 10ish. Yawn...I need sleep...I've been feeling quite tired as I've not slept much the past few days - there's still so much to so before we go!


1 comment:

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