Robbies is a Bar and Bistro chain with 16 restaurants in the South Island of New Zealand. They offer a pleasant atmosphere and quality and quantity at a reasonable price. There was a nice fire burning and even though they were busy we didn't have to wait too long for our meals. The staff were very friendly.
Favorite Dish: The menu is available by clicking on the menu link on the website.
I had a dish from the specials board - lemon sole with asparagus and kumara roti. It was well presented and well cooked and I enjoyed it though the fish was a little bit bland (like sole can be).
My mother had the Lamb's Fry and Bacon which she really enjoyed.
Nice place for a glass of wine, but make sure you ask the price of the pizza (and have a look at it) before you order. Last night we got stung $32.50 for a 'large' Italian'pizza (often called 'Margeuritta'). It was, by American standards, a medium pizza. But that was only the start of the disappointment. It was completely bland, had little sauce (at first I thought there was none at all) and a stingy application of tasteless cheese (not pizza cheese). What you got plenty of was sliced mushy tomatos all over the top of a very average base.
I was so annoyed at paying that much for what amounted to tomato on crust that I woke up this morning still annoyed.
Velvet Burger specialise in absolutely amazing burgers - but consider yourself warned: they are huge, so if you are heading here for dinner, skip afternoon tea and go easy on lunch! I have introduced many people to Velvet Burger, and am yet to hear a bad review! They also serve chips (fatties and skinnies) as well as things like wedges. Velvet Burger are in two locations, one on George Street at the university end near Knox Church, and the other just barely south of the Octagon. The latter has far more seating, and also has an outside area downstairs. Velvet burger fit the niche of being WAY above take away burgers from the fast food chains, without the formalty and pricing of restaurants.
Favorite Dish: Babe burger, and here's what their website says about it: "BABE $12.9
Looks good on paper and tastes even better- a great combination of Crumbed Chicken Breast, Salad, Bacon, Pineapple and Cheese with Aioli and Velvet Relish." Just make sure you grab lots of paper towels, the pineapple juice makes eating them a messy business, but its totally worth it!
Although we have our favourite restaurant(s) in Dunedin we try others from time to time ;-) Bennu is next door to our number one restaurant, Etrusco, and is also part of the historic Savoy building.
The interior is stunning, with the tables spread over two levels, and a spectacular atrium above the bar. The grand room boasts of massive pillars, arches, and a fantastic stucco ceiling. The kitchen is open, so you can see that the staff work properly.
The young staff were very friendly and attentive, and the meals were very good. I had a thick fat steak and pasta – the latter was a special order because I needed carbs before my athletics competition the next day. The waitress ran between our table and the kitchen to find out if they would accept this special request. I think they were irritated because pasta indeed is not a great choice with steak – but I already explained why I needed it, and so I apologised, and I got what I wanted. And really, dear Bennu chefs: Your potato suggestion was much more appropriate! ;-)
They also have special deals in conjunction with the Rialto cinema, and happy hours, as well as a pizza menu.
I can happily recommend this restaurant for further visits. It serves good quality food in a nice atmosphere, and with good service.
You can also go to Bennu and just have a drink or cocktail at the spectacular bar.
The name Bennu BTW is the Egyptian equivalent of the Phoenix, that is why this bird is the symbol of the place. The Bennu is said to be the soul of the sun god Ra. It was also associated with the rising of the Nile and resurrection. The bird was pictured as a grey, purple, blue, or white heron with a long beak and a two-feathered crest, and sometimes like an eagle.
This great little cafe (fully licensed) is down the Otago Peninsula in Portobello which is about 20kms from the Dunedin CBD down the splendid peninsula road.
It is set in a 19th century post office right in the little village of Portobello and has great views of the harbour and centre of the village.
It serves outstanding seafood, steaks, venison, lamb and a variety of other dishes. It is open daily for lunch and dinner.
The friendly staff and atmospheric cafe make for a great dining experience.
Favorite Dish: When by the coast, eat seafood, the Southern Blue Cod is fantastic.
1908 Cafe & Bar is a 90 yrs old nicely decorated Cafe along the Otago Peninsula. We went in for 2 reasons: it look nice and we were hungry. We ordered coffee and 2 plates of Breads and 1 plate of dunno wat. the toppings we had are quite special, the pink one were made of Reddish. I think this place is not over priced.
Our first lunch was at Esplanade Restaurant , we had a glimpse of the beach. However we can’t stay long as we had to rush for the 12pm tour at the Speight Brewery Museum. We ordered 2 large pizzas, Seafood and Hawaiian. Its about $30 Each, i think it worth the money - Huge mussels, Scallops and prawns.. Yummy. we couldn’t finish and take home!
Dunedin Lonestar is typical of any lonestar I have been too, they are slightly overpriced (around $29-30per main), although the small meals are reasonable $22.50each and are pretty big so unless you incredibly hungry or usually eat a lot the small meals are proberly enough.
Good meals, but they always seem to be busy so if you don't like busy restaurants I would try somewhere else.
On Mondays between 5-8PM they choose a table and whoever dines there gets there meal free which we thought was pretty cool, although we didn't win!
It was quiet hot in there with so many people but the waitresses were friendly and the food was great!
Favorite Dish: I've only had a couple of meals from this restaurant but enjoyed them both equally, the hog and the lamb cutlets are both really nice.
Delicious food, amazingly friendly staff and reasonably priced. We can here for lunch on our last day in Dunedin - proberly a good thing we went on our last day or I would have wanted to have lunch here every day!!
It is more of a restaurant than a coffee house and they are fully liscensed.
My chicken open sandwich was $16.50NZD, my partner had the eggs benedict (All day breakfast!!) which was $14.50NZD.
The meals are huge and well presented and are delicious! Our plane was delayed and we had all sorts of problems so ended up having dinner at nearly 11PM and lunch lasted me almost all the way until we had dinner which is great!
Favorite Dish: Chicken Open Sandwich - It was to die for!! Thick piece of American Rye bread topped with bacon, lettuce, hashbrown & chicken tenderloins with an amazing sauce.
Update Feb. 2008
What a shame! On our visit to Dunedin in February 2008 we had to find out that one of our two favourite restaurants has closed down. We were so looking forward to a dinner there! I was told they closed down because the owner of the historic building in George Street had announced to raise the rent drastically, and the owners were not willing to pay. So this perfect nice place is history. Hopefully they find another place, as their fabulous cuisine was such a great experience. A sign in the window indicates that the upper floors of the building are for lease.
I leave this tip here because I hope Cusina Pilipinas will open somewhere else soon.
The first thing I noticed was just the name, and as I thought Filipino restaurants are rather rare, we wanted to get a taste of this kind of cuisine. The first surprise was that the restaurant was not at the ground floor as I had supposed... The second surprise that the the area in the first floor was not all... There was another staircase which led to a spectacular attic with a very old kauri ceiling and looks over a part of the city. The house was the home of Dunedin's first hospital doctor. (I must double-check this... It has been a while... The history of the building is printed in the menu.) The third surprise was the divine food, everything tasted so incredibly delicious, and the the fourth surprise the moderate prices. Over all, a great dining experience. When we are back in Dunedin, we will be back at Cusina Pilipinas!
Favorite Dish: All dishes had unique flavours, so dining was like a discovery tour, and the tastebuds being surprised with every new dish. My starter was to die for: marinated fish with fresh herbs, absolutely divine.
The restaurant also offers morning/afternoon teas and finger foods, caters for all kinds of functions - but have not tried this.
From the outside The Duke of Wellington looks interesting - the interior is just stunning. There is so much to see in this beautifully restored Victorian building which formerly hosted the National Insurance, including the wonderful ceiling which makes you look more over the heads of your drinking companions than to the beers and wines on the table... ;-)
The bar at the Exchange, next to the Queens Gardens, has a lot of imported ales and stouts on tap, as well as a nice selection of wines. Also pub-style food is served.
The Duke also features an outside area. It is closed on Sundays.
This is the first and original Ale House of Speight's, and this is no wonder as it is on the grounds of the brewery in Dunedin.
I quite like it there, especially the huge bar area where you just have a beer and nibbles and other unhealthy snacks ;-) They dare something in beer making, and I was pleasantly surprised of the subtle flavour of the Porter Ale which finishes on a chocolate note. Perhaps this is not acceptable for real beer drinkers but for me who only has a beer once a month or so and who is open to new flavours it was really special and delicious.
Also the dining area is nice and warm, with the dark wood and darkish illumination. The food is rustic and hearty, and it comes in good portions. What I did not enjoy last time we were there was the fashionable piling all the foods, with the dripping salad on top of all, and all dishes were decorated with sour pickled peppers (capsicums) and gherkins which did not match any flavour. When you had removed this and put the salad beside the meat and chips/potatoes/pasta the meal was still enjoyable.
Speight's also offer 90 min brewery tours which start at 10am, 12pm and 2pm daily, Mon-Thu additionally at 7pm and Fr-Sun at 4pm.
Dining in Dunedin is a delight, as - probably thanks to the high student population - there is such a big range of affordable restaurants. "Etrusco" is not cheap but it offers great value for money, the house wine is good, the food excellent and authentic Italian, and the surroundings are just bombastic. The latter is the reason why we have a meal there every time we are in Dunedin.
The restaurant is on the first floor of the historical Savoy Building, with majestic pillars, an old fireplace, chandeliers, a great stucco ceiling and a huge bar in the middle of the room. But the atmosphere is not just elegant and cool, it also has a warm feeling as the wooden floor is light-coloured and the bar is made of pine. So you feel cosy although the room is really big.
Of course, we would not go there to just enjoy the interior decoration if the food was not as good as it is. the name of the host is Federico Gianone, and the food is truly Italian, from the thin crust pizza to the nice pasta dishes, the pizza-bread, the antipasti, the desserts like tiramisu or gelato, and, last but not least, the great Italian Schnaps like Grappa. Just perfect - in perfect atmosphere.
I should also mention that the wine is much more affordable than in other restaurants. For example, half a litre of house wine costs NZ$ 9. A glass of Italian Prosecco costs NZ$ 5 or 6. And also most other wines are relatively cheap.
Favorite Dish: I think, I had the pasta with cured Italian ham, smoked sausage slices and a lot of garlic at least four times. Now I have started to test the menu a little bit more thoroughly... ;-) But we always share a pizza-bread with the starters. The grappa after the meal is a delight.
Update Feb. 2008
On our last visit the food was still good - but I would not recommend the vegetarian pasta as an outstanding dish. Most vegetables were part of a precooked sauce, and only the mushrooms seemed to be really fresh. They call it a vegetarian masterpiece. I would say this is definitely not the case. For such praise it was too bland. But with a good amount of parmesan it was ok. It is always easier to create great flavours with meat and oil... Hubby, however, was totally delighted with his pizza - with ham (and artichokes)...
Update July 2008
This time I had a highly recommendable dish, totally different to pasta meals that you normally get in Italian restaurants. It was pasta with wild boar in a tomatoey-chilly sauce, a Tuscan speciality that is not always available. It is slowly cooked in a big pot - and reminded me a bit of Hungarian Pörkölt. Hubby had the same pizza as last time...
After having travelled around New Zealand we were shockingly disappointed with the standard of food. We really thought the local produce would be one of the high points of our visit. However, that was not to be. The Craft Bar was an oasis in a desert of poor food at top prices. We were pleasantly shocked to find our steak was cooked as we asked for it to be cooked and the beef was quality beef! Since the Octagon in Dunedin has many restaurants, it can be hard to decide which one to try. We were not disappointed with our choice.
We visited early in the evening and it was still very quiet. I can't say what the ambiance would be like later in the evening.
Favorite Dish: We both had the Eye of the Tiger which was Eye fillet served on three crumbed crab & potato rounds, layered with tempura battered mussels & prawns, topped with sauce bearnaise with your choice of veg or salad. It was delicious! We were both so impressed we both made a point of thanking the chef. Add to this some lovely, cold beer and you have a magic dining experience.
The staff at the motor park recommended this to us. It is on the main street in Dunedin not far from the center. It's a popular place and has a seafaring theme which is not overdone. The staff are very friendly. They have great beer and wines and the menu is chocked full of choices. We had the shrimp and langustines - man, I didn't want dessert, I wanted a second order of shrimp, but that would have seemed piggy! LOL
Favorite Dish: I had one of the shrimp/prawn dishes. It's hard to describe how the shrimp are presented but they come on a large metal contraption that sits on a plate, with the shrimp skewered to two prongs that dangle down either side of a central support - that's the best I can do! They taste great! Hal had the langustines, which were huge and so tasty - I can still taste them now.
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