After having a few drinks with boys Jono, Shane and Lee at Dockside Restaurant & Bar in Queens Wharf, Jono and I headed over to Arbitrageur Wine Room & Restaurant located on Featherston St for dinner around 7.30pm. Neither of us had been to the Arbitrageur before and Steve had mentioned about it to us several times when the topic of food came up – an expensive restaurant that serves quality food. Since it was one of the restaurants listed in our Entertainment Book, we decided to check it out tonight. After all, we only have to pay for 1 main as part of the deal!
On entry into the elegantly designed restaurant, we were met by a French maitre’d who showed us to our seats – at the bar table. Well, I guess we were to blame as we didn’t book in advance so got the worst seats in the house. It wasn’t that bad, just we were on bar stools and had other couples sharing our long table (they probably didn’t book in advance and walked in like us too). Sitting at our table, we slowly took in the grandeur of the place, its extensive wine list (rated “One of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world” – Wine Spectator Magazine 2005 & 2010) and the two menus of European cuisine to choose from: A La Carte, or their Avec Menu where wine is matched to the food. We settled for the A La Carte menu but couldn’t decide on what to get as they all looked so good (not to mention expensive – thank god we have the Entertainment Book!). Jono rang up Steve to get some recommendations and he settled for the rabbit dish while I ordered the Angus beef steak served with triple cooked chips, slow roasted tomato and green beans (the waiter serving us said it was very popular), and we shared a side dish of roasted pumpkin.
Freshly baked bread rolls were served as we sipped our glasses of red wine that Jono picked out from the wine list. Hmm, the bread was delicious, with or without drizzling it with olive oil! And French red wine – yum! Our main and side dishes were served promptly and oh my god, my medium rare Angus beef steak was DIVINE! I’m doomed – after tonight, I’m not sure I would settle for bar steaks anymore. This is just so, SO good (I’m drooling as I’m writing this…). I’m in steak heaven ahh…Jono’s rabbit dish was also very nice and I was surprised that the black pudding slices in his dish didn’t taste as bad as I thought. Tasty! Great food, nice ambience and awesome company (my baby, of course!) - I’m loving it :)
To some extent, sitting at our table felt a bit like punishment and made us feel the need to return to the restaurant another time, booking a table in advance. And despite being fine dining (i.e. costly), they were not short of patrons – the place was packed! We were quite full from our main meals but couldn’t resist when the waiter asked us if we wanted to have a look at the dessert menu – yes please! We ended up ordering 2 flat whites and shared a pistachio crème brulee served with almond biscotti.
Our dinner cost us $85 (and that is after we have taken off the cost of one of our mains). Expensive but well worth the experience. I highly recommend the Arbitrageur for a romantic evening out (hint, hint – Valentine’s Day or anniversary celebrations)! Oh, and they even have a cellar downstairs housing over 1000 bottles of wine (you can do a tour). We will need to come back another day with a small group of friends to try out the Avec Menu – that way we’ll get to sample a variety of wine and food!
|View from our seat to the entrance of the restaurant|
|Check out the wine selection!|
|Jono and the Christmas tree|
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