Dinner at Rhubarb Topped Off With Coconut Pancakes

9.11am, Tuesday 10th August, Gate 8, Dunedin Airport, South Island, New Zealand
Chilly but clear this morning, and I still can’t get these jolly photos uploaded, so will try from The George Hotel in Christchurch this evening after work. I just wanted to catch up last night’s consumer tasting at Rhubarb as well, so I’ll get into that.

Sam & Helen of Rhubarb

As I said yesterday, it’s a combo cafe wine store in Roslyn – a suburb a bit like Glebe in Sydney. Lovely old stone bungalows, old stone firehouse, and a stack of food spots and shops winding down the street, with the whole thing perched up above the city and harbour.

The cafe side is ceramic tiled to the high ceiling because it started life years ago as a butcher shop – with the wine store side originallly being the local dentist’s surgery. The whole thing is owned by Helen and Sam, and they were able to squeeze 45 people into the cafe for our first-ever Yalumba tasting at Rhubarb. It’s a rare thing to have the cafe and wine shop linked like this, but works extremely well with a BYO licence. You can choose your bottle one side and dine the other – breakfast , brunch and lunch through late afternoon.  We worked through 11 wines, concentrating on our red world with just the Eden Valley Viognier and Virgilius getting a run for the white side – good thinking really – seeing as NZ is well looked after with its own Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnays. So our feature on the solid weight Cabernets – the 2005 Menzies Coonawarra, Shirazes – 2008 Patchwork & 2005 Octavius, and Cabernet Shiraz blends – 2008 Scribbler & 2005 Signature & 2001 The Reserve went down really well , with the Museum Muscat putting an excellent finishing touch to the evening.

I have to just sidetrack to three of the highlights from Rhubarb’s menu if I can.

First up is an easy partner for our 2008 Scribbler – the fillet steak open sandwich with garlic mushrooms and hollandaise served with fried potatoes.

Then there are the three items that I think really are destined to go with a chilled glass of the Museum Muscat – layers of raisin, honey and maple syrup with a dollop of toffee at the end: coconut pancakes with passionfruit sauce and grilled banana OR Caribbean coconut toast with lime marmalade OR Sam’s Dad’s homemade raspberry slice – his own homemade raspberry jam between two skinny layers of shortbread cake topped with pink raspberry icing. YES – I had a piece of that with a coffee after the job and will be trying to trade for the recipe! Definitely drop in and grab some if you’re anywhere near Roslyn – I would.

Thanks very much Helen & Sam for the hospitality and for having us on the shelves, and the good news is that we’ll be making this an annual event.  This time next year, on the eve of the World Rugby Cup being battled out on both islands – it will all be good!

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