Botswana Butchery, last night. With locations in Queenstown and Wanaka, the Auckland restaurant opened in March this year. Despite the mixed reviews I read prior to going, I must say it was one of the best meals I have had for a while. (Certainly a million times better than Wildfire on Friday - a bitterly disappointing experience).
Two of our party are young chefs-in-training, so the menu was carefully devoured and dissected and the waiter suitably quizzed (mainly by me actually) prior to orders being made. He did really well, contrary to some of the criticisms I read about wait staff in the reviews.
Given the name of the restaurant, it would have been wrong for a farmer's daughter to not order red meat, so a Savannah Eye Fillet it was. The menu allows diners to select the sauce they want from a comprehensive list, and I went with the waiter's recommendation of a mushroom and cognac sauce. You can then select your own sides - the five of us shared our choices, and there was plenty to allow for a decent taste of each (except maybe the baby beet salad I ordered, which really was side sized.)
Dessert menus were perused with four sets of eyes heading straight for the chocolate fondant; me though - I went for the lemon tart with melon parfait, which was amazing. The phone pic does not do it justice. Apparently the fondant was better. Not that we shared tastings, but there was certainly much raving about it from the four who ordered it. I also very much enjoyed my Cloudy Bay dessert wine. Delish.
All in all, while not a cheap night, Botswana Butchery will be a future destination for me for a special event.