Decided to make a weekend trip to Timaru as we had not been in here a long time. I was taken back to how nice this small town was, with the historic architecture. It was ashame to hear that most of the historic buildings around town are abandoned and were to be knocked down as it is not economical to strengthen and renovate them.
I researched some of the local restaurants in Timaru and decided to make a booking at Ginger and Garlic as the menu on offer appeal the most to me. Looking at the name I thought this place served Asian food, due to the fact that most Chinese dishes uses ginger and garlic. This was not the case but in fact a European fine dining restaurant.
The restaurant was located upstairs from the main road overlooking Caroline Bay providing pleasant views of the bay during summer. The decor was clean and modern which hosted live piano music which I found to be quite unusual but nice at the same time.
On arrival the door opened for us. we were asked whether we would like a drink a the bar or be taken to our tables. We decided on the later option. I had asked the waiter a few quetsions about some items on the menu which they failed to tell us accurately, which I thought was a shame as the service was not up to standard of the restaurant.
There was quite a long wait for our Entrees, perhaps this was due to the fact that the restaurant was fully booked.
Wild game and bacon terrine with piccalilli 17 came with a few biscuits to serve the rabbit terrine on. the biscuits were a bit to thick for my liking. The dish actually needed something to cut through the richness of the rabbit terrine and the piccalilli did not quite cut the mustard.
Black foot pistachio paua with wasabi. The paua was sliced into smaller pieces and individually deepfried and served on paua shells. Deep frying the paua caused the paua to be slightly chewy. I would have though slow poaching it would have done the trick to make it slightly tender. the wasabi was too thick and rubbery which meant it was very hard to take off the plate and not very spreadable.
Antarctic Toothfish fillet with radish, chive and vanilla 38. The Toothfish was the item that lured me to this restaurant, as I had searched high and low around the world to try this rare fish to try. The antartic toothfish has a texture similar to a scallop (a slight rubbery feel) and a monkfish. quite a pleasant tasting fish. I had always assumed a toothfish was a fatty fish, this was clearly not the case.
Sous vide, beef ribeye with pickled mushroom and baby spinach 35 – I was taken back how large the ribeye was. The ribeye was served with bone on. The meat itself was very tender, and cooked to perfection. It could have done with a bit more jus.
The waiter did not offer any additional cracked pepper, which was disappointing. A bit more training was needed perhaps as this restaurant had potential to be better.
We ordered a bowl of fries on the side as we were not informed that our dishes came with complementary bowl of roasted vegetables and green salad. If we had known, we would not have ordered the bowl of fries. Again the waiter failed to tell us this important piece of information which would have made for a better dining experience.
We then decided to order dessert – sticky toffee pudding with brandy ice cream. Huge serving of sticky toffee pudding which my other half thoroughly enjoyed and consumed all of it. I was far to full by this stage to find anymore room for dessert.
After we had finished dessert we were asked if we wanted coffee. I would have expected the waiter to have asked as we ordered coffee not after dessert.
This restaurant has potential to be great if it had not been let down by the service by a very inexperience waiter who did not go that extra mile to find out what the seasonal vegetables were, not offering additional cracked pepper with the ribeye, not informing us our mains came with complementary sides, and not asking a drink with our desserts.
The total bill came to $148 including a glass of wine.
Location: 335 Stafford St, Timaru