Several months ago I had this wonderful opportunity to stay at the Grand Mercure located at Pauanui Beach, Coromandel as we had our Annual Technology conference held there. One of the usual highlights during this events are the team building that happens the next day and the dinner on the first day. Last year we played paintball, some gun shooting, archery, searching for land mines and all sorts of team building activities like puzzle solving, our dinner during that time was not held in a restaurant but more of a Master Chef Challenge which I shared last year. This year we did some high rope course that ends into a 14 meter high and 230 metre long flying fox in the Coromandel area and our dinner was held at the Miha restaurant at Grand Mercure.
The selection of dinner was really good and here is what I had chosen and tried. First to arrive was the Pan seared rabbit raddle with black pudding and crispy bacon with a Dijon mustard veloute sauce, this was really good and the most notable one on this dish is the black pudding which was the tastiest one I tried, the rabbit was perfectly seasoned and the veloute sauce was rich buttery good.
I also tried the twice cooked Kikorangi blue cheese soufflé with caramelized picked walnuts, watercress salad and apple jelly and this was so heavenly, with a hint of the pungent smell of cheese placing all of the separate dish elements in a spoonful is a marriage of flavours that just explodes on your taste buds. This dish is rich but not over powering, every bite would make you asking for more.
The mains then did arrived and it was a whole poached baby salmon with lobster mousseline, sautéed Swiss shard, creamed leeks, chateau potatoes and crayfish, citrus broth. This was one of the best salmon I ever tried, it was perfectly poached and served in a perfect temperature, the layers of salmon fat is perfectly intact which makes the dish really creamy and full of flavour unlike over cooked salmon where fat is usually melted leaving the fish dry and tasting so oily. The salmon is lying on a bed of creamed leeks which is so tender and tasty while the Swiss chard is perfectly seasoned and still crispy.
Finally the dessert which was Warm gingerbread layers with lemongrass, ginger ice cream served with crème friache and praline, this for me just did not make it. It’s not that bad but I guess it lacks the flavour you wanted of a dessert, first it’s not that sweet, the ice cream served is not enough and there’s too much crème friache. I guess a full large scoop of ginger ice cream would help bringing the flavour on this one rather than serving it with lots crème friache, also I guess it would be nice if the praline were crushed and sprinkled all over the dessert so it dives a different texture on every spoonful of serving at the same time add sweetness to the whole thing. Anyways that’s just my opinion and the opinions of my other colleagues who ordered the same desert, otherwise it was a good dinner and the service was great.
Puka Park Resort
Phone: 0064 (0) 7 864 8088
Website : http://www.pukapark.co.nz/