Elements Restaurant (Queenstown, New Zealand)
If you want a simple well done perfectly seasoned grilled meats then look no further because Elements Restaurant does it quite well. There are many good dinning places in Queenstown all located at the heart of the city where it is all visible to everyone that visits the place. Then there are these hotel restaurants which tucked hidden inside the hotel premises that usually gets branded with “expensive just another hotel food”. Well with our place today I may slightly agree on that expensive” bit, but certainly it’s not one of those “just hotel food”.
Like mentioned earlier these guys excel on their meat preparations, it may look simple but it’s a no-frills dish, showcasing what the produce had to offer without masking it with tons of sauces and flavours. The secret here I suppose is how they prepare the meat, just utmost perfection on grilling or slow braising techniques.
We came here for dinner, in fact an early dinner as we are planning to head over for a night skiing at Coronet Peak. That skiing was unplanned, in fact we had a 7:00 PM booking at this restaurant but after knowing that the ski fields close late nights we tried to rebook it an hour and a half earlier so we get more time to ski. The staff was happy to ammend our booking so here we are earlier than planned.
Upon arrival all the staff were very helpful and attentive. They sent us to our tables, pulled our seats, explained the menu and swapped the utensils based on our orders. Drinks were filled up instantly as they ran out. In short one of the best customer service we ever experienced in New Zealand, the type of service you get in South East Asian countries where you feel like a special person.
As we wait for our dinner, we enjoyed our drinks. Dishes we grabbed are not carb heavy as we don’t want to feel full as we do our skiing. Minutes later our orders arrived starting with this Slowly Braised Lamb Shank (NZ$39.00), Braised for hours so it falls off the bone, reared from the rolling hills of Northern Southland. It was accompanied with a Port Wine Jus.
Second order was this Akaroa Salmon Fillet 200g (NZ$39.00), Crispy skin, sustainably farmed salmon from the cool waters of Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula. This was accompanied with a mustard cream sauce.
Then finally the Angus Beef Ribeye 250g (NZ$43.00), Succulent, tender and full of flavour off the bone cut, with high marbling throughout From Silver Fern Farms reared in Southern Otago. This was accompanied with Mushroom sauce.
All of the three orders came with potato, kumara and thyme gratin.
Now my comments on each of them, starting with the lamb. It may look small from the photo but the serving size was big. Lamb was so tender; you can pull the bone from the meat and it will come out clean. It was well seasoned and the gravy that accompanied it completed the whole experience in the best way possible. For the salmon, this too was perfect, the skin was very crispy, as crispy as a potato chip. The flesh was perfectly cooked, it was still very juicy and the fat in between flakes were still intact, it was just done right, perfectly timed. Then for the best order of that night, was the beef. I asked it to be medium rare and they did deliver it, well cooked, well rested, very tender, nice grilled flavour complemented with umami filled mushroom gravy, one of the best steaks I had.
The gratin on the side was good to. Usually for me gratins feel heavy after you had one serve but this one hits the right balance of heaviness and quantity. The potatoes and kumara are really thinly sliced and the sauce in between were not over powering the other elements.
Overall, it was a great restaurant, food was simply phenomenal and the staff was really great, very cheerful and always there to help. The price for many might be steep but if you want to feel a bit special once in a while, I guess that price speaks for itself.
Address: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside Earl Street, Queenstown 9197, New Zealand
Phone number : +643 450 2535