Wellington: The White House Restaurant

My friends and I recently went down to Wellington for a girls weekend which involved shopping, spa treatments and lots of eating. We made the most out of the long weekend and dined at a couple of Wellington’s best restaurants and cafe. Our first stop, an hour after landing, is the White House Restaurant (WHR) at Oriental Bay.

We were lucky to have great weather that day and were seated by the window so we enjoyed the beautiful harbour view while we wined and dined. WHR offers an express bistro lunch menu where you can opt to have two or three course for $35 and $50, respectively. My friends decided on the two course but with fresh oysters to start and I ordered the three course meal. The menu is seasonal so it changes on a regular basis.

The half dozen fresh oysters were freshly shucked and served with all its juices. According to my friends, it was delicious. I didn’t have any as I’m not a fan of oysters, but they looked fresh and juicy. The crab raviolo, which is like a big ravioli, was phenomenal. It was filled with fresh crab meat and was well matched with the fresh paw paw and coriander salsa. The pasta exterior was perfectly cooked with good texture and the Thai inspired coconut sauce added a slight kick to the dish.

We all decided to order the char-grilled white veal loin served with a mushroom risotto and veal jus. The veal cutlet was average and so was the sauce. The mushroom risotto was too salty for our liking and it overpowered the meat.

 The main was disappointing, but WHR redeemed itself with its desserts. First of all, unlike the main, it was well presented. Secondly, it had lots of different components that worked well with each other. The raspberry puree and mascarpone complimented the smooth and velvety chocolate pave which was not overly sweet. The snow egg was average on its own, but it was transformed when mixed with the passionfruit granita and diced fruits. Tart granita + soft snow egg + crunchy meringues = perfect combination.

Apart from the disappointing risotto in the main, everything else about WHR was delightful. The restaurant has great ambience and because it’s on the second floor, the view is fantastic. The staff were wonderful and very helpful, the chef even managed to write ‘happy birthday’ in chocolate for the birthday girl! The entrees and desserts were splendid and I would definitely come back to WHR next time when I’m in Wellington.

Date: Saturday 22nd October, 2011 | Location: 232 Oriental Parade, Wellington | Food: Contemporary Fine Dining

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