Plume Restaurant’s five-course degustation menu perfectly complements a luxuriously lazy weekend afternoon. I tested it out on a recent Saturday that showed promises of spring and practically begged for an outdoor dining experience. My extended lunch featured a variety of flavours and inspirations, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I sat in the covered patio area to soak up the sun and views of the rolling vineyards while I ate. If it’s a nice day, I recommend you do the same! It’s charming to sip a glass of wine while gazing upon the vineyards that created it. I ordered their house chardonnay, which was superb.
The meal began with the soup of the day served with warm bread. Mine was a lovely pumpkin and white cabbage soup made lively by the inclusion of Indian spices like turmeric.
Next, we were served salmon with creme fraiche, cucumber ribbons and pickled fennel. This course was fresh and light, in pleasant contrast to the creamy, warm soup.
A twice-cooked cheese souffle comprised the third course. It featured a goat’s cheese sauce which made it delightfully creamy.
A scoop of lemon sorbet provided a refreshing mid-meal break, as well as possibly being the best sorbet I have ever tried.
Course four was a Moroccan-inspired lamb dish with couscous. Ordinarily, I’m not one to order lamb, but this one easily won me over with its melt-in-your-mouth texture and lemony flavouring.
Finally, a splendidly-plated tiramisu with strawberry syrup and Kahlua cream. It was a nice, rich ending to the meal.
After the meal, we tried to choose a favourite dish but simply could not settle. The diversity of the menu made it impossible to compare the courses, but the salmon may have taken the prize. Everything was flavourful, whetherlight or creamy, and the variety ensured we never got tired of any flavour.
Plume’s degustation menu is designed to be enjoyed by the whole table and takes about two hours to complete. It’s available for lunch and dinner, and it is best to make reservations if you wish to try it for yourself.
I let the journey from Matakana back to Auckland stretch out as I stopped at scenic ocean views along the way for the conclusion of a perfect afternoon.
Images top – bottom:
Tiramisu with strawberry syrup and Kahlua cream
salmon with creme fraiche, cucumber ribbons and pickled fennel