Sleeping and Dining in Dunedin, NZ

March 5, 2014

Dunedin

Dunedin, the south island’s second largest city after Christchurch, is a pretty coastal college town with good restaurants and access to the Otago Penisula, known for its scenic bluffs and wildlife. As it was rainy during our short visit, not an uncommon occurrence, we spent little time exploring the city’s architectural sights and gardens.

Bluestone on George

Dunedin - Bluestone on George

Termed an executive motel, this is where motel meets boutique hotel. With plenty of guest parking and only a 15 minute walk from the town center, the spacious room is more like a tastefully decorated efficiency apartment  – minus a cooktop but plus a washer-dryer unit. The bathroom has a large whirlpool bathtub.

Dunedin - Bluestone on George

The owners seem to have thought of just about everything, including earplugs for those particularly raucous evenings in this college town. We slept with the sliding glass door overlooking the town wide open and didn’t hear a thing. Truly a lovely and convenient place to stay, especially for those who like a modern rather than a traditional ambiance.

Restaurants

Scotia Bar and Bistro, located just off the Octagon, has a comfortable somewhat formal dining room with high ceilings, carpeting and white table cloths. The transitional furnishings give the room a smart townhouse ambiance.

The menu offers a more varied selection of proteins than we’ve seen at other establishments in NZ. Exciting to have a selection of rabbit, duck and goat in addition to the usual fish, chicken, beef, lamb and occasional venison. Most of the preparations, however, are on the heavy or rich side.

Dunedin - Scotia Bar and BistroWe ordered our entire meal off the specials board, starting with the braised wild hare shanks served on mashed potatoes with a rich jus.

Dunedin - Scotia Bar and BistroFor mains we tasted the fisherman’s stew with salmon, brill, clams, mussels and shrimp in a mild tomato broth – all the seafood perfectly cooked,

Dunedin - Scotia Bar and Bistroand the wild goat tagine served with a beautiful couscous and a mint yogurt sauce.

Overall we loved the food, but the kitchen was particularly overwhelmed on this Tuesday evening. The servers didn’t seem to have enough to do while they waited for dishes to trickle out of the kitchen. The starter didn’t arrive until 45 minutes after our arrival with the main following another 45 minutes later. We didn’t dare order a dessert. Upon asking the server if this was normal pacing for the restaurant, she explained that they did have a particularly high number of walk-ins that evening. Bravo for not letting the quality of the food suffer but the wait did put a damper on the meal.

Two Chefs Bistro

The bistro style dining room has a casual feel with dark wood furniture and shelves of wine behind the bar. The hard floors and no table cloths make the space particularly noisy when full.

The menu has a varied selection of French style bistro fare.

Dunedin - Two ChefsBruschetta with antipasto topping – eggplant and feta

Dunedin - Two ChefsSalad of Kakanui tomatoes, rocket, goat curd, house made pancetta and olive dressing

Dunedin - Two ChefsPanko crumbed lamb sweetbreads with grilled field mushrooms, creamed spinach and spicy tomato jam

Dunedin - Two ChefsPan fried grouper on Asian greens and edamame in a black bean and lime dressing

Dunedin - Two ChefsLemon curd with fresh berries and Ladyfingers

Food was generally well prepared and tasty. The busy servers did a good job of managing the room with service on par with a standard European pacing.

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2 Responses to Sleeping and Dining in Dunedin, NZ

  1. asthaguptaa says:

    Loving your blog and your travel stories! Following you now! 🙂

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