Soul Bar and Bistro: Cuisine – Villa Maria Restaurant of the Year

Soul is on the waterfront overlooking the boats

Soul Bar & Bistro
Viaduct Harbour,
ph: 09-356 7249,
Lunch & dinner 7 days  (5-31 July) $70

Entrée Smoked salmon with salsa verde & toasted sourdough

Main Jerusalem artichoke  risotto with truffle, parmesan  & a poached egg
OR roasted Harmony pork chop, Puy lentils, silverbeet & apple purée

Dessert Tamarillo brulée
OR Kaimai Creamy Blue – Waharoa NZ & Soul’s oatmeal biscuits

Choice of two wines:
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Verdelho 2008
Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
Reserve Noble Riesling 2009

The starter again quaintly designated “Entrée” was simple and nicely balanced, understated elegance, with a tasty pesto and a strong olive oil drizzle that set off the salmon beautifully.

The pork chop was huge, but pronounced really good. The artichoke risotto continued the understated balance, with nice touches like the little crispy bits (I do not know the technical term, and the waiter understood what I meant) made from  very thinly sliced bread rolled thinner and deep fried. I would never have thought of using Jerusalem Artichokes in a risotto (starch on starch) but it went so well.

The Tamarillo brulée was a nice finish to a really good meal.

The wines were delicious, the Verdelho went really well with the risotto, but I was less convinced by some of the other matches, and also wonder if 2 from 3 is a cop out. It would have been a fairer comparison, and more fun for us to list the wines against the courses and then say 2 from  3 – after all food and matching is part of what it is about!

Again though a lovely meal, very good service and superb value :)

BTW in case you are wondering at two expensive meals in two days, the previous week Barbara was on holiday, and we were both sick and so hardly stepped outside the door, some holiday! This is part of the make up :)