Botswana Butchery

17 Marine Parade, Queenstown, 9300, New Zealand

Back to search results

The Botswana Butchery is located on the Queenstown waterfront, amongst a clutch of bars and restaurants. There is outside seating in addition to the large main dining room. Despite the name of the place, it is by no means exclusively a meat restaurant, and has a lengthy menu, with for example seventeen starters available. The wine list featured labels such as Peregrine Riesling 2016 at NZ$60 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for NZ$27, Te Mata Estate Viognier 2015 at NZ$75 compared to its retail price of NZ$33, and Talisman Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014 at NZ$122 for a wine that will set you back NZ$55 in a shop. There were flashier wines available too, such as Yalumba The Octavius 2013 at NZ$249 compared to its retail price of NZ$140, and Henschke Mount Edelstone 2012 at NZ$404 for a bottle whose current market price is NZ$231.

Singapore chilli crab was ambitiously described as soft shell crab tempura, but I don't think too many Japanese tempura chefs would recognise this. Deep-fried would be a less exotic but safer description, a touch greasy but with a decent chilli kick, flavoured with garlic, ginger and coriander (11/20). Tiger prawn and king crab cocktail was another slightly ambitious menu description. There was a thin smear of whipped avocado, a Bloody Mary dressing rather than a classic Marie Rose dressing, a single prawn wrapped in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried, along with some yellow cherry tomatoes, cos lettuce and crostini. This was a pretty mean portion, with just a single prawn and a small amount of crab tucked away within the lettuce. The dressing was watery, and the whole thing rather sorry for itself (10/20).

A fish special of the day was tarakihi, a local fish looking rather like bream and tasting rather like snapper. This was pleasant enough, properly cooked and served just with a garnish of sliced lemon (12/20). My red deer loin was cooked lightly and came with wilted kale, garlic confit, game chips, blackberry gel and gratin of kumara, a starchy root vegetable related to morning glory. This was all very pleasant, the kumara tasting vaguely like carrot, the deer having good flavour. There were an awful lot of things on the plate, but this was an enjoyable course (12/20). On the side, fries were not cooked long enough and were a touch soggy (10/20), while cauliflower cheese with prosciutto crumbs was very good, the cauliflower nicely retaining its texture, and enhanced by the cheese topping (13/20). There was also a nondescript green leaf salad. A bread roll on the side appeared to have been microwaved judging by its searing temperature on arrival, and tasted rather stale once it cooled down (9/20).

A dessert of creme brûlée, blueberry ice cream and strawberries featured quite capably made creme brûlée with good texture and crisp but not overly burnt top, and strawberries with decent flavour. The blueberry ice cream felt like an odd pairing for the creme brûlée but was competent (12/20). Service was rather flaky, with some long gaps at times. Also there was some sloppiness. The person I was dining with has a deep lifelong dislike of beetroot, a result of having been made to eat it as a child. Consequently, when ordering, she routinely asks whether any dish she has ordered contains beetroot, even if it is not highlighted on the menu, and she did this here. The prawn cocktail duly arrived with a beetroot garnish, despite the waitress supposedly double checking with the kitchen about this. No big deal in itself, and they duly substituted a version without beetroot. What was careless was that a green salad later turned up with the main course with guess what ingredient. To manage to produce not one but two courses with the one ingredient that a customer has asked to avoid is pretty careless. No harm done, but suppose this had been a serious allergy rather than just a dislike?

The bill came to NZ$142 (£74) per person before tip, with a nice bottle of Ata Rangi Chardonnay at NZ$111. If you had three courses, coffee and shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost per head would be £60 or so. This seems to me an awful lot of money for the standard of food that appeared today. The place has a nice setting and was clearly popular, but it was puzzling to me as to why this was the case given the value for money quotient here.

Add a comment


User comments