Located in the Kingsgate Hotel.
110 Fitzherbert Avenue, Palmerston North.
ph: (06) 356-8059.
Indigenous flavours of New Zealand using the finest ingredients and fresh local market produce married with international flavours.
Open 7 nights and fully licenced. Before having dinner, Zoe's Bar is the ideal place for unwinding and enjoy a pre-dinner drink before dining.
From 6.30am - Breakfast
From 6.00pm - Dinner
Entrees nz$6.00 - nz$15.00
Mains nz$12.50 - nz$32.00
Dessert nz$10.00 - nz$12.50
Zoe's is the restaurant of the Kingsgate Hotel, located on Fitzherbert Avenue. The dining area is small, intimate and classy. We had booked earlier, so we were shown to our table. Only a few other tables were taken at 7pm on a Friday night, a few of them lone diners who obviously were staying at the Hotel.
Immediately we noticed the level of service at Zoe's. It was far superior than anywhere we had dined before. Supreme politeness and attention was given throughout our entire visit. It was wonderful to have staff who greeted us with a genuine smile.
We were left to look through the menu for 10 minutes or so. While waiting, we were given a complimentary appetiser - raw beef with a fruity chutney served in a Chinese soup spoon. I am not used to eating raw beef, but it was certainly edible, and the chutney was nice. I found the menu to be very modern and 'outside the square'. The chef incorporates native NZ ingredients into a lot of the dishes, adding an exciting new element to old favourites. The Horopito Crusted Angus Beef Fillet and Hazelnut Kawa Kawa New Zealand Lamb Tenderloin are two prime examples.
Prices are definitely on the steep side - in fact possibly the most expensive I have seem in Palmerston North. This is a fine dining restaurant however, with perfect service, so this could be somewhat expected.
Our orders were taken, and our ordered bottle of wine was brought over and poured for us. About 20 minutes later our orders were bought out. I had chosen the 'Char Grilled Prime Beef Sirloin' which was served with a grilled field mushroom, beer battered chips & roast vine tomatoes finished with a béarnaise sauce ($30.50). This was from their chargrill selection, which was slightly less expensive than their mains (this will give some idea of their price range).
Everything looked and smelled fantastic. Presentation was very good. I had asked for medium steak, however it came out more medium-well done. The roast vine tomato (there was only one) was roasted to perfection and bursting with slow roasted flavour. This was great as I have found some chefs believe 'pan frying for 5 minutes' and 'slow roasting' are the same thing. The fries were commercial, but still cooked to perfection and delicious. The béarnaise sauce was drizzled sparingly around the plate, so was more of a presentation sauce than one you could dip your steak into. Our side of vegetables (you get a choice of vegetables or salad) was mediocre, and consisted of all green vegetables (including broccoli stem?). They weren't very inspiring and the colour was quite drab. I didn't touch them.
The waitresses were very attentive throughout.
We were left very satisfied with our meals, and our wallets were left relatively intact as we had a 'buy one get one free main meal' coupon which we used, which made the meal very cost effective with the bill split between two of us. Our steak meal was delicious, but to be honest I can't see myself paying full price for a meal here. I would expect a $30 steak meal to have either hand cut fries, or a housemade potato gratin for example, not pre-frozen commercial fries.
I would certainly return, but only while clutching my 'buy one get one free' coupon in my hot little hand.
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