Vavasseur is a beautiful boutique restaurant, where we create sensational cuisine with passion, flair and a true love of great food.
We are BYO wine and fully licensed with a superb selection of wines.
We also have a private dining room available which seats up to 30 people.
Vavasseur was judged 'Best Restaurant Manawatu' 2003-2004.
Bookings are essential.
Ph: 06 3593167
I had received a $100 Vavasseur restaurant voucher as a Christmas gift, and decided to put it to good use. I was very much looking forward to visiting this restaurant as we had heard a variety of mixed opinions about it. A booking was made for Wednesday night, 6.30pm.
As we walked through the doors, and looked to our left and right, we saw we were standing basically in the middle of all the tables with various diners staring at us as Vavasseur does not have a proper waiting area. Luckily the waitress arrived quickly, and took us to our table. We were fifteen minutes early, but this was not a problem.
We sat down at our generously sized wooden table which had plenty of elbow room and then some. The table was decorated with a table runner and a white candle - nice touches. The large windows were draped with flowing, stylish curtains. Art decorated the walls. The interior was very impressive.
Our waitress first asked us to cast our eyes over the wine blackboard. I asked for a house chardonnay- tut tut. I should have known! I was informed Vavasseur did not serve 'house' wines, and another wine was suggested. I agreed with her choice. There was no beer list or other drinks menu in sight, although I heard the table next to us order a glass of beer. I guess you must have to ask for it, and they will let you know if they serve it. One glass of white wine each for my partner and I, and we were $20 out of pocket already. Vavasseur are BYOW, however I did not find out the corkage fee.
A carafe of water was brought to our table, decoratively adorned with mint leaves and lemon. Throughout our stay, our water was taken away and freshened 3 or 4 times which is nice. Our waitress returned and asked if we would like to begin with breads with dipping olive oil and balsamic vinegar (called 'grissini'). As our budget was slightly limited, I asked if we could have one serve of the breads (for myself) and my partner would like to know the soup of the day. The waitress seemed a bit put out by me asking for only one serving of the Grissini for some reason. Soup of the day was ordered - French Onion, plus one serve of grissini.
Soup and grissini arrived, both looked great. The plates were presented beautifully, with little heart shapes made with beetroot placed on the outside of the plate. The grissini was two long thin sticks of bread along with the dippers. The bread was very hot, and fresh tasting to start with, but as it cooled it developed into a very chewy, unpleasant texture. The dippers were fabulous. I managed to sneak a taste of the soup while nobody was looking (we were scared of getting frowned at in such a posh restaurant!). It was very well flavoured, served with the traditional cheese topped crostini floating on top. The soup also came with rosemary bread which was very nice.
Onto mains, our menus were brought out and specials explained to us. I opted for the aged beef fillet, and partner the lamb shank. All mains are between $27-31. We also ordered a bowl of fries with aioli to share. Our orders were taken, and I decided to make a bathroom stop.
While I can't speak for the men's bathroom, the ladies bathroom was perfect. Fluffy white towels, nice handwash, perfume, handcream and hairspray were provided for your use. There was even a big cosy chair to sit in if you felt the need. Very nice.
Our mains arrived within about 15 minutes, a very good wait time considering there were 5 other tables. My beef fillet arrived in a large stack, very nicely presented on potato mash, with seasonal vegetables (broccoli, capsicum and beans) nestled on top of the potato. The beef was topped with a rather large Yorkshire pudding. A tasty, rich sauce was drizzled over, and lastly a Kikorangi hollandaise topped it all off. (Are you drooling yet!). Partner's lamb shank was nestled on baby potatoes, along with the seasonal vegetables described above, topped with a rich red wine demi glaze. I was a little surprised at the Kikorangi hollandaise which came with my beef - it was made with blue cheese which I did not realise it would be. I am not usually a fan of blue cheese, in fact I despise the stuff but I ended up enjoying it, it married well with the various flavours. The beef fillet was very tender. My partner gave great feedback on the lamb shank. I tried some and it was very tender and flavoursome. Fries were standard fries in a bowl, with a martini glass placed in the centre which held half aioli and half tomato sauce. I hardly made a dent in these.
Dessert time. There is no dessert menu, the waitress simply tells you about each dessert. A nice personal touch, BUT it is difficult to take it all in and remember each dessert. I personally would prefer a menu to look at while the waitress explains. I opted for the licorice icecream, and partner the bread and butter pudding. After about 7 minutes, these were brought out. Again, presentation is beautiful. My icecream was served in a martini glass on a plate which also holds licorice allsorts and toffee. It was very nice, I would certainly recommend it to licorice lovers. Bread and butter pudding was served with butterscotch icecream, which my partner reported was also delicious.
Time to pay. The waitress brought out a leather booklet which held our bill details. Total came to $137. We paid and left.
Vavasseur is very high class, the service is good and the food excellent. I would take somebody there whom I would like to impress. However, I would not wish to be the one footing the bill.
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