Queenstown has its fair share of spectacular gastronomic experiences – put it down to the ever inspiring landscape, the amazing local produce and those world class South Island wines! But for one of the best, head down one of the little alleyways tucked away alongside heritage buildings in the town centre to find Rātā.
With internationally recognized Michelin starred chef Josh Emett and highly regarded local restaurateur Fleur Caulton at the helm, this place has New Zealand and the greater world beyond buzzing about creative flavours, inspired cuisine and, we think, some of the coolest cocktails in town. Try the Pimms, served up in jam jars with a twist. We’ve come home craving them.
We came to Rātā with small appetites thanks to a big day out tasting our way around the fabulous local wineries. But, being our last night in Queenstown, we couldn’t leave without sampling some of Emett’s famed food – and we were so thankful that we did! We started slowly with some share plates of tasty morsels and nibbled on petite delights (who knew a teeny tiny goats cheese profiterole could be so damn good?!), and very soon we had filled the table with a veritable feast of delectable main dishes. Even the sides were extraordinary and we found ourselves fighting forks over the warm quinoa, mint, green chilli and coriander bowl. It’s that kind of place. The food is amazing, elegant and well balanced with some added excitement of robust flavours and some curious combinations that make for the perfect long, languid grazing. Check out the menu. You can’t help but over indulge!
It’s that relaxed eating-house vibe that Rātā has that keeps the diner so well satiated. Once inside, seated amongst the warmth of local polished stone and natural woods, you’re in no rush to leave, with several dining spaces including a sunny courtyard for the warmer months and a bar that is perfect for warming up before your meal when the cooler months come around. And, of course, the wine list proudly showcases wines from the Otago and greater New Zealand growing regions, perfectly matched to the menu.
The locals in Queenstown love great food and wine and the good life and whether you’re a part of the young and hip set or a well heeled adventurist, Rātā has the right kind of quirky charm and character for that covetable mix of a fun and fine dining experience.