Saturday, August 8, 2009

One80 Lounge Bar Restaurant

One80 Lounge Bar Restaurant is associated with Copthorne Hotel on Oriental Parade.

Their menu is impressively both vegetarian and gluten-free friendly, leaving me two dishes to choose from which were both. (Actually, it's that the only two vegetarian options were gluten-free - these were available as either an entrée or a main.) Those who are gluten-free but not vegetarian had a much wider choice. There were no vegan options on the menu.

After debating whether I should order a main and dessert, or two entrées and dessert, my sister and I decided to order one main each, and go half and half. She ordered Stilton Stuffed Mushrooms (after recently discovering her love for blue cheese), and I ordered Arancini with Buffalo Mozzarella.

Arancini are essentially crumbed risotto balls. These were served on a plate of a red pepper sauce that was, quite simple, yummy! Each vegetarian dish had three 'pieces' so we swapped plates twice during the meal. The stilton stuffed mushroom was also tasty, for those who like the strength of the cheese at least, but I was pleased to start and finish with the arancini - it seemed a more filling meal.

The size of the mains was such that we were happy without having had an entrée - though we'd started with an olive and almond platter. Neil and my mum both had the fish of the day, I think with fennel and a leek purée. Most of us just had space for dessert.

The dessert I had was butterscotch crème brulée. Truly my favourite fancy dessert! This was served with chocolate-dipped gingerbread which I palmed off to mum for a work snack the next day. The crème brulée itself, I have to admit, was not the best I've had. It was very thick, and a bit heavy for my liking. This could well be a result of using actual double cream, which is difficult to find in NZ (if even possible!) Or it could have been a result of the butterscotch perhaps being too buttery. Apart from the sugar on top, it wasn't particularly sweet, either. It was probably nice, but not quite they way I would have liked it!

Neil and mum were twins again and ordered cherry chocolate crumble. This looked pretty good, but both of them said they probably wouldn't bother with it again. The crumble topping did actually look a bit breakfast cereal-y, and I guess the inside just wasn't quite right?

The service throughout the meal was good, the people were friendly. They apologised for the wait for food, but we hadn't even noticed. (Perhaps they were used to hotel patrons who want to eat quickly before going out - whereas we were having a dinner event so were happy to take our time, chat, and look at the old family photos my grandmother sent with a birthday card!)

The cost was fairly high, but not unreasonable considering a main dish was enough for a meal, rather than tiny serves where you need the whole three courses to have enough. The atmosphere was good, as was the shiny view of the city from the 7th floor location.

Given that their menu could accommodate me without adjustment, and I was impressed with the arancini, I'd definitely go there again. We'd just go without desserts!

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