Botswana Butchery Butchered Service· Restaurant Reviews
Apr 2nd, 2012 | By Jayson Bryant | Category: Restaurant Reviews
Botswana Butchery Auckland City
Cin Cin on Quay (as it was once known) was something of an institution. A fine establishment in its day, but a little tired in the end – though the bar there was a decent place to have a glass of what-you-fancy while waiting for the ferry. Indeed the vaulted space in the ferry building was home to a wonderful establishment in the early 80’s that I remember fondly – the Fishpot Café. It was an unassuming little hole-in-the-wall – but their mussel chowder was sublime.
Botswana Butchery is the new occupant in the space. But my memory of this joint is something I wish I could delete. I was intrigued to visit – it is just across the street from my apartment and I had walked past several times on the way to work in the viaduct as its fit-out progressed. Thought the cleavers as door handles were either an amusing touch or twee bad taste.
So – first impression not so good, but I heard from friends that there is a similarly named restaurant in Queenstown and that it is well regarded. The second impression is that the décor is akin to a hotel dining room. It is plush and well padded. Fine if you like that sort of thing. I don’t. With so many new dining establishments strewn along from Wynyard Quarter to the edge of Britomart – many of then slick and contemporary, the Butchery seems flabby and self-satisfied.
Our server was pleasant enough. But knew nothing about the food on the menu. It was her first day, she explained. It is unforgivable to send waitstaff onto the floor of a restaurant where the prices for a main course are $35 plus (and there are plenty that will test your means). When quizzed the waitress wasn’t able to answer a single question about the dishes.
I ordered a half-dozen bluff oysters to begin, with a balsamic dressing on the side. A dozen arrived. When remedied there was no apology for the mistake.
As a main I decided to opt for a steak – why not go with what seemed to be the specialty of the house. My companion had confit of duck. My eye fillet steak was miniscule and – though properly cooked – it was tasteless, as was the anchovy butter that I ordered to accompany it, served in a dish on the side and at an extra charge. No garnish, no jus no nothing. The duck was served with a very poor risotto. Duck with muck. A grey, grim gruel.
The icing on the cake came when the server poured still tap water into our glasses of sparkling, pricey mineral water.
We chose to skip desert and decamped to Soul in the Viaduct, which was, predictably excellent.
I don’t think I will return to Botswana Butchery. It seems to be the kind of establishment designed to fleece cruise ship passengers and others who are passing through – the kind of place one visits once.
99 Quay St
(Auckland Ferry Building)
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