Impressive food, made with the finest local produce, served by women in victorian dresses? Yay!

The "Star and Garter" is a splendid restaurant in the victorian district of the "Penguin Capital of the World", Oamaru, New Zealand. It has the reputation of serving excellent food at reasonable prices in portions that could feed whole villages. But there is more to this restaurant than just its food.

All the merchants in the victorian district of Oamaru take the victorian spirit of their lodgings quite seriously, and so the Star and Garter has the look and feel of a restaurant from the turn of the 19th century, complete with the dresses of the allways cheerful waitresses. There is fortunately no music, the interior consists of ca 10 blank wooden tables in different sizes to accomodate various groups and the place is normally pretty packed, often with local families celebrating the birthday/anniversary of one of their members.

The wine list has a good focus on South Island vineyards but also sports the excellent 2000 Corbans Pino Gris and a large variety of the wines are available by the glass. The food is pretty impressive: With an emphasis on local produce there are daily changing specials and ca 10 "classics", such as a wonderful in Speights Gold Medal Ale marinated Steak on garlic mash and roasted onions, which is just delicious. Other offerings include Chilli Crust Lamb Rump stuffed with basil potatoes on beetroot humous with feta peas and a dazzling array of puddings.

The prices are reasonable: 2 courses a head plus a bottle of wine for 2 shouldn't set you back more than 70 dollars NZ.

The only con to all the pro's is the service, which unfortunately can be a tad sluggish at times, especially when the place is packed, but the girls will tell you before you sit down that today things will be quite slow, so you are prepared.

On the other hand, with the right company and a good bottle of wine, who would want to leave this place early anyway?

The Star & Garter
9 Itchen Street, Oamaru.
North Otago
New Zealand
Phone:(03) 434 5246

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