Cuisine : Cuisine, Issue 144
166 CUISINE LES ALPES & THE LANDING, STEPHEN GOODENOUGH Over the way, a young New Zealand couple was enjoying their ritual melting of raclette under the electric table-top grill, with its rigorously correct set of accompaniments: potatoes, dried beef, Bayonne ham, salami, pickled gherkins and onions. The staff mucked up my snail order a bit, in that I tucked in thinking, "Funny, I can't detect any Pernod or fennel flavour here -- this tastes just like the same old snails with garlic and parsley butter," before realising that it was precisely that -- my dizzy Irish waiter having delivered me the wrong version. My French waiter, by contrast, was a sweetie, who knew all about the menu and the Alsace wines she was recommending. Expat French owners Anne-Marie and Serge Guilhaumou have come ashore after 18 years in the yacht chartering business, understanding fully the conservative tastes of the haute bourgeoisie, as their schist fireplace, alpine cushions and antique skis evidence. Apart from the swanky Botswana Butchery, I doubt there's anywhere less inviting in Queenstown to a half-cut, drugged post-adolescent snowboarder, which might just prove Les Alpes' best raison d'être. DAVID BURTON Like any tourist town, Wanaka abounds with fast food, but other than Sapphire and Botswana Butchery, the sophisticated options are limited. Since early 2010 the other local notable, Missy's Kitchen, has been operating under new ownership as The Landing. Always sleek and modern, the interior needed only minor refurbishing: tired wooden table tops have been given an ivory wash and a revamped bar area emphasises the new orientation of the business. Bar snacks have been introduced and the menu plebeianised with burgers and even fish and chips -- albeit a posh version with beer batter, crushed peas and tartare sauce. However, Swedish chef Matz Asberg has agreed to bridge the transition from Missy's Kitchen and, having worked for Terence Conran in London, his sense of style and visual drama, painstakingly acquired, cannot be undone. Surrounded by their moat of sticky jus, three burnished rounds of braised The landing Level 1, 80 Ardmore St, Wanaka, ph: 03-443 5099, thelandinglakewanaka.co.nz 7 days from 4pm $$-$$$ Les Alpes www.cuisine.co.nz Feeling Peckish? Original Tangy BBQ Sour Cream & Chive Sea Salt & Vinegar Sweet Chilli Lime & Black Pepper Wasabi Cheddar Cheese promotus 3080_cuis Peckish Rice Cracker Thins are an all- new way to snack. They're lighter and thinner than regular rice crackers with a unique crispy texture. 8 intense flavours mean there's no need for toppings. They're baked not fried, plus the entire range is Gluten and Trans fat free. What a great alternative to chips! Available at supermarkets nationwide.
Cuisine, Issue 145