Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lunch at Zibibbo

Friday was my last day of my job (I have been moved to a different programme within the same company, so moving offices but not roles) and though we normally go to the pub for Friday lunch I had spied that Zibibbo have a very reasonably priced set lunch menu, and being just across the road from the office it seemed like the ideal spot for a slightly more exciting bite to eat.

The set lunch menu is $22.50 for two courses or $30 for three, so very reasonable for nice restaurant fare.

 We were brought bread to start - this was great as for some reason on Friday it's much harder than on any other day of the week to hold out until lunchtime and I was starving.

 The three starter options were; Angus beef carpaccio with parmesan and wild rocket salad; chorizo and portobello mushroom shepherds pie; and smoked bacon and vegetable soup with gruyere cheese gratin.

I had the carpaccio and it was delicious - lovely, full flavours, the meat was great and the balsamic perfectly tangy. The shepherds pie seemed to be happily devoured and I was a bit jealous of those who had chosen this as it looked so warming and rich. The soup was a little less loved, but I didn't hear any complaints, either, other than that the description of vegetable soup probably could have been more precise since it wasn't the medley people were expecting.

The mains were; wood roasted chicken with tomato and thyme cassoulet; portobello mushrooms with herb gnocchi and parmesan cream; and grilled scotch fillet with polenta croutes and  red wine jus.

My main was the chicken, and the chicken was beatifully tender and rich, but I didn't enjoy the cassoulet so much - I think the thyme was a little too strong for my taste. The gnocchi looked superb and got rave reviews - I think there may have only been one person at the table who had this dish. By far the most popular (and, perhaps foolishly, this is why I didn't choose it for my main - it seemed most of the table would be eating the same thing. I realise this rationale doesn't work so well when I don't actually get to share the food...) was the scotch fillet. This looked pretty good, topped with lucious looking polenta croutes and swimming in rich jus. Everyone seemed pretty happy with this (though one colleague did have to send hers back as it hadn't been cooked to medium as she had requested), though quite a few left the croutes on their plates. I tried a little of one of these and thought it nice, but plain - but I can imagine it would go well with the meat and jus.

We also had some sides; spinach; mashed potato; and fries. All of these were nice but unremarkable - I do love the Zibibbo aioli but sadly the sides portion of fries wasn't accompanied by this; next time I will ask for it! 

For dessert, there was a choice of apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream and pannacotta with red wine poached pears. The apple crumble was mighty tempting and seemed to be enjoyed all around - and the biscotti, which I also got to try, was delicious, nutty and crisp - but I was very happy with my pannacotta and pears. The pannacotta was unremarkable on its own but perfectly complemented the rich red wine syrup - and the pears were magnificent. Though it wasn't a hot dessert the flavour was so rich it still seemed a fitting finale to a winter lunch.

By the time we wandered back to the office - two hours later, oops - everyone was thoroughly stuffed and feeling very satisfied, and my only complaint would have to be the amount of flak I copped from my colleagues for taking photos of everything. ;-) Perhaps they'll forgive me if they see this post and remember how lovely the food was!

Zibibbo is located at 25-29 Taranaki Street, Wellington, ph 04 385 6650,

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