We wandered through the Botanic Gardens from Riccarton Ave to get to the Curator’s House, however, it is located on the edge of the city centre, on Rolleston Ave at the main entrance to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
The quaint Old English Tudor style building in which the restaurant is housed is surrounded by cottage style fruit and vegetable gardens. This heritage building was the original 1920’s residence of the curator of the Gardens.
Prior to this there was a Head Gardener’s cottage located within the footprint of the present day building built in 1872 and before this a small Government Gardener’s cottage existed on the same site.
Wandering down the garden path…..
There is plenty of outdoor seating with large sun umbrellas to provide shade. We chose to sit outside as it was a very warm sunny day and it was just lovely sitting outside enjoying our surroundings.
My eldest daughter and my Mum (whose birthday we were celebrating over lunch).
The staff were friendly but rushed and barely had time to stop and we had to ask for them to explain what tapas are and how to order from the tapas menu.
To start we ordered bread with a selection of dips and a tapas platter so we could taste a variety of tapas dishes. I was pleased that a lot of these dishes were gluten free so I was able to try most of them.
The calamari was the stand out tapas dish, the patatas bravas with aioli a close second along with the yummy dips with bread.
We could have chosen more from the tapas menu and shared several tapas for lunch but we were so tempted by the a la carte menu we decided to choose a main dish each.
My husband chose the venison with vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, mushroom and potatoes. He enjoyed this dish, the venison was cooked to perfection and the crunchy vege crisps were delicious, but he didn’t find the meal amazing (and he tells me for this price he expects to be really ‘wowed’).
My Mum and I both ordered the slow cooked lamb shoulder which was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Falling off the bone, this lamb shoulder was slow-cooked to perfection. The portion of lamb is huge! I would have loved a few more spring greens with this dish.
Mum loved the wine she bought to accompany her main so much that she ordered a second glass!
This delicious flavourful and fresh salad was the dish my daughter chose. I nibbled on her salad and really enjoyed the strong Mediterranean flavours. The price was reasonable too.
None of us thought we’d be able to fit in dessert but when we looked at the dessert menu we changed our minds and decided to splurge! We all ordered the Pannacotta de Chocolate – a silky chocolate pannacotta with morello cherries, candied almonds and espresso syrup, this really was the cherry on top!
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our meal but due to the prices it isn’t a restaurant we can visit often.