It was a cold and rainy Sunday – the perfect day to take the family for a hearty roast Sunday lunch. So off we went to a restaurant and bar that I must admit to having driven past almost daily but never visited.
The Dominion (a former GPK location for those of you with l-o-n-g memories!) and close neighbour to Eden park, is part of the Monteith’s beer family and serves up quality “pub grub” in a stylish atmosphere. The décor uses the best of the historic features of the building and combines modern decorating touches and traditional elements with flair.
We arrived slightly soggy from the walk from the car and found a corner booth and table to settle in. There was a mix of patrons when we arrived: a family finishing their lunch, some men having a drink at the bar, a table of friends catching up at another table.
The Dominion is promoting its Sunday roast lunches ($16.50) during the winter, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they have a special meal offer almost daily. For example, all mains are ½ price on Mondays. There was a choice of meats for the roast lunch so we ordered two beef meals and one roast chicken meal. We placed our drinks orders and waited for our meals to arrive.
When they did arrive, we forgave the kitchen for the longer than expected wait. The plates were piled with delicious-looking food and I had to work quickly to take my photos so that we could hungrily attack the meals.
My roast chicken meal was actually two pieces of breast with the wings attached. The meat was accompanied by a generous serving of roast potato, kumara, pumpkin and parsnip and also peas. The chicken was well-cooked and very flavourful. The vegetables were slightly greasier than I would have liked but delicious nonetheless.
The two beef meals each had a generous serving of very tender beef along with the roast vegetables. In fact, this was probably the best beef of the three Sunday roast meals that we have tried so far.
Had we not been on the hunt for a roast meal, we could have tried a range of mains from the regular lunch menu such as pizza $12.50), salt and pepper squid salad ($12.50), Caesar salad ($15.50), grilled teriyaki chicken salad or steak sandwich (both $18.50). There are a couple of items such as duck, steak and snapper outside our Cheapeats budget. Unfortunately the Monteith’s Wild Challenge menu items running until 12 August and main meals on the regular dinner menu are also largely outside our budget (cider braised pork belly, roast duck duo, fish, steaks and more – $22.50-$30.50) but the pasta, main salads, burgers and wraps are accessible at the $18.50 mark. There are lots of sides available priced from $5-$9.50 – especially tempting carbs to soak up that Monteith’s ale! Or go on a Monday night and enjoy those delicious-sounding main meals at half price!
Gourmet pizzas are all under $20 and range from the simple Margherita pizza to the Canterbury (NZ lamb, potatoes, feta, caramelised onions and mint pesto) to the Aucklander (chicken, avocado, brie, cashews and cranberry swirl). Vegetarians can rejoice with their own menu – most at Cheapeats prices and including corn and capsicum risotto cake ($14.50), tempura tofu salad ($18.50) and mixed mushroom risotto ($20.50).
The Dominion offers desserts ($11.50-$13.50) and a variety of Puhoi Valley cheeses.
And of course, being a bar, there is a special menu with a wide variety of bar bites ($8.50-$12.50) and platters ($40).
Combined with a reasonable beer and wine list, The Dominion could just be our new BFF Cheapeats restaurant!