- Restaurants, Bar & Brasseries, Bistros
- Price Range:
- Spendy, $25 - $35
- Good For Groups:
- Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
- No BYO
- Wheelchair Accessible:
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- Meals Served:
- Dinner, Late Night
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- Outdoor Seating:
Reviews for Matterhorn Restaurant
8th June 2011
This business is a MenuMania SponsorOne of the Business' Favourite Reviews
What can I say, Matterhorn is always guaranteed to impress, both in the service offered and the food served.
I took 5 friends who were visiting from London here last week and they loved the chilled and relaxed decor, fantastic cocktails and suburb food.
The Suckling Pig, Southland Venison and Aged Angus Fillet could not be faulted.
Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a venue that is very reliable in all aspects.
by Jason M.
22nd May 2013
Great place day or night. Foods great and the coffees pretty good too.
Its tucked away so seems a bit dark and dingy during summer days but feels nice and cosy during the winter months.
Staff are great and have good knowledge of the menu.
Can be hard to get a table at times, but what do you expect. Worth the wait
by Casey H.
19th May 2013
Another I frequent. Food is always good with some nice belly fullers. Nice atmosphere and evenings with live music is where it’s all at! Another Wellington classic. Find myself here more in colder months then Summer.
Cocktails are nicely made.
Hard to fault, sometimes the staff are not so attentive and on leaving you can at times feel a little disappointed when having to walk past the bar or the coffee machine side to have no one say chow chow? Even though they look right at ya?
Don’t visit the back toilet if ya J-Lo or Kim K, you may find your stuck in there for L.I.F.E.
by Monica C.
29th March 2013
When being too friendly takes its toll. Matterhorn was once a great place for a wine and the toasty fire made it the perfect place to spend your Friday evening. Well come 2013 you won’t be spending any Friday evening in here unless you come during the day to bags a table. Hordes of teenagers now occupy the tables during evenings drinking coffee and tea. Hello ? Why should hard working adults be turned away after a long week at work. Matterhorn needs to make sure that it is a bar in the evening and not mcmatterhorn cafe. Most waiters and waitress’s are very friendly however occasionally you’ll come across one or two who are too big for their boots. I do enjoy the atmosphere at Matterhorn it is truly one of a kind. I repeat once more so everyone gets it into their head. Matterhorn cafe by day, bar by night! Ka Pai!
by Grant B.
9th March 2013
Arrived from Christchurch looking forward to an enjoyable experience before the rugby. While the dingy lighting was rather off-putting on a beautiful sunny day we braved the darkness. Drinks were reasonably priced but was staggered that the first three choices for a spirit were not available (yet these are commonplace in almost every bar we’ve been to). Even more disturbing was their almost proud and arrogant way of informing me that they have no diet (sugar-free) sodas! Thought we’d start with snacks and my wife ordered chips and the cheese. While tasty enough we needed to settle the account as some of our group was moving on. When advised the cheese we received was for 4 at $16pp and would cost $64, I knew something was wrong. My wife believed she had ordered cheese and chips at an expected $26 and what we received matched but the Bar Manager insisted the 4 very small portions of cheese and few crackers we got was cheese for two at $32! She was so unreasonable about the matter, simply refusing to accept our order was entered incorrectly into their system, we gave up then and there. Given the nature of other reviews here, so glad we did! It must be disappointing for the owner when his/her staff are so arrogant and unreasonable that they drive custom away.
by Phil L.
6th March 2013
I went here with my wife and we absolutely enjoyed this gem in the heart of Wellington. The service was perfect and we had no problems the entire night.
They present a fine menu, that is the opposite of pretentious while giving us a new direction of tastes prepared with very fresh ingredients.
The beef cheek was the highlight of our three courses, which was absolutely delicious and still fresh in our memory three weeks later. Their chips and dips don’t fail to impress either, all perfectly made in-house.
This place is good for a night of cocktails and snacks, and would also be perfect for a fine dining date with a special partner.
by Maya A.
22nd February 2013
The Matterhorn has been one of my favourite places to have a drink after work in Wellington. The last time we were there, however, it seems the quality of the wait staff has really taken a dive. Although it was obviously quite busy on a Friday evening, it was unacceptable that it took 25 minutes to get our drinks, one of which was simply a glass of bubbly. In that time, the waitress did not stop by ONCE to let us know she was working on it or to apologise for the wait time. We also ordered some nibbles–the salt cod croquettes and a bowl of chips. Although we ordered the chips at the same time as the drinks, and the salt cod croquettes nearly twenty minutes later…the croquettes arrived almost immediately and we had to ask again for the chips–apparently they had forgotten our order. Again no apology. Since there were four of us, we also asked for another side of chipotle mayo for the chips. This NEVER came…and when we finally asked again, the waitress made some flimsy excuse that the kitchen was too busy and would get mad at her for asking for more!!! How hard is it to get a tiny side of mayo? And isn’t that her JOB? Needless to say, it was the worst service I’ve experienced there–very, very disappointing.
by Delwyn H.
16th December 2012
The Matterhorn has moved from an iconic Wellington restaurant destination to a disappointment.
The ‘new look’ menu is neither ‘tapas’ nor dinner – with portion sizes varying and no sense of ‘how’ to order. Over priced and under sized. Food rushed and all at once despite reassurances that ‘natural groupings’ would be selected and presented together.
Food gets cold before it’s eaten and no room at table to manage multiple dishes.
Seating 5 at table for 4 when no need to.
No change in menu being printed in too small a font and inadequate lighting to read menu (bring a small torch).
Wouldn’t return for dinner, perhaps a drink, but then so many choices in Wgt.
Common guys – the public is talking.
Bill presented with no itemized account and incorrect (happily sorted).
by Hugh C.
13th November 2012
Was really looking forward to this experience, and booked in for their Wellington on a Plate offering, a vegetarian degustation.
I’m not vege, but it is often something a little different and more adventurous that another steak, or another duck dish (when it’s not just a super-sized salad, that is!)
We opted for the wine pairings, and can’t say we were overly impressed.
Either a) my home cooking and wine matching ability is something I entirely underrate, or b) there was another reason this was a less enjoyable meal than an average Friday night at my place.
It involved some less than inspired (and in one case entirely backwards) wine matches. At home, I’m not bad with the wines and the foods, but I don’t do it for a living, or have any pretense of being some undiscovered natural kitchen god, so the other reason is …maybe, it actually wasn’t very good.
While on paper the dishes looked very promising, some were soooooo salty as to be bordering on ridiculous, and while I appreciate the chef’s art of ‘urban foraging’, the dish needs to hang together regardless of the source of the produce.
The real clanger was the ONE dish on this special degustation menu that was offered as a pairing with a wine to EVERYONE, regardless of taking the wine match options.
It was a goat’s cheese custard with tart green tomato jelly, and a green onion ‘marmalade’. The presentation, as with all the dishes, was great, all off-centred on the plate, and scattered with wee flowers and toasted pine nut crumbs, (I think) but I can tell you that after having that in your mouth at the same time as the (separately stunning) Ata Rangi sauvignon blanc, it was something I’d be ashamed to ask people to eat at my place. Unless it was some epic trolling action, then it’d be bloody funny.
But this was serious Wellington fine dining, or an attempt thereat. The tartness of the tomato turned the wine inside out, accentuating the acid and demolishing any fruit character, while the sweetness of the marmalade clashed horribly with what is a very dry wine.
I asked the wait person what she thought of the match, and she said it was amaaazing, and asked what I thought.
I could honestly not believe that was the one pairing they’d chosen -from the entire 7 or 8 course menu- to give to EVERYONE, and said as much. This was met with astonishment, and countered with a comment along the lines of ‘oh, come on, don’t be like that. we have *lots* of very serious wine and food people through here and noone else has said that.’
I suggested that perhaps these people had been too polite to say anything, which she didn’t think would be the case. The remainder of service was a little forced, but otherwise fine.
We sat and watched with bemusement, as a half hour later, the same dish was served to a table of twenty-somethings, whose quizzical looks and winces, along with nodding and sounds of agreement suggested that our wait person wasn’t the only one that night that didn’t get why it was bad.
An assault on the senses does not a good match make!
Some other points:
When I rang to book, I was told -rather haughtily- that they didn’t take bookings, and that we’d need to just turn up and take a seat in the bar, blah blah blah…
I enquired (as we were on a return flight to Auckland that night) when the earliest service was available on a Sunday for the degustation, and was asked if it was the Wellington on a Plate one, (yes, it was) and I was informed that I would need to book for either the 5.30 or 7.30 sitting.
Opting for the earlier one, I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps knowing that your establishment was participating in Wellington on a Plate, and requiring reservations for that, when someone rings ‘to book’, it might be an idea to ask if that’s what they were calling about, rather than just trotting out the same old line?
Not rocket science, in fact that’s just good service.
The men’s toilets smelt, for lack of any more accurate or prosaic term, utterly disgusting. I would rather have used the public ones around the corner. Not come across that in *any* other dining establishment that I can think of off the top of my head, let alone one that rates itself as having such highfalutin standards.
It is interesting to read the other reviews, which seem to be either raving or bashing the place- there is no in between. Not entirely sure what to make of the people impressed with the knowledge/wine list/food/ambiance in light of my experience, but I sure do LOL at the comments about the lack of lighting: it was quite hard to read the menu without holding it at fairly close range, and it was VERY hard to tell if there was any brown soup left in the black bowl. Quite what the thinking behind that is, I’d really quite like to know! Anyone got any ideas, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
An experience to be repeated? Unfortunately not.
19th August 2012
Wow is all I can say,every time I go here they impress me…. Great service and food would eat out here every week if i had the time and money. Great tapas and very good wine list, love my wine so this is very important, will be back with friends soon..
16th June 2012
My favourite restaurant in the world (and I’ve been to plenty around the world! Excellent cocktails and amazing food! Lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.. you can’t go wrong, lovely service and atmosphere, good location too! They even have a great tea selection… Pity that they took the wagyu beef off the menu though! I’ve visited Matterhorn around a dozen times and always been pleased… the bathrooms could do with a renovation though.
by Linda C.
7th June 2012
Matterhorn what can I say..Coming from Sydney I have a high standard of where I like to eat from top restaurant and bistros and gastro pubs..And from what I heard about Matterhorn I was excited.
We went on a Friday night no booking which was good but as we walked in we didn’t know where to go as there was no one to greet us till I asked one of the waiters which was standing around….We were taken to our seats, the mood was great dark candle lit and and open fire on the other side…looking at the menu it looked a bit pricey but we were used to that in Sydney..
To start we had the king fish sashimi with horseradish cream and fennel. This was really good light and tasty not that it’s that hard really just king fish with lemon and season really couldn’t go wrong with that.
For the entrees I had the crisp pigs head terrine with broad beans and scampi …the terrine had no flavour to it at all as it was deep fried and dry and and to top dat off I got peas in my dish which I hate and couldn’t eat so gave it to my boyfriend and he agreed with me…so he had the crab essence which I ended up with with was bland and not seasoned enough… For mains I had the special monk fish it was OK lacked seasoning again…My boyfriend had the red deer fillet with coco beetroot puree and braised red cabbage and butter ..when it says red it should mean red not pink with a grey line around the edge either sealed to much or not rested enough, the puree was great best part of the dish cabbage is cabbage with butter. We had green beans with ricotta witch was great… To finish I had the cheese, you can’t go wrong with cheese or can you I got two triangles of lavosh for 5 different slices of cheese mean of way…my boyfriend had the souffle it was cooked right as it rose up but very eggy …..
So not only was our meal not good it was so cold there I had to ask of my jacket, in Sydney if you are cold they simply hand you a blanket..We had to wait 30 Min’s for each course. The staff was rude and arrogant as if he knew everything but it was wrong when I said there was no peas mentioned on the menu and tried to tell me there was later to find out I was right, and how annoying is it when someone keeps coming up after each course and asking how was waiting for you to give great feedback… Later on we were talking to a few local chefs and they told us there were living off their old reputation and old chef menu…
Overall if you would like to waste your money and have a bad meal experience I would say this is the place, oh don’t forget to bring your hot water bottle cos you are going to need it…. so I won’t be going back..
23rd March 2012
Having experienced a very enjoyable meal in the Matterhorn while on holiday here from Dublin in 2009, we revisited it recently [March 2012]. Needless to say we were a little surprised to see a half-empty restaurant at 8.30 on a Saturday night, which was an ominous sign of things to come. Our starters and main course [no need to reinforce our mistake of going there by having dessert] were cool, scarce and fairly dull & uninspiring to the taste-buds. For a company in the hospitality sector, the attitude of their staff reflected to me a culture of arrogance at the restaurant that we have never witnessed in any comparable [ie price wise]restaurant in Europe. And such comparable restaurants would generally have professionally trained waiters & sommeliers with a lot more skills and a lot less attitude. For a restaurant bragging on the reputation of awards achieved long ago it charges prices that would be deemed very expensive in Dublin or London. Overall, an expensive, second-class dining experience in a first-class city.
by Andrea V.
3rd March 2012
We found this place overpriced for mediocre food, arrogant staff, and too dark.
My husband and I were getting married and my grandparents came from the UK – they said they wanted to ‘treat us’ to a nice meal in Wellington. So, we decided to go to Matterhorn, donned as one of Wellington’s best restaurants. BUT, I am so regretful and embarrassed that we took them there – and they paid – for what was a terrible experience.
Where to start – my grandparents ordered a bottle of French Champagne – it was a Tuesday night and we were the only ones at the bar, with 3 bar men behind it (one wearing a backwards cap – not exactly professional). We sat at one of the bar tables and waited. And waited. And waited. After an embarrassing time passed, I looked over to the bar, only to find that our Champagne had been poured, and left on the bar!
Second, when we ordered, I asked the French waitress if the fish dish had any meat in it as my husband and grandfather do not eat meat. She didn’t quite understand what I said, so I said it in French. She assured us there was no meat in the fish dish. But, when the fish was brought to our table (an insipid looking piece of fish with some token vegetables), and a different male waiter came to pour the ‘gravy’ on the fish, we checked again that there was no meat in the gravy. ‘Yes’ he told us – it’s made with chicken stock! So, they were left with a dry piece of fish with no sauce – there was no attempt to bring out a different sauce or ask if they’d like to order something else. It was SO embarrassing! Then, we waited for the green beans….and waited….and waited. Eventually, I got up and asked for them. They were brought and plonked on our table.
When the dessert menu was offered to us it was a bit of a joke – as if we would risk ordering desserts!
I did speak to the manager afterwards about this – he said it wasn’t up to Matterhorn standard, but given the other reviews, it sounds like we are not the only ones to experience sub-par food and service. He said he’d send us some vouchers, but they were sent to the wrong address. I think he is now sending them to our correct address. We’ll see how it goes on our return!
by James P.
5th February 2012
Dinned here last time I was in Wellington, fantastic venue , great food ( kitchen need a pat on the back ) , front of house staff need to pull their head out of their own back sides, and remember its about the customer not their own ego, same goes for the bar staff who were even worse. Still the food was good enough that I’ll return and given them another go, its was only one visit after all.
15th January 2012
A group of us came in just for desert and cocktails and the service is pretty poor, our waitress was impatient and when we asked her a question she very rudely told us to wait till she had done our water then she would talk to us. Like the other reviews below it is way too dark in the restaurant, people like to see what they are eating.
The desert menu was interesting, they are obviously trying to be different but all the deserts were quite out there. I had a frozen stuffed meringue with rum jelly and freeze dried white chocolate. It was intriguing but I wouldn’t have it again. While it is a trendy restaurant some of their prices are way over the top at $13 for house spirits.
by Curtis C.
7th January 2012
When I arrived down here in Wellington, my sister recommended this place, it’s a little out of the way, and the environment/setting is awesome.
Really nice lighting outside, and the outside environment is nice. I can’t speak for the Inside as I haven’t dined here inside yet; The inside did look nice though.
The Food was nice, and the staff were friendly.
always a good sign.
all in all, it’s a good place, and the quality of what food I have ordered has been nice.
A place worth checking out.
26th July 2011
The food at Matterhorn Rules! But the wine pour could be reviewed (it really should be a bit more generous if you are purchasing by the glass) now days I would go straight for cocktails or a beer instead..
by Anthony C.
25th July 2011
We had some friends down from Auckland who had wanted to eat at Matterhorn since it won Metro’s awards a couple of years ago. We were slightly apprehensive since anecdotally it was not the same establishment it was then, but we didn’t want to be negative so headed off hoping for a good night.
The evening started off well with glasses of wine and cocktails and we were seated by the friendly and professional waiter. Our waitress soon made herself known and she was also friendly, attentive and professional.
But things took a steep dive from there. The tables are so dark so you actually can’t read the menus. We had to pass round a cellphone with a torch. Once illuminated the food looked good but we decided to skip entrees in favour of a big round of cheeses after the main, since one of our visitors is a fromage freak.
Our main arrived and while they were beautifully presented, 3 of the 4 were stone cold and the fourth was perhaps luke-warm. The chef had delightful flavours and presentation but because of the horrendous lighting and obviously long wait time on the counter, we couldn’t enjoy either.
It was about this time that we ordered a second bottle of the same wine, the Craggy Range Gimblett Syrah. Another waiter came over and said “Gents, would you like to taste it first or should I just pour it out?” I was snickering under my breath at this outdated assumption that we men are the custodians of good taste at our dining table, until I looked up and saw my female dining companions staring in horror as he had topped up our glasses and ignored theirs, which were at even lower levels than ours.
My girlfriend is not the type of woman to take this one on the chin, so as politely as she could manage complained to our female waitress. Our waitress received the complaint very well and went to investigate (apparently he doesn’t like mixing two separate bottles of wine, which would be a much more compelling excuse had he not done exactly that on our glasses).
The cheeses to follow were nice enough but by then we were well and truly ready to move on and try somewhere else.
I appreciate that the chauvinist waiter is likely an anomaly, but there is no excuse for cold food and not just bad, but dismal lighting (that’s not to even mention the bathrooms, which are so dark you feel like you could be accosted at any second). I was tempted to mark it up to 2 stars for the excellent waitress but ‘meh I’ve had better’ was certainly not the sentiment of our party on the night. With so many other great dining options at this price point in Wellington, it will be a long time before we return.Comment from Pack I. of Matterhorn Restaurant 13/10/2011
by Lin T.
16th February 2011
Consistently this restaurant has the highest standards of service, staff knowledge, quality food.
The ambience is homely chic, the fire in colder weather is great and the outdoor bar is comfortable in sunny weather.
Last visit I had the Gorgonzola soufflé. The accompaniments of caramelised witloof, radicchio, pear, sugared walnuts & apple vinaigrette enhanced the richness of the soufflé.
For desert the bitter chocolate & rose marshmallow with confit rhubarb, manjari délice & milk sorbet met expectations of indulgence. Personally I might have preferred the rhubarb pieces to have had a little more tartness to help the sorbet cut through the sweetness of the marshmallow. However, I am being very picky.
We’ll be back.Comment from Pack & WNZ L. of Matterhorn Restaurant 16/06/2011
by Jon V.
22nd January 2011
Matterhorn is the kind of restaurant you go to, and regardless of your preconceptions – which foods you do and don’t like, you are confident to order anything from the menu and know your taste buds will explode. The bar is extensive, the waitstaff attentive and very knowledgeable, yet able to tell when you shouldn’t be disturbed at the same time. I couldn’t recommend Matterhorn more from my visits.
20th October 2010
This place deserved to do well. Hard to find but once found it is a great discovery. Great atmosphere sets it apart from other eating establishments. We think there is a new chef but if so it hasn’t changed the outstanding quality of their meals.
A definite go-place…Comment from Pack & WNZ L. of Matterhorn Restaurant 16/06/2011
9th July 2010
A cold wet Friday afternoon,after a very blah day at work, my friend and I decided to go to Matterhorn for a wee tipple. The staff were so warm, friendly and knowledgeable. The fire lit was very inviting. The service was excellent, my bad day just melted away, Love their work. Very impressive wine list (we opted for Pinot Noir) and gorgeous tapas style food to match them.
22nd June 2010
A good place for a special dinner – good food, nice atmosphere. Quite pricey but probably worth it. Need to book before to get a table.
by Georgie S.
4th June 2010
I’ve always loved Matterhorn. The decor and knowledgeable staff always make it a great experience.
The drinks before dinner were delicious as always, and shortly after we were whisked away to an intimate corner.
The tuna sashime starter was delicious, but the rabbit terrine was overly gelatinous, and the flavor of the rabbit got a little lost. My main was tasty, but a little over seasoned.
Ambiance and music excellent as always.
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