susan said: "we ate there for dinner and lunch. Both excellent- good variety of menu choice & creative. Well priced. Entree was Pork Belly- very yummy. Main course had interesting veges." read more »
- Price Range:
- Splurge, Above $35
- Good For Groups:
- Takes Reservations:
- Meals Served:
- Lunch, Dinner
Reviews for Rata Dining – Josh Emett
by David B.
7th May 2013
Expectations were high and we were not disappointed. There is a real magic in the food presented and it was a pity we did not have time for a return visit while in Queenstown.
Starting with the Goat cheese profiteroles and Duck tongues, this set the tone for the evening. Rata is a place where you have the ability to venture away from the norm.
John Dory and pigs tail for main and finishing off with Cinnamon Oysters. A true adventure in food.
Great select of local wines by the glass.
Will be back – soon -
by Daniel W.
2nd May 2013
I couldn’t agree more with the reviewer Colin P. Everything we ordered, the waiter returned, saying that they had run out of stock. Don’t they buy groceries to serve to the customers? It seemed to me that they were lazy and purely cunning indeed. It’s as if they were trying to feed us what they had in stock, which was absolutely ludicrous. I don’t understand why this restaurant gets any recognition. I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant to anyone. I have been to top restaurants in Europe and this sort of incident would never happen. The food was average, nothing amazed me. I could have cooked all those myself, to be honest. The proportions were quite small, as Colin said. However, it didn’t look appetizing or beautiful on the plate like the French do it either. The waiter had a terrible attitude about him too. I mean, can’t you find waiters that read your menu properly? Another disappointment was that Josh Emett was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps busy shooting Masterchef? I suggest he focuses on his one restaurant that he has in Queenstown. It seems to be a train wreck. The good reviews here are probably from his friends and family. Trust me folks, his restaurant is one from hell.
by Ian S.
29th April 2013
We had lunch at Rata yesterday, Sunday. It was simply wonderful. We found the staff friendly but very professional and knowledgable about the menu and wine list. The stand out dishes were both starters, the chicken liver parfait was as light as air, unctuous and velvety. The gougeres (profiteroles on the menu) were a complete taste blast from the salty goats cheese to the after palate rata honey and rosemary. The mains were good too, venison pie and the gurnard with the aubergine marmalade. Yum. Both needed a little seasoning (salt Josh!!) added but that’s ok. We had the The Two Sisters Riesling 2008 which was a stand out. No room for pud!! This is a superb NZ joint, we have recently eaten in fine dining places in San Francisco, Les Vegas and even a Michelin star restaurant in Hong Kong, Rata is right up there in our view and we will definitely be back.
by Trish A.
20th April 2013
My husband and I decided to visit Rata in Queenstown because watching master chef on TV were keen to experience fine food dining. I was especially keen to see the way the dishes were decorated etc. After finally finding the restaurant’ not well signposted and hidden amongst a lot of buildings off the street we were very disappointed in the way the meals were presented, very boring and plainly presented, very small portions as well. $115.00 later. Also we thought the restaurant was very plain and I could not believe how poor the lighting was in the ladies toilets. We would not go there again.
by Jacqui B.
1st April 2013
Fantastic from start to finish. Great service. Started with shared bites and the kingfish and profiteroles were standout. One couple shared the beef wellington – it was superb. I had the salmon – divine. We had a complimentary dish arrive at the table – always a treat. Desserts were gorgeous. Great atmosphere in the restaurant and the fit-out is impressive. Cant wait to go back!
by Kevyn M.
27th March 2013
We were in Queenstown for Corinne’s birthday.
Rata surpassed our wildest dreams. Just magic.
We recommend bites at the bar first – you get into the vibes of the place.
We had the signature beef Wellington – ace!
by Laurel H.
17th March 2013
This was the most inspirational and exciting meal we have even eaten. Dined here in early February and are still reliving it and regaling its splendour. The French Cafes and Cibo and Soul Bar of Auckland do their thing great, but this was different and so innovative. World class.
12th March 2013
Stunning! Four of us shared a range of small plates for starters and every dish was delicious and well presented. The eel was standout! The venison (main) was perfectly cooked and the other mains (pork belly and salmon) were beautiful. Sitting outside under the trees on a scorching Queenstown afternoon, the Tuatara Hefe was a perfect way to round it all off. The head chef gave us some background on the locally sourced produce and gave us her top picks for desserts, yum. Will definitely be going back!!
by Teresa L.
7th February 2013
The Beef Wellington was devine.
We enjoyed the meal so much we went back twice in the week we were in Queenstown, both times the meals were excellent.
I feel that the staff were well educated in the food they were serving, they made the whole experience wonderful.
by Wendy G.
31st December 2012
We had the pleasure of dining at Rata on Thursday night. We started of with a couple of ‘bites’ – goats cheese profiteroles with honey and the croquettes – absolutely divine! I then had the slow roasted pork belly and my husband had the venison. Both meals were stunning. My husband opted for the cheese and I had the “Rata” dessert bites … once again we were not disappointed. The service was excellent and the young lady who served us was very knowledgeable. Will definitely go back next time we are in Queenstown!
by Barbara G.
8th October 2012
We live in America, so there was not an option on location. I have dined in London, New York, San Francisco, Milan, New Orleans and various other locations known for their food. I don’t know how the other reviewers came to some of their conclusions; most restaurants run short on certain menu items and if you only want one certain dish you should stay home and make it yourself. We tried many of the dishes and were very pleased with all of them. Our service was fine and up to par. The white onion and thyme soup was as good as any restaurant soup we have tried and we always order soup.
by Andrew S.
2nd October 2012
We were in queestown for the weekend and although meals were part of a package at Millbrook Resort where we were staying decided to venture to rata for our evening meal on saturday night,we dined at millbrook on sunday night.
I had the glazed pork belly and my wife the pan fried snapper with parsnip side with some well recommended wines from an extensive list
Josh Emmett was in house AND even as we were leaving came out and signed a menu for us.
Service was quick and efficient and the only negative was the place was a little hard to find. with not alot of visual signage at the street other than that well done
by Dianna S.
3rd September 2012
Were over in Queenstown last week, and for friends birthday 6 of us went there.
Where should i start, firstly the service was terrible, i should say non existent. the waitress that brought our dishes didn’t even know who they belonged to. I would expect if you charge such prices at least memorise who ordered the dishes, waitressing 101.
My husband and I wanted the feast beef dish, waitress announced as we were ordering it that they ran out of beef and only have more expensive cut available (At $42 per person this already wasn’t cheap). She actually had no idea what the price was and had to go to the kitchen and find out.
I have serious issue with that. Firstly if you claim to be high class restaurant, perhaps you should review how to stock up. secondly, if you are going to tell your customers they have to pay more for the same dish get you backpacker waitresses to tell you the prices upfront. thirdly charging $60 per head instead of $42 for meat is ridiculous, its your fault you didn’t stock up, and restaurant should be taking a hit for that. Anyway ordered the meat which was nice…
For dessert ordered chocolate fondant with salted ice creme, I’m sorry I’m not a trained chef but i do chocolate fondant way better then was presented and wouldn’t even charge $17! ice cream was nice..
overall, food was nice, service was terrible and ridiculously overpriced for what it is. Would i go there again or recommend it to anyone? no way! Go to Botswana Butchery instead
by Heather R.
29th June 2012
We dined as a group of four on a Thursday night. we had expected the restaurant to be busier, but it is new and people will be feeling it out I guess. To our delight the owner (star act) Josh Emmett was in the restaurant. Whle we had a drink at the bar, the waiter heard us discussing his presence and said he’d get him out to meet us.
A thoroughly charming guy, obviously passionately keen to succeed in his business venture spent a bit of time telling us about what he was trying to acheive. We were seated where we could see into the kitchen and could see him working the team all night. The standard of everything that came to the table was very high.
This morning we were discussing that there were elements of every dish that came to the table that used skills that we as ‘good cooks’ wouldn’t be able to reproduce, so the value for money was not only in the flavour, presentation but also the skill that was on display.
We tried five of the ‘bites’ menu, one being complimentary. The stand outs were the goats cheese profiteroles, wagyu beef and braised pork terraine. The other two, salami and proscuitto were excellent as well.
The mains menu was enticing, we indulged in the ‘feast’ menu, lovely meaty yums set up for 2 diners. The vension and beef choices with 2 sides were full of flavor beautifully presented and more than we could eat.
After such a good experience we couldn’t ignore the dessert and shared 2 dishes, the chocolate fondant was nice, the plate of little pieces was just outstanding, especially the custard squares.
All this food wrapped inside excellent friendly and helpful service, lovely glassware and cutlery puts this restaurant on a must visit list each trip we make to Queenstown.
by Jane W.
28th June 2012
We dined here this week with local friends. The service was excellent ,staff very attentive, however the venue was noisy probably the acoustics. My husband and I had the rabbit starter which was disappointing not sure if it should have been hot or cold and I had a bone in mine! one of our party had the smoked eel which he said was good. We had the beef cheeks for main which were magnificent well done. Our friends had the salmon and the vegetarian option and found it not so good. One of our party was gluten free and allergic to celery as such could only have the vegetarian option she was disappointed with that. Overall we thought the experience was reasonable value the wine was good. We will eat there again next time we visit Queens town.
12th June 2012
I should preface this review by stating that restaurants of the pedigree of Rata should be judged to a harsher standard than less ambitious eateries.
As part of a party of four, I dined at Rata on June 2nd. Because there was a few of us, we decided to get a variety of dishes, and share them, which turned out to be a great idea. The eel, calamari and bread tins were all excellent dishes, small, but perfectly formed.
For our mains, my partner and I shared the beef rib, and our cohorts shared the venison, with a variety of sides. The beef was very tasty, as was the horseradish mash, but as a concept, I think this dish is flawed – there was a dis-proportionate ratio of protein to sides, which meant that the beef was pretty much cold by the time we finished it.
The desserts were also a mixed bag, with the flavour du jour of salted caramel working brilliantly in the caramel cups, but not so in the almond ice-cream accompanying the chocolate cardamom fondant, which was so wildly salty it was nearly impossible to eat. The cinnamon oysters were also a disappointment, tasting of very little at all.
The fitout of Rata is really sharp, and leaving the cable trays and pipework exposed in the ceiling really helps deaden the noise generated by all the glass and concrete floor. The service was also fantastic, attentive without being overbearing, and knowledgeable and accommodating.
The positive in all of this is that my criticisms can easily be rectified, and as Rata evolves, I’m sure it will iron out the issues that can probably still be attributed to teething issues.
by Colin P.
4th June 2012
We dined at Rata on Saturday night 7pm sitting on 2/06/12.
Arrived and seated with no problems. Ordered glass of wine – “sorry don’t have in stock”. Chose another – same “sorry we don’t have in stock”. Both local Pinot Gris.
Ordered the Smoked eel as a starter and the Whole roast rack of venison with a side of roast parsnips for the main.
Waiter returns with “we only had 5 racks of vension and they have all been sold”. At 7pm on the Saturday of a long weekend!!
Changed order to the Beef fillet and cheek – with the side of parsnips. Waiter returns with “sorry no more parsnips”
Eel starter arrives – 5 pieces of eel, each measuring 25mm * 5mm * 5mm. Could hardly find them amongst the plate full of garnish. $18
Roast fillet & cheek main arrives – another what can only be called a sample. 2 pieces of fillet 25mm round & 25mm high and a piece of cheek that was only just 2 mouthfuls. 2 pieces of carrot and a bowl of mashed potato’s $40.
I will admit that the flavors of the meal were very good BUT value for money 0.
As we were ready to leave the waiter was at the next table giving them the “no venison rack, no parsnips” plus he mentioned a third item that was off the menu but I didn’t catch what it was.
The waiter was excellent and when we left found the eel and beef add been removed from the bill.
All-in-all a very disappointing evening at a restaurant that one would have thought would have been better.
Was a good night for Josh Emett not to be at work – he was away up at Cape Kidnappers.
23rd May 2012
As fans of Josh, we were keen to try out his new venture in Queenstown. We ordered the Bite menu of cured meats for an entree to share. When it arrived we were quite surprised by the lack of imagination & finesse of the dish, although quite tasty the portions were tiny & the presentation quite amateurish, that we comment on how Josh would have reacted had we served this up to him on an episode of Masterchef!
The mains arrived & unfortunately they were both only just luke warm. The Beef fillet was delicious, but the side of mash was cold, and the blue cod was dry. We did mention to the waitress that our food was cold, & they did take off the side dish from our bill.
Overall would we return, maybe, but disappointed in the experience.
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