Bite Of The Month | No.5 Church Lane

Bite Of The Month | No.5 Church Lane 3204 2304 The Flyer Magazine
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No.5 Church Lane

A perfectly matched meal beside the warmth of the fire.

No.5 Church Lane

No5 is tucked away on Church Lane which gives it a chic secret-spot kind of feel. There are welcoming fire heaters and blankets outside which add to the first impression of a stylish and elegant location that is also relaxed and comfortable. As soon as you step through the doors you’ll notice the cosy fireplace separating the two dining areas and an extremely well stocked bar which promises great things for the drinks menu.

The team has just created a brand new menu focussed on providing a creative and wholesome dining experience with vegetarian and vegan dishes at its core, there are still meat, fish and seafood options on the menu for those who prefer a heartier meal. All dishes are created with traditional Kiwi influences in mind and are served with small and large plates for a shared dining experience.

We opted for the sharing menu with wine pairings, where the chef decides what to serve based on your dietary requirements and preferences – a great choice! We got to try things that we usually might not have ordered and had the perfect accompanying wines picked for us. It couldn’t have been any easier and meant the whole meal was an experience. The leek and artichoke soup was served with dollops of whipped feta and barley for texture. It was creamy and light and the glass of bubbles on the side really complimented the flavour.

Next was an incredibly inventive dish, soy glazed salmon with lavosh crackers and pearled pineapple which was arranged like caviar but surprised us with it’s sweetness. We loved the combination of textures and flavours; think delicate, decadent, flavourful and stunning to look at. Head chef Trent’s passion for Japanese cuisine really came to the fore here and the local oaky Chardonnay gave it all a distinct Kiwi finish.

No. 5 Church Lane Dessert
No.5 Church Lane

Fejoa and apple crumble with ginger ice cream. Spectacular views to accompany a cocktail. A sophisticated and inviting spot for drinks and dinner.

In between dishes our waiter ran us through the coming wine pairing which for our main course was a fruity Pinot Noir. It worked beautifully with the rich, melt in the mouth beef cheek pastrami, nutty celeriac puree and classic Brussels sprouts. It was rich, smokey and wholesome combination of familiar fl avours and new ideas that reminded us of roast dinners and cosy winter nights. For dessert we were served another kiwi twist on a winter classic – apple and feijoa crumble with ginger ice cream, not too sweet, absolutely delicious and beautifully arranged. This was heavenly, so don’t skip dessert!

The food at No5 is inventive, unique and decadent while also being wholesome and filling. We loved the creativity that went into each dish, which meant it was more of a dining experience than just a meal. We chose to pair our dishes with wine but the team is also working with a local craft beer brewery to start off ering beer tastings where you’ll be able to pair each dish with a distinctive beer. This is probably still a couple of months away but No5 is already the perfect spot for a casual drink. There’s a great selection of Central Otago wines, local craft beers, and of course, their famous cocktails which change regularly and are just as inventive as their food. There’s a regular apres-ski crowd in during the winter and with Happy Hour being twice a day (5-6pm and 9-10pm), and drinks changing all the time this could easily turn into our post-work spot!

Head Chef Trent Watson

Interview

Name:
Trent Watson

Role:
Head Chef

Time in the role:

I used to be Sous Chef at The Grill at Eichardts and then got promoted to be head chef at No5 about six months ago.

What’s your biggest achievement since?
We completely recreated the menu about two months ago and I’m really proud of how it turned out.

What are the staff favourites?
Definitely the southern fried banana blooms and kumara dampers, but the pork and puha with tua tua clams are really popular as well!

That sounds like a lot of meat free options?
Yes, the menu is predominantly vegetarian and vegan. There are still meat items on the menu but we’re really proud of our creativity on veggie dishes.

How do you ensure the menu stays creative and exciting?
We trial different specials every week and whatever goes well might get added to our spring menu. We also source most of our ingredients locally so there’s a big focus on seasonality, if it’s in season, we’ll probably be serving it in one way or another!

What are your influences when creating new dishes?
We’ve taken our inspiration for the menu from traditional preparation methods and most of the things we serve are New Zealand style dishes that our parents and grandparents would be familiar with.