Akarua Wines & Kitchen (265 Arrowtown – Lake Hayes Road, Arrowtown)
Previously known as Walnut Cottage, Akarua is a cutesy little cottage located just out of Arrowtown, not much further than Millbrook. After pulling into the gravel carpark, we made our way to the entrance across the sun-streamed patio and outdoor tables. We were welcomed at the door and seated immediately, despite not having a booking. Given that it was winter, we were torn whether to sit inside or out, but the sun-streamed patio really was too good to turn down.
As we sat, our waitress told us about the daily specials and we were all super impressed to hear that all of the fish dishes were actually different types of fish (not just the stock standard ‘tarakihi’ – which is delicious mind you). I found the roasted parsnip and pear soup just too delicious sounding to resist, and I was stoked to see the big bowl of fried ciabatta that came out for the table for dunking. The meals were all very well balanced, delicate and absolutely beautiful to look at.
The prices were definitely above average, but it was definitely a ‘pay for what you get for’ type lunch because the food really was outstanding. I had a warming glass of mulled wine that was extremely aromatic.
Around the back of the restaurant (by the toilets) is a massive sandpit which seemed like a really good way to keep the kids entertained while the adults enjoy a longer lunch. I would definitely recommend this spot!