dunedin restaurant



Tastebuds suitably enlivened, we moved on to the mains. A mainstay of the Bacchus menu is its fish of the day, more often than not one of the region's treats: blue cod. This is a delicately flavoured, soft, fleshy fish which is hard to beat when fresh and carefully cooked. On this occasion it was nicely oven-baked with a lemon-caper and fennel seed dressing and topped with toasted almonds ($32). My partner chose this and found it, while tasty, not as oven-hot as it might have been. We put this down to an extremely busy kitchen and unfamiliar, possibly new, wait-staff.

I opted for the lamb off the Corbans Cottage Block series menu which the restaurant was running at the time. This pared a rump of spiced lamb with thyme baklava, babaganoush and red wine just, with a glass of Cottage Block Rauhine Cabernet Merlot ($44.50 together). This was an intriguing and successful lamb presentation, the honeyed sweetness oft eh baklava combining rather nicely with the aubergine of the babaganoush to give an easter Mediterranean feel. The lamb was tender if not as rare as I prefer - but then I tend to be something of a cannibal when it comes to red meat. The Rauhine Cab/Merle was moreish. The generous side-serving of vegetables included broccoli with a dash of hollandaise sauce and zucchini braised in a tomato salsa.

We finished off by sharing Bacchus's trademark rhubarb creme brulee ($11.50, which you'll travel a long way to better. Coffee here, too, is always strong and satisfying. Which, with the relaxed ambience, central location and friendly service, is just one more reason to keep coming back.