Tag Archives: Taupo

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Rose on Roberts
92 Roberts Street, Taupo

I can’t believe we’ve never been to Rose on Roberts before. The food is incredible, the craft beer selection and wine list is great, the staff both knowledgeable and friendly, with a fun, yet family friendly atmosphere.

CelesteReviews Rose on Roberts Nori Seaweed Bread

Nori Seaweed Loaf

We should have known we were in for a treat when the complimentary bread was served. A warm loaf of nori seaweed bread, with a dollop of truffle butter. Absolutely gorgeous.

For an entree, I chose the a Yam Soup ($10). I was a little nervous, but it was a great choice – flavoursome and hot (which is always a bonus), and a lovely start to a chilly evening.

CelesteReviews Rose on Roberts Yam Soup

Yam Soup

CelesteReviews Rose on Roberts Pork Belly

Pork Belly

Hubby started with the Pork Belly starter, served with white bean puree, lentils, carrot and daikon salad ($16). As a vegetarian, I have no concept of this, but apparently the crunch/pop you get when you cut into it was “perfect”. There was nothing left on his plate, so I believe him.

CelesteReviews Rose on Roberts  Tagliatelle

Duck Leg Tagliatelle

For mains, Hubby chose the pasta special – braised duck legs with tagliatelle and parmesan ($30). Once again he was impressed with his selection.

My order, was a generous serving of pumpkin risotto with creme fraiche ($28). So generous in size, that I couldn’t finish it – however it was very tasty.

CelesteReviews Rose on Roberts Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

I’ve included the pricing in this article, because I want to let you in on a little secret. Who hasn’t used BookMe yet? We dined on the Rose on Roberts 6pm dining, 3 courses for $32.90 special from this site. Phenomenal value!

Which brings me to dessert. Hubby and I are usually so full by this stage in the evening, that we are lucky if we can even share a dessert between us. But, because we ordered the 3 course special, we had to try. We both ordered the beautifully presented chocolate dish – Valrhona peanut slab, chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, chocolate and peanut ice cream ($16). It broke me! Hubby had to roll me out in a chocolate coma! Delicious, but way more than I could fit in my belly.

CelesteReviews Rose on Roberts Chocolate

Chocolate, peanuts, chocolate, chocolate and chocolate

Don’t forget a trip to the bathroom to admire the quirky quotes.

All in all, we were very impressed with our dining experience. Hubby wants to return with meat eating family members to give the ‘Whole Slow Cooked Lamb Leg to Share’ ($80) a go. Sunday roast, anyone?

A Lone Star

Lone Star
24 Roberts Street, Taupo

Being the latest addition to the Lone Star Family, the recently opened Taupo restaurant is certainly busy. It’s a brand new, two storied, fancy pants complex, situated on the lake front between KFC and the new ‘Coffee Club’ cafe.

We’d heard a few horror stories from locals regarding service and waiting times – ‘teething problems’ for a new establishment. On our  recent Saturday night outing, staff cautioned a ‘2 hour’ wait for seating. Our party of eight were more than comfortable with only a half hour catch up in the bar before our table was ready. Maybe this was a case of under promise and over deliver? We were seated in the upstairs dining area, which looks to be set up for larger groups. We looked out to two huge tables (6 – 10 pax) on the deck, as well as an amazing view of Lake Taupo and the central plateau mountains. I noted that one of these tables remained vacant for most of the night.

Our only complaint is that our drinks orders were very slow. There is a full bar upstairs, but apparently the order has to go through the downstairs bar, which means you go thirsty waiting for the bar staff there to finish serving the patrons who are in the bar, waiting for their tables. Confused? So were we!

Lone Star has a cowboy theme, and many of the menu items are named in the same fashion. Our group thoroughly enjoyed our generous sized meals. The husband, obviously after a pick me up after all our Christmas spending, ordered a Feelgood Fillet ($36) – 225g of beef, served with potatoes, mushrooms and spinach. His summation – “the best steak meal I’ve had in a long time”.

Lone Star Feelgood Fillet CelesteReviews

Feelgood Fillet

My vegetarian burrito ($27) was very filling, served with chunky potatoes and the most amazing coleslaw (red cabbage, pumpkin seeds, celery, corn, carrots, tomato, and loads more).

Lone Star Burrito CelesteReviews

Vegetarian Burrito

The two ladies who ordered the Redneck Ribs (nine ribs for $26.50) both agreed that the first two or three in the stack were delicious, but the rest lacked enough sauce and were a bit bland. One very pregnant member of the group, chose the fish dish (Rock the Boat – $28.50) and was impressed.

Lone Star Ribs CelesteReviews

Redneck Ribs

The other males at our table finished off lamb shanks and various steak dishes, grunting in agreement about how enjoyable their meals were.

Because calories don’t count when you are on holiday, we shared a selection of desserts. The husband and I did our best to finish the decadent Jack Daniels Chocolate Fudge Pudding – a self saucing pud, covered with Jack Daniels. Yum, yum, yum! I didn’t indulge in the Banoffie Pie, but it looked incredible. I did, however, enjoy more than one mouthful of the Longhorn Cheesecake (Kahlua and Moro Bar flavoured), which was out of this world. Lone Star is worth a visit just for the desserts alone.

Jack Daniels Chocolate Fudge Pudding CelesteReviews

Jack Daniels Chocolate Fudge Pudding

Lone Star Banoffie Pie CelesteReviews

Banoffie Pie

Lone Star Cheesecake CelesteReviews

Longhorn Cheesecake

We had a fabulous night, ate way too much tasty food, and basically had to be rolled to the car at the end of the evening.

In a Nutshell: Great location. The food is consistently delicious, and the portions generously sized. However, if you are after great service, or are feeling thirsty, you may want to give them a few more months to practise.

Top Tip: Get your name on the list early, and if you want a great view, ask for an upstairs table.

BMX Triple Back Flip & the Two Ronnies

Sorry that I’ve been incommunicado for the past few weeks. My upcoming posts should help explain what I’ve been up to. But until then, here is a couple of my favourite videos from the past week.

First up is the world’s first BMX triple back flip, performed by Jed Mildon in Taupo on 28th May 2011. Totally cool!

You can also check out Jed’s ‘back story’ here.

The second clip is for those of you who appreciate English humour or are technologically sauvie (ie own a blackberry or apple product).

I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, especially putting the “date in my diary” and the “X Box”.


BBQ Master

8 Northcroft Street, Taupo

It was nice to know that not too much has changed in Taupo since we left six months ago. On a recent trip back to the great lake we decided to meet some friends at a new addition to the town’s dining scene – BBQ Master. Now, I didn’t think a BBQ in autumn was really a smart move, and unfortunately, I was right.

The concept: you fill a bowl with your choice of veges and meat, throw a few sauces into the mix, take it to the chef at the hotplate, and he cooks it for you, then repeat as necessary. An all you can eat Asian BBQ.

BBQ Master - Taupo

The first combination you make is really trial and error, and with that experience under your belt, the second attempt can only get better (although one attempt was enough for me). The other thought on the second trip to the BBQ hotplate, was to try everything that didn’t fit into your bowl on the first time around.

My BBQ creation was lovely – courgette, mushrooms, broccoli, pineapple and cashews with satay sauce.  The husband enjoyed a meaty dish of chicken, pork and bacon with chilli oil and satay sauce. Even ‘Miss Doesn’t Do Spicy’ enjoyed her creation of beef, tomatoes, peppers and cashews, and as she put it, “your food is really only as good as your choices, so if you didn’t like your combination, it’s really your fault.” She’s so right, and there are so many choices and combinations to be made.

Vegetarian BBQ Dish

My vegetarian BBQ creation

Along with the ‘make-your-own-bbq’ dish there is also soup, seafood, other Asian dishes (spring rolls, fried rice, a tough and icky looking egg foo yung and noodles) along with other random things like chips and macaroni cheese.

Although the concept of this restaurant is sound, it was the finishing touches that let this restaurant down. Firstly we were greeted at the door by a scummy looking fish tank, complete with fish, but only about a tenth of the water the tank should hold – doesn’t bode well as far as first impressions go.

Throw in an annoying vegetarian (me) that is trying to explain to non-English speaking chefs that I want my food cooked on a clean hotplate that doesn’t have any meat residue from the previous guest (not sure how well that discussion went, although there was lots of smiling).

Then add pretty average service – our plates not being cleared away very quickly, ‘clean’ plates with little bits of ‘something’ still attached to them, and Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ screaming from the sound system, and this probably isn’t a place I’d return to again in a hurry.

Chefs at BBQ Master

The BBQ Masters

Did I mention that the office door was open for public viewing of an absolute mess? Plus the whole family (about 4 generations), were just hanging out at a kitchen table in the open kitchen area, in full view of customers, brushing children’s hair, playing, etc – not really what I’d call a professional eating establishment.

My other gripe was that you don’t actually end up sitting down together with your diner group to eat, as someone is always absent; filling their plate, or waiting in line for their dish to be cooked. It definitely didn’t work for a ‘catch up dinner with friends’.

If you are a big eater, and love your seafood, then you’d probably get your $27 worth of all you can eat, but I was left feeling a little bit ripped off. I can understand that it would be a good choice, however, if you needed a work function venue to feed loads of burley men.

For me the highlight of the evening was the fresh pancakes, straight from the pan onto your plate. I added soft serve ice-cream and chocolate sauce to my dessert – yum. I wonder if I’d eaten several helpings of pancakes, if I would have gotten my money’s worth?

And speaking of money’s worth. Don’t forget to take your Taupo Card, as you get a free fizzy or handle of beer with your main.

In a nutshell: Pretty average. Lacks atmosphere. Think Valentines, but with the ability to choose your own dish.