At seat at the table: Rātā

There is no Six on Saturday post from me today as we are away for the weekend, down in Queenstown. More about this next week, but in the meantime, a quick At The Table post about where we ate on Friday evening, Rātā.

I’ve got into a bit of a routine of booking a table at a restaurant for our first night on short trips. It saves having to think too much, and gives us a chance to try somewhere I have either heard about or read about. Rātā was opened by Josh Emett (NZ Masterchef judge) and Fleur Caulton in 2011, and is a lovely, light and airy restaurant, tucked down a little lane in Queenstown. We always eat early, by the time we left the restaurant was full.

To start with, I could not resist half a dozen Bluff oysters, as after all it is the season. If you enjoy seafood, then these are the oysters to go for – ‘Bluffies’ are really special. Karl opted for the Canterbury duck rillette sandwich with cherries, burnt apple and thyme crumb, which was apparently excellent.

For the main course, I opted for lamb loin, served with sweetbreads, courgette, basil, sugar snap peas and feta. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect choice. Karl had beef fillet with thyme gnocchi, smoked onion, silver beet and mustard jus which got rave reviews.

We enjoyed some salted caramel chocolate bonbons with our post dinner espressos, but my photo was just hopeless, so you will have to imagine both what they looked like and how they tasted. All in all, a wonderful meal and highly recommendec.

And a very tiny SoS connection – rātā is a native New Zealand tree, so kind of a link?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis



  1. This is my favourite Queenstown restaurant (although I also like Botswana Butcher and Madame Woo- which I think is also owned by Josh Emett). I can never go past the mini choux buns with manuka honey, goat’s cheese and rosemary or the posh cheese rolls. Yummo.

    Liked by 1 person

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