Akarua Wines & Kitchen By Artisan opened in 2016 as a partnership between Akarua and catering company Artisan. The restaurant and cellar door are in a stunning garden setting on the Arrowtown- Lake Hayes Road and open daily. QT Magazine spoke to co-owner and general manager Debbie Pickens about the successful food and wine experience.
What is the Akarua Wines & Kitchen By Artisan food style and presentation?
The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch daily and we are passionate about hand crafted food hence the term Artisan. Everything is made from scratch by our kitchen team, led by co-owner and executive chef John Pickens and head chef Dirk Stark, using only the very best locally sourced ingredients. There is a lot of attention to detail to ensure extra finesse to every dish that goes out of the kitchen.
What is the focus of the service?
Our restaurant team, led by restaurant manager Tess Wearda, is friendly and welcoming so guests do feel instantly relaxed. Going the extra mile to offer personalised and professional attention that supersedes expectations is important and our service strives to match our beautiful food and wine presentation. We are always humbled by the many Trip Advisor comments mentioning how lovely and genuine our team is.
What are your signature dishes on the summer?
The cedar wood smoked Mt Cook Alpine salmon and the slow braised lamb shoulder are two standout lunch dishes which are our signatures and they are name checked in almost every testimonial. The duck liver paté is very popular as a starter as is the halloumi and watermelon dish for its wonderful flavour combinations. The breakfast waffles are highly requested and a star performer.
When is the cellar door open and can guests book a specific table of choice?
The cellar door is open every day showcasing Akarua’s premium Central Otago wines. We highly recommend making restaurant bookings to avoid disappointment. Walk-ins are always welcome and we do our best to accommodate everyone however for people who want a particular table it’s best to book online or call the restaurant and talk to one of our team.