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Destination Dining at Lil Red

High-quality and innovative cuisine is the calling card of Lil Red, the new 40-seat restaurant at luxury boutique hotel QT Queenstown. Originally set up as a pop-up in 2021, when the hotel opened, Lil Red at QT promises stylish fine dining in an intimate setting.

Local ingredients blended with traditional Japanese techniques combine to create an exciting menu designed by executive chef Ryan Henley whose commitment to environmental responsible produce from regional farmers and fisherman is evident.

“I’m incredibly excited to make Lil Red a destination on the Queenstown dining scene and showcase the best of the South Island in my own way,” says Ryan. “I’ve built wonderful relationships with local suppliers, going out on the boat with Gravity Fishing in Stewart Island to working with Nadia Lim and the team at Royalburn Station on a grow-to-order basis. I’m learning so much about treating ingredients with integrity and celebrating some of the world’s best produce, which comes through in the dishes at Lil Red.”

Lil Red, on the sixth floor of QT Queenstown,  features interiors by award-winning designer Nic Graham with a cosy fireside bar complete with a punchy colour palette. An elevated beverage menu of expertly crafted cocktails and a comprehensive wine list celebrates the best of Central Otago.

“ We have an abundance of South Island produce and proteins available that reflect the changing seasons,” says Ryan. “Black Origin Wagyu beef from Christchurch, seafood from Gravity Fishing, Canterbury Whiteheart Kurobuta pork, and eggs and lamb from Arrowtown’s Royalburn. QT Queenstown’s own rooftop honey from Wanaka’s Tiaki Bees’ hives is highlighted on the menu and my team recognise the importance of sustainable practices and nose-to-tail cooking.”

The Lil Red sharing menu includes signature small dishes such as creamed paua doughnuts, Black Origin Wagyu beef tostada and wood-fired flatbread with buffalo cheese, chilli oil and spring onion. Larger share plates offer wood-fired whole fish with koji butter and kombu, Royalburn lamb with a BBQ celeriac glaze and aged whole duck glazed with QT rooftop honey, sour pear, Jerusalem artichoke and sake lees jus. Highly reccomended.