Recently returned from a trip to Tokyo, my partner and I have been feeling the post-holiday blues. Though we live in beautiful Queenstown, when you live and work here full time, it’s easy to slip back into routines and busyness and forget to sit back and enjoy the vistas.
Luckily, Millbrook Resort is just a 20-minute drive away. Though all of my friends who are golf fans rave about Millbrook’s facilities, I go solely for the food and the peace.
When we visit Millbrook’s Kobe Cuisine on a Tuesday evening, there’s still a few golfers enjoying the last of the sunshine out on the green. Driving along the tree-lined driveway, I instantly feel like we’re somewhere different, a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of town. Everyone here seems relaxed and they’re moving at holiday pace!
Kobe Cuisine has great views of Lake Hayes. With its simple exposed wooden beams and schist feature walls, the building works well with its beautiful surroundings. My partner and I take a moment to enjoy the views and fall in love with where we live again, while the waitress pours my favourite Amisfield Pinot Noir and James has a Sapporo beer.
Kobe specialises in Japanese cuisine. The open style kitchen allows us to watch the chef skilfully using the teppan grill.
As per usual, we’re undecided on what to order. Everything looks great and I always get ‘food envy’; James and I ooh and ahh over what the table beside us receives and deliberate further. Our waitress helpfully suggests the ‘Trust the Chef’ option, and asks if we have any preferences or allergies. She’s really helpful when it comes to James’ nut allergy.
To start, we have Ura Maki – a yummy combo of sushi, chicken and tuna with a spicy sauce. We also wolf down gorgeous gyoza dumplings, stuffed with chicken and mushroom, served with a soy and chilli dipping sauce. All of the food looks amazing, we can see how fast the chefs and staff are working and are impressed at how each plate arrives at the table artfully presented, with great attention to detail.
We’re particularly thrilled with the Maguro Isobe Tataki, a platter of seaweed crusted tuna, avocado and wasabi mousse (I’d buy a tube of this to put on toast) and a salad of refreshing watermelon and edamame beans.
Ura Maki, made fresh in front of our eyes
Another stand out dish is the duck and buckwheat pancakes. It’s a western take on the Asian dish, served with chocolate crumbs, baby beetroot and miso and plum sauce, making for an unusual, but very tasty combination.
The duck and buckwheat pancakes are a Western twist on this Asian classic
We’ve got just enough room left for dessert and we know exactly what we’d like. Everything in Tokyo seemed to be green tea flavoured, from cocktails to Kit-kats. So we decide to try Kobe’s Green Tea Cheesecake, with chocolate mousse and lime sorbet. Again, the flavour combination is flawless and I’m slightly disappointed I agreed to share dessert with James.
The green tea cheesecake isn’t for sharing…
Heading back into Queenstown that night, we’re feeling refreshed. We’ve only been at Millbrook and Kobe Cuisine for a few hours, but we’re back in holiday mode and are ready to face our mid-week to-do lists.
Bethany Rogers is a freelance writer/journalist/blogger who is originally from Newcastle, UK. She travelled the world a little before happily becoming stuck in New Zealand. Using Queenstown as a base, she still loves travelling and documenting her adventures on her blog - bethanygrogers/tumblr and on Instagram - @bethanygrogers.