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Start with an iconic fine dining darling, the grand dame of Wellington’s harbourside. Add to this one part new Executive Chef, two parts new menu and a heaping of fresh new direction. The result? The new Hippopotamus on level trois.
With the same punchy pink interior you know and love, and a stocked cellar to envy, we’ve added a dash of the modern to our beloved giant aquatic ballerina. Old Hippo, new tricks.
Curious? Read on to discover our picks of the new menu by Executive Chef Sylvester Nair.
Tartare, for a starter? How predictable, you might think. But this is no ordinary tartare. Hand cut from the finest 55-day aged Pure South beef fillet, the tender melt-in-your-mouth morsels are dressed in thyme, green pepper and a few secret ingredients Chef Sylvester keeps closely guarded. Finished with an egg yolk and sweet pickle, this Boeuf Tartare is served with a rather unconventional cracker – bubbly pieces of Black Origin Kurobuta pork skin. Known as the ‘Wagyu of pork’, these crisps of crackling have been taken from the Porc Grillé entrée, ensuring no part is wasted.
Unctuous, rich and served with a twist (are we sensing a theme here?), you can’t go past Épaule d’Agneau for the main event. ‘Oyster’ cuts of free range Lumina Lamb shoulder are selected by hand for tenderness and quality, before being slow braised on the bone. The lamb is removed and pressed into shape, allowing naturally occurring gelatin to reconnect the soft meat. Served with a complex French-style jus that’s bursting with flavour, salt-baked beetroot and a heavenly vanilla-braised fondant of kumara.
After two protein-heavy courses, we’re ending on a lighter note. The design of our Chef de Patisserie, Paige Simons, Hippopotamus’ Honey Parfait is a firm favourite on the dessert list. Parfait for those who find themselves in the conundrum of finishing with cheese or something sweet, Paige has combined the best of both worlds in this refreshing finale. A light orange sponge is covered in whipped brie cheese, then layered under frozen honey crème anglaise. The result? A light-as-a-feather slab of parfait with a delicate, mousse-like consistency. To this, Paige adds golden raisins soaked in rum, spiced pear and a shell of parmesan meringue. Délicieux!
Book in to dine at Hippopotamus and see what all the fanfare’s about.
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