Hinton's Restaurant and Vineyard was the latest location for our middle of the week lunch date and the dining experience could not have been better. The scenic location is conveniently located just minutes away from Christchurch Airport and a short drive from the city centre. It is the location of many events because of it's ideal surroundings of gardens, vineyards and buildings laden with history. Even our table was lined by aromatic lavender (pictured below).
As recommended, we pre-ordered our meals. We were met by owner Dina Hinton upon our arrival and our first course was promptly served shortly thereafter. The staff was gracious and welcoming despite a fashion photo shoot taking place a few meters away which we were told happens quite often at the family owned property.
Lunch time service is tricky because you want your food quickly but it still must be as fresh and delicious as dinner would be. Being attended to by a quality wait staff is a must have aspect of lunch dining especially. Everyone is busy and in need of a bit of a getaway come lunch time which is where attentive restaurant staff can make the food taste just that much better. Hinton's is the spot for this. Serving lunch Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11:30, their specialization in serving the midday crowd has paid off. The food was good but the highlight of our entire experience were the appetizer and the dessert. They were the Alpha and Omega of lunch that day.
To start, our tasting plate featured chorizo, feta in basil infused oil and home-marinated Kalamata olives. Each savory bite was a new experience as we mixed and matched the selections to top our homemade crostinis.
Dessert was this cherry flan using local ingredients to create a decadent dessert that many don't do too well. We have dined at many a restaurant that presented us with watery flan molded into odd shapes to distract from the bland flavour. This was not the case here. The cherries were plump and fresh which matched perfectly with the silky flan. The crust was light and not too buttery or overpowering. This plate was finished off with fresh cream and a sprig of mint.
|Detail of the sugared fruit that topped the flan.|
Hinton's Restaurant and Vineyard is located at 750a Wairakei Road in Christchurch.
For reservations and bookings: +64 3 358 8599