Friday, July 17, 2009
If you’ve been to Queenstown lately, you’ve probably heard all the hype about Botswana Butchery, the new restaurant in Archers Cottage on Marine Parade overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Like anything (reasonably) new, it’s being held up as the best thing since sliced bread and those who’ve been there generally talk about it with an air of superiority that I find tedious – like wine snobs, the ‘literati’ and people who talk about buying art as if they’ve been blessed with an intellectual alchemy and a power of discernment that the rest of us apparently lack. Maybe that’s why – in a perverse and probably ridiculous act of defiance – I photographed the sign on the workers’ entrance to the restaurant rather than the sumptuous interior.
All that aside, owner and executive chef Leungo Lippe seems to be doing well. He opened the first Botswana Butchery in Wanaka in June 2007, tucked into cute little Post Office Lane with a couple of other popular night spots. Now he divides his time between the two, mustering his staff to turn out a menu heavily slanted in favour of the meat-eater. This is a place of prime cuts, wild game and things organic. You pay accordingly. Main courses range from NZ$28 to $80 and you pay another $6 to $9 for any single serve of vegetables on top of that. I may be showing myself up as a philistine but if I’m paying (on average) $35-$45 for a main course, I want vegetables included. Maybe I’ve lost touch? Whatever! At least the restaurant décor is easy on the eye and I do like their sign. I'll leave you to make up your own minds about value.