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Dragonfly, Wellington’s newest restaurant and bar on Courtenay Place offers customers a different dining experience with a focus on sharing and experiencing new flavours with an Asian theme. Dragonfly offers both a formal restaurant setting and cocktail bar with full menu available indoors and out.
Customers are encouraged to order several entrees and mains for the table rather than one for each person so everyone can try a wide range of flavours and create a more social atmosphere when dining. We went to Dragonfly for a special occasion so chose to be seated in the main restaurant. For the two of us, we ordered three entrees, one main and the dessert tasting platter to share.
All of the food was packed with flavour and was filling but didn’t make me feel stuffed, which is good since we were practically licking the plates clean! The only problem with the menu was I couldn’t decide what to choose. After a lengthy discussion, we decided on the soft shell crabs, crispy chicken and takoyaki octopus balls for our entrée. The crabs are crispy outside with juicy flesh but it does take a bit of getting used to eating the shells.
The crabs are collected in the short window after they shed their first shell before the new one is fully formed. The crispy chicken spare ribs are well seasoned and paired with a homemade sweet chilli sauce. I was a bit hesitant to try the octopus balls but was pleasantly surprised. The balls are made from mashed potato mixed with sliced octopus and a fried coating and offer an enjoyable texture as well as taste. All of these entrees were paired with sauces which complemented and added to the main flavours.
For the main we had the Angus beef curry with Angus ribs, baby potato and pea snaps. The meat was amazingly tender and the sauce flavoured with cardamom, tamarind and Thai basil is mild so we were able to taste the flavours with heat in the background rather than it being overpowering.
Desert was too hard to choose so the tasting platter was perfect. It provides a selection of four mini deserts which change daily. Our platter contained a chilli and dark chocolate mousse, vanilla cream Brule, raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream, and a white chocolate pavalova with cream. They were all delicious but my favourite would be the mousse – a must-try for chocolate lovers.
After dinner we took our drinks to the courtyard to finish which is open but sheltered from the wind, which in Wellington comes as a welcomed relief. The bar has a range of beers, wines and spirits as well as a cocktail menu containing favourites and Asian style mixtures. A unique idea is the sale of a 250ml carafe of selected spirits along with glasses for the table.
I was impressed by all aspects of Dragonfly, the food, atmosphere, drinks and exceptional service; both our waiter and the front of house staff were upbeat and had good knowledge of the menu.
The atmosphere and different areas available make it the perfect place for any kind of occasion; a casual drink or meal with friends in the bar or courtyard, dinner with business clients in any part of the restaurant, or a romantic dinner for two and I recommend it to anyone looking for a change from the usual.