- Tues – Thur 5:30pm – late
- Fri – Sat 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – late
- Sun 5:30pm – late
- Price Range: Cheap, Under $15
- Liquor License: Licensed
- Meals: Lunch, Dinner
34 Reviews for Gaslight Cafe
It was my son’s 15th birthday and they did an amazing job at making him feel special.
Please please ignore the “tryhard/stupid/trying to be funny” review below – this place is a gem.
Visited August 2013
But while it’s okay to have a bit of fun at the expense of patrons, Gaslight Cafe took the gaslighting too far. We distinctly remembered paying when we ordered, yet after our meal was complete, the staff insisted we hadn’t paid yet. I showed them my National Bank credit card, which I had charged the funds to, but they told me that bank didn’t exist any more! So we had to pay TWICE. We complained to the City Council, but they told us we’d made it all up. They must be in on it too. We left doubting our own sanity. On the plus side, the food was good – if it ever existed. Gaslight? We were well and truly gaslit.
The atmosphere was great, lighting, music, mood, surroundings… brilliant! The male waiter knew his stuff, was competent and ran rings around the dreadful skanky looking girl behind the bar… Hospo is about looking good too, she needs to go (along with her poor attitude). Nonetheless, wine knowledge was good, and the food was pretty good, I had the risotto with lamb and thyme, was quite average…there was hardly any lamb in my risotto. Nonetheless, great experience, will be back to try the al a carte menu ASAP.
Visited July 2013
I checked out the menu before hand, though was still undecided when it came to order – so many options, and they all sounded delicious.
For a starter, my group of 5 shared the antipasto plate, which had plenty of variety, and was a great size for alleviating some hunger, but not filling us up before dinner came.
I ordered the Slowly braised Cardrona Merino lamb Fettuccini for my main, and the lamb was probably the best I’ve ever had – it was incredible. Sizes were generous – the four of us that ordered pasta agreed that medium size was more than enough.
For dessert I had the chocolate croissant pudding. This is where I take off a star: it was nice, but that’s about it. It was too chewy for the spoon it was served with, and was just pretty bland. The ice cream and presentation were lovely however, and those who ordered different desserts had better things to say.
The restaurant itself had a very relaxing ambiance, with candles, and plenty of space between tables. It was incredibly peaceful. I think I’d go again for that alone! A refreshing change.
Some previous reviews have spoken very critically about the staff, so I want to detail my experience, which was positive. The staff were attentive, but not plastic with that weird plastered on smile that so freaks me out.
Once seated, a man moved a heater near our area, and cheerfully told us that if we got too hot, we knew what to do. Our waitress answered all of our questions without skipping a beat – she made recommendations when we were querying sizes, and of drinks when what one of my party wanted was not available. I found her to be genuine, respectful, and just so knowledgeable.
Somehow staff was able to ascertain our needs, and constantly have our glasses full, without being overbearing. They were fantastic.
We came and had a wonderful dinner for my birthday thank you. We, my hubby and I, rarely eat out these days – have been overseas for several years and come back to find our favourite restaurants either gone, under new management and / or disappointing. It was a real treat to discover you and enjoy the best meal out we have had in ages. Not only the food but also the surrounds, and we were able to have a conversation and hear each other which was lovely. It’s a long time since I have had the ‘perfect steak’ with a good glass of red. The desserts were to die for!
We look forward to visiting again and exploring your menu.
P.S. The waitress was good and the waiter was on his first night and didn’t miss a beat.
We started with pâté, which impressed everyone with its texture and richness; and then went on to the mains.
While my father-in-law has had NZ lamb before, it was deemed “passable”. But he was brought to his knees by the tenderness and flavour of the meat served. Not only could he not eat everything on his plate the servings were so generous, but he said that it was the best food he’d ever tasted.
My mother-in-law had the duck, and not only was she impressed with the food, but she also loved the art on the walls and the camera collections. Also, the suggested French red was a hit as an accompaniment, and the service was fantastic.
All in all, this has probably been my favourite dining experience so far, and I’m glad I was able to show off NZ cuisine to my in-laws in such a spectacular fashion.
Visited September 2012
Visited September 2011
To sum up, the prices seem to offer good value (for the pasta at least). Nice atmosphere. Good pasta.
UPDATE (18th August 2012):
Went back again last night with my girlfriend for dinner. We ordered 3 different pastas so we can try different ones including, wild mushrooms, lamb ragu and chicken florentine. The lamb ragu and chicken florentine did not disappoint. Very creamy sauce, fresh pasta and a nice serving of meat in the pasta. The wild mushroom pasta was, however, a slight disappointment. The pasta was clumped up and the mushrooms lacked a bit of seasoning. The ambiance of the cafe is still second to none in its caliber.
Visited June 2012
Upon entry we stood at the counter waiting to be seated. It was a Sunday night and only a few tables had customers. It took a long time for us to be seen and seated. The meal arrived very quickly and it tasted amazing. My girlfriend is European and she proclaims its one of the best pasta dishes she’s ever eaten!
For the quality, amount of food and speed of preparation, was well worth the $17 per person and I would go back again!
Only thing which needs improvement is maybe 2 waitresses, or 1 waitress and counter person. They seemed a little under staffed.
I had to ask for another wine myself, and again, I had to wait 5 minutes or so. I noticed a few people having to get to the bar to ask for another drink also.
Food was okay, I got the olive etc gnocchi, which I was positive said sundried tomatoes, but had regular tomatoes in it. Good wine list. I didn’t find it expensive, but I am used to those prices being from Wellington, I actually thought the Gnocchi was quite cheap at $17 for a main.
I’m not from Dunedin so another visit if off the cards anyway, but I would find it hard to recommend the place.
The decor is really very creative and original. The menu is priced at the upper end (for Dunedin), as is the wine list, but the attempt at being high-end isn’t matched by the rest of the experience.
The menus are just printed white A4 paper, and they get re-used. This is just gross and so cheap looking. Even a good quality heavy paper would be better. Our waitress was a joke – she was totally unprofessional, hair in her face, facial piercings, and unkempt. I expect good restaurants to have immaculate staff who are clean and pressed, with aprons, and a professional demeanour. I also don’t like having my waitress change halfway through a meal; it should be the same one all the way through, although the second woman was quite a bit better.
The mains are ok, we didn’t think the portion sizes are that great, although maybe we should have had an entree. We didn’t though, because they are pricey too. A cheap bread or something would help. I was going to get a duck or pork main, but for some reason the waitress talked me into chicken parmigiana. The actual meat was perfect and tasty, but as a previous comment says, the sauce tasted like canned tomatoes and the cheese was plain. I could barely taste the chicken underneath it.
My guest’s steak had a huge vein of gristle, yuck, but tasty otherwise. He got it with pate – wow, that pate is amazing. Light and fluffy and so yummy.
We were shocked that the cheapest bottle of wine was $39, that’s a bit steep for some people.
The desserts saved the experience for us. The chocolate croissant pudding is incredible. I had balsamic strawberries, also so yummy.
All in all it was so mixed, I can’t understand how some parts of the business are so polished and well done, and then they let themselves down with the crappy paper menuMores etc. I would think twice about going back or recommending it to others for a main, but wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for dessert and coffee/wine.
The staff sat down for dinner before we had even finished our meals. Needless to say, we didn’t stay for dessert.
I don’t think I will be returning to this restaurant anytime soon.