Wellington City 04-384 3359
- Mon – Sun 3pm – late
- Business Dining
- Live Music
- Private Functions
- Private Parties
- Romantic Dining
- Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX
- Price Range: Spendy, $25 - $35
- Dress Code: Casual
- Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
- Seating for: 75
- BYO/Corkage: No BYO
- Good For Groups: Yes
- Takeaways: No
- Takes Reservations: No
- Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian
- Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
- Outdoor Seating: Yes
- Meals: Dinner, Late Night
Setting the benchmark for the finest and freshest of New Zealand’s music, dining, service, drink design and culture, Matterhorn gives it to you seven ways in seven days, indoors, outdoors, fireside; it is a regular’s restaurant, cocktail bar and tapas bar, where attitude is most certainly valued over attire.
Head Chef Dave Verheul blends his diverse and international culinary influence with New Zealand’s distinctive, fresh, seasonal and artisan produce. Dave’s food, while ingredient driven, is an exercise in refinement and restraint with an emphasis on flavour, balance and texture.
Matterhorn is officially the 33rd best bar in ‘Asia-Pacific’, according to the annual survey released by Australian Bartender magazine. Winners of the Supreme Award and Best Casual Dining – Metropolitan, at the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year 2008 Awards. And the 2008 NZ Bar of the Year Award (third year in a row). Shortlisted for the Top 50 restaurants in the 2012 Cuisine Best Restaurant Award.
Matterhorn Restaurant serves full meals as well as boldly imaginative tapas and small plates for grazing into the small hours.
23 Reviews for Matterhorn Restaurant
One of Matterhorn Restaurant's Favourite Reviews What's This?
I took 5 friends who were visiting from London here last week and they loved the chilled and relaxed decor, fantastic cocktails and suburb food.
The Suckling Pig, Southland Venison and Aged Angus Fillet could not be faulted.
Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a venue that is very reliable in all aspects.
They present a fine menu, that is the opposite of pretentious while giving us a new direction of tastes prepared with very fresh ingredients.
The beef cheek was the highlight of our three courses, which was absolutely delicious and still fresh in our memory three weeks later. Their chips and dips don’t fail to impress either, all perfectly made in-house.
This place is good for a night of cocktails and snacks, and would also be perfect for a fine dining date with a special partner.
The ‘new look’ menu is neither ‘tapas’ nor dinner – with portion sizes varying and no sense of ‘how’ to order. Over priced and under sized. Food rushed and all at once despite reassurances that ‘natural groupings’ would be selected and presented together.
Food gets cold before it’s eaten and no room at table to manage multiple dishes.
Seating 5 at table for 4 when no need to.
No change in menu being printed in too small a font and inadequate lighting to read menu (bring a small torch).
Wouldn’t return for dinner, perhaps a drink, but then so many choices in Wgt.
Common guys – the public is talking.
Bill presented with no itemized account and incorrect (happily sorted).
I’m not vege, but it is often something a little different and more adventurous that another steak, or another duck dish (when it’s not just a super-sized salad, that is!)
We opted for the wine pairings, and can’t say we were overly impressed.
Either a) my home cooking and wine matching ability is something I entirely underrate, or b) there was another reason this was a less enjoyable meal than an average Friday night at my place.
It involved some less than inspired (and in one case entirely backwards) wine matches. At home, I’m not bad with the wines and the foods, but I don’t do it for a living, or have any pretense of being some undiscovered natural kitchen god, so the other reason is …maybe, it actually wasn’t very good.
While on paper the dishes looked very promising, some were soooooo salty as to be bordering on ridiculous, and while I appreciate the chef’s art of ‘urban foraging’, the dish needs to hang together regardless of the source of the produce.
The real clanger was the ONE dish on this special degustation menu that was offered as a pairing with a wine to EVERYONE, regardless of taking the wine match options.
It was a goat’s cheese custard with tart green tomato jelly, and a green onion ‘marmalade’. The presentation, as with all the dishes, was great, all off-centred on the plate, and scattered with wee flowers and toasted pine nut crumbs, (I think) but I can tell you that after having that in your mouth at the same time as the (separately stunning) Ata Rangi sauvignon blanc, it was something I’d be ashamed to ask people to eat at my place. Unless it was some epic trolling action, then it’d be bloody funny.
But this was serious Wellington fine dining, or an attempt thereat. The tartness of the tomato turned the wine inside out, accentuating the acid andMore demolishing any fruit character, while the sweetness of the marmalade clashed horribly with what is a very dry wine.
I asked the wait person what she thought of the match, and she said it was amaaazing, and asked what I thought.
I could honestly not believe that was the one pairing they’d chosen -from the entire 7 or 8 course menu- to give to EVERYONE, and said as much. This was met with astonishment, and countered with a comment along the lines of ‘oh, come on, don’t be like that. we have *lots* of very serious wine and food people through here and noone else has said that.’
I suggested that perhaps these people had been too polite to say anything, which she didn’t think would be the case. The remainder of service was a little forced, but otherwise fine.
We sat and watched with bemusement, as a half hour later, the same dish was served to a table of twenty-somethings, whose quizzical looks and winces, along with nodding and sounds of agreement suggested that our wait person wasn’t the only one that night that didn’t get why it was bad.
An assault on the senses does not a good match make!
Some other points:
When I rang to book, I was told -rather haughtily- that they didn’t take bookings, and that we’d need to just turn up and take a seat in the bar, blah blah blah…
I enquired (as we were on a return flight to Auckland that night) when the earliest service was available on a Sunday for the degustation, and was asked if it was the Wellington on a Plate one, (yes, it was) and I was informed that I would need to book for either the 5.30 or 7.30 sitting.
Opting for the earlier one, I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps knowing that your establishment was participating in Wellington on a Plate, and requiring reservations for that, when someone rings ‘to book’, it might be an idea to ask if that’s what they were calling about, rather than just trotting out the same old line?
Not rocket science, in fact that’s just good service.
The men’s toilets smelt, for lack of any more accurate or prosaic term, utterly disgusting. I would rather have used the public ones around the corner. Not come across that in *any* other dining establishment that I can think of off the top of my head, let alone one that rates itself as having such highfalutin standards.
It is interesting to read the other reviews, which seem to be either raving or bashing the place- there is no in between. Not entirely sure what to make of the people impressed with the knowledge/wine list/food/ambiance in light of my experience, but I sure do LOL at the comments about the lack of lighting: it was quite hard to read the menu without holding it at fairly close range, and it was VERY hard to tell if there was any brown soup left in the black bowl. Quite what the thinking behind that is, I’d really quite like to know! Anyone got any ideas, email me at [email protected]
An experience to be repeated? Unfortunately not.
We went on a Friday night no booking which was good but as we walked in we didn’t know where to go as there was no one to greet us till I asked one of the waiters which was standing around….We were taken to our seats, the mood was great dark candle lit and and open fire on the other side…looking at the menu it looked a bit pricey but we were used to that in Sydney..
To start we had the king fish sashimi with horseradish cream and fennel. This was really good light and tasty not that it’s that hard really just king fish with lemon and season really couldn’t go wrong with that.
For the entrees I had the crisp pigs head terrine with broad beans and scampi …the terrine had no flavour to it at all as it was deep fried and dry and and to top dat off I got peas in my dish which I hate and couldn’t eat so gave it to my boyfriend and he agreed with me…so he had the crab essence which I ended up with with was bland and not seasoned enough… For mains I had the special monk fish it was OK lacked seasoning again…My boyfriend had the red deer fillet with coco beetroot puree and braised red cabbage and butter ..when it says red it should mean red not pink with a grey line around the edge either sealed to much or not rested enough, the puree was great best part of the dish cabbage is cabbage with butter. We had green beans with ricotta witch was great… To finish I had the cheese, you can’t go wrong with cheese or can you I got two triangles of lavosh for 5 different slices of cheese mean of way…my boyfriend had the souffle it was cooked right as it rose up but very eggy …..
So not only was our meal not good it was so cold there I had to ask of my jacket, in Sydney if you are cold they simply hand you a bMorelanket..We had to wait 30 Min’s for each course. The staff was rude and arrogant as if he knew everything but it was wrong when I said there was no peas mentioned on the menu and tried to tell me there was later to find out I was right, and how annoying is it when someone keeps coming up after each course and asking how was waiting for you to give great feedback… Later on we were talking to a few local chefs and they told us there were living off their old reputation and old chef menu…
Overall if you would like to waste your money and have a bad meal experience I would say this is the place, oh don’t forget to bring your hot water bottle cos you are going to need it…. so I won’t be going back..
My husband and I were getting married and my grandparents came from the UK – they said they wanted to ‘treat us’ to a nice meal in Wellington. So, we decided to go to Matterhorn, donned as one of Wellington’s best restaurants. BUT, I am so regretful and embarrassed that we took them there – and they paid – for what was a terrible experience.
Where to start – my grandparents ordered a bottle of French Champagne – it was a Tuesday night and we were the only ones at the bar, with 3 bar men behind it (one wearing a backwards cap – not exactly professional). We sat at one of the bar tables and waited. And waited. And waited. After an embarrassing time passed, I looked over to the bar, only to find that our Champagne had been poured, and left on the bar!
Second, when we ordered, I asked the French waitress if the fish dish had any meat in it as my husband and grandfather do not eat meat. She didn’t quite understand what I said, so I said it in French. She assured us there was no meat in the fish dish. But, when the fish was brought to our table (an insipid looking piece of fish with some token vegetables), and a different male waiter came to pour the ‘gravy’ on the fish, we checked again that there was no meat in the gravy. ‘Yes’ he told us – it’s made with chicken stock! So, they were left with a dry piece of fish with no sauce – there was no attempt to bring out a different sauce or ask if they’d like to order something else. It was SO embarrassing! Then, we waited for the green beans….and waited….and waited. Eventually, I got up and asked for them. They were brought and plonked on our table.
When the dessert menu was offered to us it was a bit of a joke – as if we would risk ordering desserts!
I did speak to the manager afterwards about this – he said it wasn’t up to Matterhorn standard, but Moregiven the other reviews, it sounds like we are not the only ones to experience sub-par food and service. He said he’d send us some vouchers, but they were sent to the wrong address. I think he is now sending them to our correct address. We’ll see how it goes on our return!
The desert menu was interesting, they are obviously trying to be different but all the deserts were quite out there. I had a frozen stuffed meringue with rum jelly and freeze dried white chocolate. It was intriguing but I wouldn’t have it again. While it is a trendy restaurant some of their prices are way over the top at $13 for house spirits.
Really nice lighting outside, and the outside environment is nice. I can’t speak for the Inside as I haven’t dined here inside yet; The inside did look nice though.
The Food was nice, and the staff were friendly.
always a good sign.
all in all, it’s a good place, and the quality of what food I have ordered has been nice.
A place worth checking out.
The evening started off well with glasses of wine and cocktails and we were seated by the friendly and professional waiter. Our waitress soon made herself known and she was also friendly, attentive and professional.
But things took a steep dive from there. The tables are so dark so you actually can’t read the menus. We had to pass round a cellphone with a torch. Once illuminated the food looked good but we decided to skip entrees in favour of a big round of cheeses after the main, since one of our visitors is a fromage freak.
Our main arrived and while they were beautifully presented, 3 of the 4 were stone cold and the fourth was perhaps luke-warm. The chef had delightful flavours and presentation but because of the horrendous lighting and obviously long wait time on the counter, we couldn’t enjoy either.
It was about this time that we ordered a second bottle of the same wine, the Craggy Range Gimblett Syrah. Another waiter came over and said “Gents, would you like to taste it first or should I just pour it out?” I was snickering under my breath at this outdated assumption that we men are the custodians of good taste at our dining table, until I looked up and saw my female dining companions staring in horror as he had topped up our glasses and ignored theirs, which were at even lower levels than ours.
My girlfriend is not the type of woman to take this one on the chin, so as politely as she could manage complained to our female waitress. Our waitress received the complaint very well and went to investigate (apparently he doesn’t like mixing two separate bottles of wine, which would be a much more compellMoreing excuse had he not done exactly that on our glasses).
The cheeses to follow were nice enough but by then we were well and truly ready to move on and try somewhere else.
I appreciate that the chauvinist waiter is likely an anomaly, but there is no excuse for cold food and not just bad, but dismal lighting (that’s not to even mention the bathrooms, which are so dark you feel like you could be accosted at any second). I was tempted to mark it up to 2 stars for the excellent waitress but ‘meh I’ve had better’ was certainly not the sentiment of our party on the night. With so many other great dining options at this price point in Wellington, it will be a long time before we return.
The ambience is homely chic, the fire in colder weather is great and the outdoor bar is comfortable in sunny weather.
Last visit I had the Gorgonzola soufflé. The accompaniments of caramelised witloof, radicchio, pear, sugared walnuts & apple vinaigrette enhanced the richness of the soufflé.
For desert the bitter chocolate & rose marshmallow with confit rhubarb, manjari délice & milk sorbet met expectations of indulgence. Personally I might have preferred the rhubarb pieces to have had a little more tartness to help the sorbet cut through the sweetness of the marshmallow. However, I am being very picky.
We’ll be back.
A definite go-place…
The drinks before dinner were delicious as always, and shortly after we were whisked away to an intimate corner.
The tuna sashime starter was delicious, but the rabbit terrine was overly gelatinous, and the flavor of the rabbit got a little lost. My main was tasty, but a little over seasoned.
Ambiance and music excellent as always.