We eat out a lot and we've dined at our fair share of 'high end', Michelin starred/hatted/Restaurant magazine 50 Best restaurants so we like to think we know a good restaurant experience when we see one, and this was definitely not one of them. Even if it wasn't $200 a head excluding drinks, it still wouldn't have been a pleasant experience.
As with all these degustation menus, we started off with a few amuses-bouches. The first of these was a Wallaby blood plum jam blini-like thing which was perfectly adequate—not disgusting but certainly not very interesting or mind-blowing. We also had some battered fried mussels with a sea succulent, definitely not samphire but possibly seablite? These little morcels were pretty tasty and I particularly enjoyed the addition of a sea succulent, something I think we should definitely eating more of. Finally we had 'rotten corn' to dip these baby leaves/stems in. These were delicious and I would love to know what those leaves were, I definitely don't recall our waiter telling us.
en papillote. KGW is another of my favourite seafoods; my dad used to catch them in Perth and they are an excellent eating fish. This dish, however, was pretty disappointing. Frankly, I don't think whiting is a good fish to be cooking skin on en papillote. The reason is the skin of whiting itself, I personally think that whiting skin needs to either be crispy or not eaten at all. This is due to whiting skin developing a rather unpleasant texture when steamed like it does when cooked en papillote. Naturally, the skin on this particular whiting really took away from the dish—a dish which wasn't spectacular in the first place. The oyster butter with lemon myrtle just really just OK.
The kangaroo, while well cooked was bland and under-seasoned and I didn't enjoy the quandongs at all, the tartness of which was not a good accompaniment to the kangaroo.
After this course we were taken outside for a tour of their garden. This I was very excited about and I thought it added a very nice touch to the evening. Upon our arrival we were served raspberry licorice sorbet dipped in chocolate. M quite liked this but it was pleasing to my palette at all so I gave mine to him. The garden itself was very cute. The guy let us try a few of their various basils. We both also got excited at seeing alpine strawberries, something we had tried at Tickets. Our waiter's excitement certainly didn't match ours when we explained that we had had them before; he seemed almost disappointed that he wasn't introducing us to a cool new ingredient.
We finished our meal with some chocolate Pukeko's eggs. I personally found these too sweet but M loved them. At the end of the meal I couldn't help but compare this experience to that which we had at The Ledbury. Both restaurants take a similar approach to their food, liking to use seasonal, local, native and somewhat left of centre ingredients and preparing them in a way which is still retaining the natural beauty of the produce. It's an approach I applaud but the problem for Attica is that they do it nowhere as well as somewhere like The Ledbury. Even the service here was lacklustre compared to that of the Ledbury. While it was perfectly polite and professional, it had none of the charm and warmth of the service at the Ledbury. All in all, it's safe to say we won't be back. More for the rest of the world, I suppose.
ETA: one thing I forgot to mention was that they charged us $20 for a MOCKTAIL, the same price as their cocktails by the way. Apparently in the land of Attica the cost of fruit juice is somehow as expensive as alcohol.