Speight’s Ale House @ Dunedin

The Speight’s ale house is situated right at the brewery on Rattray street. It is a very spacious two-level restaurant that has a bar area and individual tables on the base level, and a dining area upstairs. It is a modern restaurant but has managed to preserve historical value, the atmosphere is casual, but the setting and building itself has a lot of character. It is a popular dining place in town for meals, nibbles, or fresh beers on tap.

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We’ve had multiple visits here with friends and family, and it is always quite busy. The bar is filled with people who come here for a drink after work. The staff are very attentive and polite even on the busiest of nights, and knowledgable about the menu and drinks.

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We always make sure to get the Ale house garlic loaf on every visit. It is a locally baked Speight’s bread with scrumptious fine garlic & butter on the inside. What I like most about the loaf is the mix of two different kinds of bread, and how soft and warm it is. The garlic butter is seasoned well, and topped with some chopped parsley. The full loaf is quite generous and should be plenty for up to four people.

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The seafood chowder is my brother’s favourite. It comes in a big bowl, and is accompanied by a slice of garlic loaf. The seafood is cooked in a beautiful fish based soup, which was thick, and creamy. The chowder was gently flavoured with fresh herbs, and served hot to the table. We love it a lot, and we clean the bowl with the bread on every single visit.

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The beef sirloin steak is served with a fresh garden salad and fries. You have a choice of toppings to choose from, creamy mushroom sauce, green peppercorn sauce, Ale House gravy ,or garlic butter and roast garlic.

During the most recent visit, my boyfriend ordered a medium rare steak with Ale house gravy. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, but the meat wasn’t very tender. The flavour was fine, but again, the toughness of the meat made it not so enjoyable. The fries, however, were nicely fried and crispy.

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I ordered the black cherry chicken, which is an oven roasted chicken breast wrapped in bacon filled with soft cheese, and cashew nuts. It was laid on a kumara mash with a black cherry sauce and garden salad on the side. It sounded appetising on the menu, but this was my least favourite dish of the night. The chicken breast was a bit dry and tough, and the black cherry sauce was not a right match with the chicken and bacon in my opinion.

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Thankfully, we loved the Shearea’s shank that we ordered.

The lamb shank was roasted with local central Otago thyme and garlic, and topped with Ale house gravy and mint glaze. It was served on a potato mash, and with a variety of local vegetables such as roasted kumara, potato, parsnip, broccoli, carrot, and corn.

The portion was huge. The shank was perfectly cooked, tender, and fell off the bone. The gravy was very umami, and went perfectly with the roasted vegetables.

We had a great evening at Speight’s ale house. The service was pleasant and prompt, and the meals were generous in size. I would recommend their garlic loaf and seafood chowder as entrees, and definitely try the lamb shank.

Overall, I would skip the black cherry chicken breast wrapped in bacon at Speight’s Ale house, and go for another one in the city that I prefer (Laneway stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon).

Address: 200 Rattray St, Dunedin, NZ

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