Swan Lane in Welly is tucked away nicely in between Cuba and Marion Streets. This area has always been hip and it’s getting hipper. It was a sad adieu to Duke Carvells but a very nice Bonjour to Noble Rot Wine Bar. Even though Noble Rot translates to ” a grey mould deliberately cultivated on grapes in order to perfect wines”, there was no grey mould to be seen but only perfection.This place is sophisticated and oozes passion for food and wine and is run by the ex Hippopotamus sommelier and partner along with ex chef from Salty Pidgin. It is not pretentious nor fancy schmancy but serves darn good food with an amazing 400 + wine list. Having recently returned from France, I had a renewed respect for wine and these boys know their stuff.
It was a cold night for a small group of us girls venturing out however the warmth that exuded from staff and within was very comforting. The walls are white and are adorned with wine bottles almost creating a cellar-type environment. The service was extremely attentive from whoah to go and I think the majority of the staff are from Belgium or France so they know how to provide good service.
I arrived early to take some snaps and study the menu as I do and I was asked immediately if I’d like to have a drink. I wanted to make the best choice of wine, so I got the pleasure of having the expertise of Mr Sommelier owner to help me with my first half glass of Bordeaux red. I threw caution to the wind and later chose a different one. They were both equally superb. I spotted a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-pape on the menu. We’d recently visited here so I knew immediately that I’d bring hubby back so we could relive our special holiday. I will be hiding his reading glasses so he can’t see the price and just will order it for good times sake. We will be ubering it on that occasion tee hee.
I’d already studied the menu online so knew I was going to have the goat cheese soufflé which the other three gals chose also. This was on the large plates menu yet you can choose small plates for sharing and they have a great selection of clams, tartare, pate etc. The starters sounded delicious also if you just want to go casual with some clams, oysters, cheese and salami platters and wine instead of a full meal.
The soufflé served with red apple, walnut and endive salad was outstanding. Our duck fat potatoes were delicious as were our brussel sprouts. Other girl friend chose the snapper with brown butter, cauli, pine nuts, raisins and charred endive and she also loved it. Other mains were squid ink spaghetti (yum), roast chicken, beef eye fillet. We were going to choose the olive oil cake for dessert that was on the online menu yet it wasn’t available. So a few hot chocolates were ordered to finish the night off.
The cashier asked us had we enjoyed our meals to which in unison we all said “yes very much thank you” yet the icing on the cake was when Mr Sommelier owner saw us ‘gassing outside’ , and came out to ask us had we enjoyed our meals. How lovely is that and who ever does that? We felt very special and will definitely return. I will definitely be in another dilemma about what to eat as it all seems to be incredible delicious. Merci and a bientot.