Shepherd Restaurant in Hannahs Laneway, Wellington is the combined talent of Masterchefs Shepherd Elliott (Leeds Street Bakery, Ti Kouka ) and Sean Golding (Golding’s Free Dive). On our first visit here we fell in love and voted this as our best dining experience in 2016. Sensational.On a busy Saturday night, we got the last two seats on barstools whilst we got to watch the chefs live in action. We struck up conversation with Shep and marvelled at his calm manner combined with swift and efficient delivery of meals from his team. There is definitely no ‘I’ in this team and this man is not only a chef, but an inspirational, bloody talented leader. His kitchen staff are all international yet there was no yelling and nothing got lost in translation. Everything worked like a charm. Geez I can’t cope with someone watching me cook, as I need to multi-task and focus, otherwise I’d have an epic fail for sure.
Shep just oozed passion for his culinary art. He embodies his vision for using locally, fresh-sourced ethical ingredients and every dish with a zillion ingredients was so delightfully stunning in flavour and presentation. The unique ingredients blend so well that you wouldn’t even on a given Sunday, ever dream about concocting.Everything on the menu was so appealing. You can start with small plates e.g. milk pikelets, oysters, smoked fish, steamed custard, pate, or Asian bowls, or large plates followed by 2- 3 desserts on offer.
He kindly let us sample gratis, his last order of crisps with smoked avocado dips and his seared kingfish with orange, cucumber, fennel, endive with black olive and preserved tangelo and a roe and almond cream dressing. OMG we were in foodie heaven. We also ordered the steamed custard with bacon, and vinaigrette and a rye and sprouted toast. Smack sound of lips and sticky fingers. Yum. But wait there’s more without the set of ginsu knives; as the chefs were using those.
For my main I chose the lamb ribs with caramelised miso glaze and a potato and broad bean buttermilk dressing. I dived in so quickly that I forgot a photo but trust me if you see them on the special board, order ’em rapido. Hubby surprise surprise chose the beef with red wine and garlic, roast onion puree and mushroom and pickled red cabbage which he enjoyed immensely. He also snuck in a glass of red, however I stuck with water as was driving. We normally flag dessert however our lovely waitress recommended we share the rhubarb pannacotta and boy was it fabbo. The marshmellow tasted like candyfloss.
We left on such a high as this was such an enchanting and real foodie experience for us, other than just going out for dinner for a nice meal. We loved it so much that I returned within the week with some lovely girlfriends. We had another fantastic night and we started off with a bottle of Spanish red which was great. Service was amazing again. We shared the crisps and the steamed custard (this time with a change-up of added smoked eel). I chose the Asian rice bowl with kimchi, egg and pork and the other ladies had the flounder and chicken. We all got to try a bit of each which is fun. We had to squeeze in not one but two desserts as the special was cannoli. An Italian donna can’t turn that down. Our lovely looking waiter added an extra one so we could all have one each and it was filled with salted orange marscapone, chocolate, chilli sugar with burnt orange caramel and organic strawberries. Mamma Mia. Delisioso. The tamarillo icecream was also divine also.
Surely I’ve convinced you to try this place as it’s just superb. The Lord is my ‘Shepherd’ and I shall always want.