On a cold, wet night, the first one of spring (ha!) six of us ventured to The Market Place – one of the restaurants at the Crowne Plaza. The Crown Plaza is the tallest remaining building after the earthquakes. At the time, the stairwells pancaked, stranding many in the building, eventually they made it out safely. For some years it was a “will they, won’t they” building, not sure if anyone would demolish it, fix it and whether locals would want to go in it. However, the Crowne Plaza has done a splendid job bringing this building back to life.
We met in the bar in the foyer, and had a drink, reminiscing about “what used to be here, there and around”, then headed up the glass & marble stairwell (with strong iron beam supporting it!) to the first floor where The Market Place is.
So the idea of the Market Place is to cook with fresh, seasonal vegetables. You can share plates, or just get your own meal. We all ended up choosing something for ourselves, although four of us bought the smaller dishes with a side to make our meal. Among the orders were the blue cheese, walnut and leek crumb, squid, wakanui beef cheeks, fish pie and pork belly, and the two guys had steak. I had the pork belly with a side of seasonal veggies. The veggies were divine – cauliflower, broccoli, kale, carrot, cooked in a beautiful sauce which turned out had chilli sauce and five spice – very tasty! The veggies off-set the pork belly well. Everyone cleaned up their dishes so I’m thinking the food was good – and I know my cheese-fiend friend absolutely drooled through the cheese crumb – she said she could have just ordered six of those and she would have been quite happy!
Dessert time, and I did decide to go against the grain and not order Creme Brûlée, but the chocolate croissant butter pudding. Oh my! I hadn’t counted on it being the size it was (the cost was only $9 which usually means very small serves!) I’m afraid I only managed half of my dessert, but it was decadently good.
The service was lovely – so nice to go somewhere where they fill your glass up with complimentary sparkling water without you having to ask. They did regular checks on us and our food. We drew the evening out and finally left around 10.30pm. The price was reasonable too – mine cost $48.50 and that included a glass of wine.
They have a good looking brunch menu, so I might be back to The Market Place again soon!