Yonder: Queenstown, New Zealand

Espresso Martini in the sun

I’m so excited to be back writing a food review after being dormant on this blog for so long. Thanks to my wonderful Mum Alison who has kept LLLC alive with her entertaining updates on eateries in the South Coast of England. She’s created the best go-to directory on where to eat in the area and I’ve been told her opinion and knowledge is spot on. So back to me. I’m in New Zealand! Living on a farm just over an hours drive from Queenstown, last weekend I made a long overdue visit to new kid on the block, cafe-come-bar Yonder.

Day Time Menu

Located next to their big sister, World Bar, Yonder offers all day dining and late night drinking under one roof. World Bar has been a favourite amongst QTN locals for some time and I have enjoyed both a few Saturday night beersies and a very nice pulled pork burger from there a few months ago, which almost cured the worst hangover in history. On this visit I was joined by my German Shepherd (she’s German and a shepherd) friend Jana and later joined by Pete.

Pulled Lamb Flatbread

The weather was a scorcher so two homemade lemonades were on the cards. It was a little too sharp for me at first due to the freshly squeezed lime on top but soon sweetened out as I sipped it down. Jana went for the pulled lamb flat bread; slow roasted and shredded lamb, smoked beet purée, green leaves, tomato, whipped feta, charred flat bread. I tried a wee bite and the irresistibly creamy whipped feta certainly dominated the plate, which was a good thing. Jana enjoyed it too and said the only negative was that the base was a little dry.

Tuna Poke Bowl

I was in need of some goodness so I went for the Tuna Poke Bowl; raw marinated tuna, leaves, ponzu dressed, edamame, grape tomato, wakame, pickled ginger, sesame, brown rice and quinoa. Mine was lovely, the tuna good quality but not an awful lot of flavour there. Not a fan of rice or quinoa, I was surprise to enjoy this the most. Great seasoning. Each ingredient didn’t wow me alone but all mixed together the bowl was fresh and flavoursome. My only real quarry was the amount of stringy stuff that got stuck in between my teeth.

Relaxing outside garden

Jana departed and I took a trip to the outdoor shop for advice on my new hiking pack. It was beginning to feel real hot so I returned to Yonder, alone, for an Espresso Martini. I hadn’t had a sleep-in for over a week and I was beyond tired. I felt like a bit of an alcoholic drinking mid-afternoon alone but I wasn’t the only one. A handful of people were enjoying a cold beverage whilst reading a book or using the free wifi. Yonder has that relaxed feel I seek when wanting to write my blog and I’ll certainly be returning to do just that.

Evening Menu

The dinner menu excites me most and I was luckily enough to have Pete join me for some grub. Pete ordered the Tuna Plate with tofu instead of tuna, nearly the exact same thing that I had not long eaten myself. Despite not being hungry I was after another food photo for this blog so I ordered the Bao Down: two charcoal Bao buns, Yonder slaw, Vietnamese herbs, pickled chilli, sriracha mayonnaise, pulled pork. Pete shared these with me and we agreed that they were disappointingly average compared with the ones from Chop Shop in Arrowtown, a firm favourite of ours.

Pulled Pork Bao Down

Talking of Chop Shop, our waiter in Yonder was the flamboyant chatty fella who was previously looking after my favourite Arrowtown eatery. He’s always one for a good yarn and is exceptionally good at getting people to “treat yourself darling” and order a glass of fizz or dessert. Walking through beautiful Queenstown Gardens I asked Pete what he thought of Yonder.

Tuna Plate

We agreed (with Pete being slightly more negative because he’s not one to compliment) that while the food was fresh and tasty it didn’t blow our minds. I really liked the decor, the service and the ambience and would return for that but the food we ordered was average for that type of place in Queenstown. They did get Pete’s order wrong though and came out with the Tuna bowl not Tofu, but we ate it anyway and we he just had to forget his guilt about the unsustainable/barbaric fishing methods used in Tuna fishing. Yonder is super trendy, welcoming and relaxing.  I wouldn’t hesitate to return for a drink, coffee or slice of cake but I wouldn’t rush back for the food. Here are our scores:

Ambience 8
Service 7 – minus 1 due to getting the order wrong
Quality 7
Value 7
Return? Yes, more for coffee/drinks

Overall 7.5/10

Living life, loving cake

H x

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