New Zealand Oceania Queenstown Restaurants Travel

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand

When you mention dining in Queenstown, Rata is often the first recommendation on the list.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Rata, Queenstown

You’ll find Rata down an alleyway in the centre of town in the Te Nuku building beside the Queenstown District Court. Inside the celebrated restaurant, the vibe is a little more casual than expected, buzzing with diners.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Rata Mural

Natural wood finishes, stone and a striking mural of the Rata trees, one of the celebrated native trees in New Zealand are in harmony with the region’s landscape.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Rata Bar

Rata is the venture between Michelin-star chef Josh Emmett and New Zealand MasterChef judge and business partner Fleur Caulton (ex Amisfield Winery restaurant). His menu is a celebration of the regional produce of Central Otago and features Bites, Starters, Mains, Feasts and Sides.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Goat Cheese Profiteroles

Bites can be shared, such as the moreish Goat Cheese Profiteroles with Rata Blossom Honey ($10 NZD),

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Chicken Liver Parfait (back), Cloudy Bay Clams (front)

the steamed Cloudy Bay Clams with seaweed butter and chives ($15 NZD) and silky smooth Chicken Liver Parfait ($12 NZD) topped with pistachio and served with crostini.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Northland Kingfish a la Plancha

Northland Kingfish a la Plancha ($18 NZD) is topped with cucumber, togarashi, a kind of Japanese chilli pepper and smoked oyster which add to the flavour of the fish.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Seared Savannah Grass-Fed Sirloin

Seared Savannah Grass-fed Sirloin ($18 NZD) with soy, shiitake and ginger is a balance of delicate flavours with a hint of ginger.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Crispy Duck Tongues

The Crispy Duck Tongues ($15 NZD) with navel orange, edamame and radish can be an acquired taste,

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Smoked Warehou Croquettes (back), Cloudy Bay Clams (front)

while the Smoked Warehou Croquettes ($13 NZD) with black sesame and soy mayonnaise are a crowd pleasing dish.

White Onion and Wild Thyme Soup

From the Starters section of the menu, the White Onion and Wild Thyme Soup ($17 NZD) is one of the best soups ever tastes. It is topped with sauteed wild mushrooms and a drizzle of local olive oil from Cairnmuir.

Moko Smoked Eel

Fan of smoked eel with enjoy the Moko Smoked Eel ($21 NZD) served with leeks, salt baked potato and a light horseradish creme fraiche that adds a touch of zing to the dish.

Line-caught Gurnard

From the Mains, the Line-Caught Gurnard ($38 NZD) is a delight, served with shavings of abalone, jersey bennies and spring broad beans.

Roast Cervena Venison Loin 

The Roast Cervena Venison Loin with braised cheek, smoked cauliflower, beetroot with crispy kale ($38 NZD) is perfectly cooked, pink and tender with a clean gamey flavour.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Cheese Trolley

Throughout dinner, the cheese trolley makes a few appearances and curiosity is engaged.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Cheese Selection($23 NZD)

All cheeses are within a small radius of Queenstown and you’ll fid the likes of Blue Lippleton, nettle goats cheese and many more to please the palate.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Rhubarb Cremeux

For dessert, the Rhubarb Cremeux with Nutmeg Sable, Orange and Egg Custard Cream ($17 NZD) is a little underwhelming,

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand
Arctic Roll

while the Arctic Roll ($16 NZD) with lemon curd, fennel and olive oil snow delivers a tangy finish to a fine meal.

Rata, Queenstown, New Zealand

No matter what dishes you choose, the menu is a delicious degustation of the best produce of the region, paired with local wine recommendations. A superb dinner in a relaxed vibe with impeccable service make Rata Dining a must-have experience in Queenstown.

Rata is featured in our article Top 10 Things to Do in Queenstown.

Gourmantic visited Queenstown as guests of Air New Zealand.

Te Nuku, 43 Ballarat St
Queenstown, New Zealand
Phone: +64 3-442 9393
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 12pm to 11pm Lunch/Dinner

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.