Steak frites
In the background, lamb. In the middle, kumara. In the foreground, steak. In the mouth, amazing.

If you’re after a classic and hearty meal, then we heartily recommend you hoof it to Le Metropolitan on Cuba Street. In fact, we suggest you go there on Monday March 14 especially when they’re having a fundraiser for Christchurch. How about I tell you about the dinner I had there recently in order to whet your appetite?

A man friend of mine had recently had a somewhat crappyass week, so I told him I’d take him out for dinner, and suggested Le Metropolitan because I had a massive craving for their steak with bone marrow sauce. As it happened, that’s no longer on the menu, but that’s how things go.

We started out with two aperitifs and some olives for $18 (that’s a saving of $6 for those of you looking at the menu prices). It was a shame that the eager young French waiter delivered our drinks to the wrong table, and then when he realised his mistake, he had to confiscate the olives that the other couple had thought were gratis. Their loss was our gain. The olives were nice marinaded, without any particular one flavour. The Madame Rouge aperitif was indeed porty, and the one whose name escapes me tasted like Peach Schnapps should taste if it wasn’t all chemically. I wish that the drinks had been served ice cold instead of on ice, or at least that the ice had been bigger, because it melted very quickly and watered down the taste somewhat.

Ahh well, onwards and upwards. We chose a Côtes du Rhône Shiraz to drink, even though we were warned it wasn’t a particularly bold wine, figuring we’d get something more boistrous halfway through our mains, and ordered garlic bread and mains. The garlic bread came on sour dough, cut into thick batons and soaked through with butter. It went perfectly with our wine and crude conversation.

For a main course, I went with the Entrecôte de Boeuf sauce poivre, which you might know better as 300grams of prime Angus Scotch Fillet with a green pepper sauce, and fries. As you can see by the picture, it was exactly that. Served on the rare side of medium rare, it had a lovely chargrill on, and the fat was especially succulent. The fries were crispy and salty and delicious. My friend went with Lapin d’agneau pique, which is pan roasted anchovy-studded leg of lamb on a fricassee of courget and basil with Pernod jus. I’m not an anchovy person, but the moutful I tried seemed nice enough. The waitress suggested the lam bwas a fairly small portion, so he also ordered a side of roasted kumara ala Legionnaire. I believe that translates into “deliciousness with a shitload of butter”. Despite my mountain of frites, I felt it necessary to keep performing quality control on the kumara, especially as we couldn’t figure out what spice it was on them.

After that hot protein injection, we knew we needed more, especially since we still had half a bottle of our second wine to drink, another Côtes du Rhône, this time a blend, and like the other one an easy $40. Naturally, we called for fromage. The waitress rattled off about seven kinds of cheese, not all of which I knew. It would have been nice to have been able to view the cheeses like they do at Ambeli, but instead we took her word for it that the camenbert was about to start crawling, that the roquefort was creamy, and then we asked her to just pick a hard cheese to complement our selection. We ended up with a nutty Comté, which was delicious. In fact, all the cheeses were. Picky me might have preferred a simple cracker to the bread the cheeses were served, given that it was after dinner, but I can’t complain about the muscatels.

Normal people would have stopped there, but if you’ve ever had Creme Brulee from La Metropolitan, you’d know that it’s impossible not to order it. Behold:

creme brulee
Almost more brulee than creme, this stuff is amazing and magical.

The chocolate mousse my friend had was made from good-quality chocolate, but lacking the splash of alcohol that makes chocolate mousse truly great. Luckily though, he had sherry and I had an Armangac XO in order to correct that imbalance. At $250, it wasn’t a cheap night out, but it was definitely memorable. We recommend it – and if you’re daunted by the price, it might help to know that if you stick to the ‘Classic Selections’ on the menu, you can get three courses for $45.