Reviews

Dine Out Review

When it comes to wine, it is stated that the first glass is for thirst, the second for nourishment, the third for pleasure, and the fourth for madness. So after we all had 4 glasses of different wines we dined (and further wined) the night away at Clink, this new, very smart restaurant in Sumner.

Entering the restaurant we were most surprised to see how quiet it was, but I guess it gave us more lattitude for we the "Gang of 5" to exert a bit more exuberance towards some of the empty seats. We anticipated an evening of fine food, mirth and merriment and that's what it turned out to be.

We started with the breads, garlic drizzled with herb butter and plenty of garlic (at $12.50 great value), followed by ciabatta with olive oil & balsamic (at $10.50 even better value)! Our waitress was a perfect example of what table waiting is all about - the customer. She was attentive, efficient and knowledgeable and very friendly, especially when we five began some boistrous banter!

The mains selection was excellent. I chose the salmon which was presented brilliantly with eggs, fresh beans, olives and lemon. Beautifully cooked the slab of Akaroa salmon sat proudly in a challenging position on the plate just waiting for me to conquer. I later learned that the chef was formerly the Exec Chef at Millbrook, need I say more? The salmon was crispy skinned, the eggs soft, the beans gently sauteed. Semi dried tomatoes lingered on the plate fringe guarding the masterpiece. At $28.50 this dish was worth a lot more! So after more wine and must I say a few more after that it was time for dessert.

The Frangipani Tart served warm with roasted pears and drizzled with cream was a fitting finale to this evening which had resembled the Last Night of the Proms, diningwise.

If ever I get arrested and end up in Clink I hope the meals are up to the very very high standard that CLINK in Sumner offer! All five of us simply loved the place, the atmosphere (notwithstanding it was not over busy), the menu, the service and of course the various labels of wine (particularly the Crater Rim Sav Blanc) we managed to survey.

"Clamp us in irons!!!" For we wish to be incarcerated forever within the walls of this restaurant!

 

Depending on how much bubbly you consume or how many times you've watched Escape from Alcatraz, the word 'clink' has different meanings. I think of the noise when wine glasses are knocked together in a toast. My amigo thinks of jail movies.

As it turns out, we are both right. At Clink Restaurant and Bar, we're told the name was chosen to reflect the wineglass noise, and also because the exposed stonework and the steel around the bar give the place a touch of prison chic.

The overall effect works well. With its cosy open fire, cushy leather couches and glowing candles, Clink is warm and inviting. The stone doorways are a stylish nod to its past as one of Sumner's earliest cottages, built in 1898.

For our first round, I choose a glass of Sacred Hill Halo pinot gris ($9.50) and a glass of Crater Rim sav, at a very reasonable $8. The wine list has a good selection of predominantly Kiwi drops, with something on offer from every major grape-growing area of the country. Prices range from about $7 to $14 a glass, and there is also a fancy champagne section where Lotto winners could indulge in a bottle of 1999 Piper Heidsieck, a snip at $400. 

The cocktail curious can choose from a list that includes classic and modern mixes, such as the Manuka Mule, Jagerbomb, elderflower martini and mojito, ranging from $10 to $15 a pop. Some nice options are available for beer drinkers too, with boutique drops from the Three Boys and Stoke breweries on tap. 

As we ponder the blackboard bar-snack menu, the waitress comes past and says she has noticed we look thirsty. For round two, we order glasses of Ti Point viognier ($9.50) and Akarua Point rosé ($9.50), as well as tempura prawns ($16.50), salt and pepper squid ($9.50) and ciabatta with dips ($12.50).

The tapas arrive in good time, and my amigo declares the plump, lightly fried prawns to be the highlight of the evening. With glasses in hand and a tasty line-up of nibbles in front of us, we are two happy campers who could easily settle in for the night. Clink is classy, although not pretentious, and the staff are friendly and attentive without being pushy.

It is good to walk into a bar and not have your retinas accosted by a wall of flat-screen TVs, although we are informed one will be installed in a discreet courtyard corner for the Rugby World Cup.

 
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  29 Wakefield Avenue, Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand. Ph +64-3-3265353