Mackenzies Bar and Grill – Stonegrill Review

On our way from Christchurch to Queenstown for our holiday we went through Lake Tekapo. Our plan had been to arrive here around sunset time so we could get a few nice photos at the Church of the Good Shepherd with the sun setting in the background over the lake. Then we would go get dinner at Mackenzie’s Bar and Grill looking over the water as the sun finishes setting. Unfortunately with our flight into Christchurch delayed we weren’t in time for sunset. We definitely didn’t miss out on Mackenzies Bar and Grill for dinner though! We tried this place out on our honeymoon because they accepted Bartercard which helped keep our costs down and we absolutely loved it, so since we were going through at a meal time we didn’t want to miss out.

I didn’t get any photos of outside unfortunately since it was dark, but it is just here:

Ignore where Google Maps actually places it further up the highway, it’s incorrect. If you use the above location and jump on Google Streetview, you will see the “Observatory Cafe”. That is where Mackenzie’s now is located.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Chicken
Mackenzies Stonegrill Chicken

This time, Tammy got the chicken stonegrill which she absolutely loved. It is a full chicken breast and it is so moist and fresh when you are eating it straight from the stonegrill as it cooks. I had the chicken last time, so I wanted to try something different. I’m not a huge red meat person so I didn’t want to have just a big hunk of beef or something like that. I decided to give “The High Country Stone” a try.

Mackenzies Stronegrill High Country Meats
Mackenzies Stonegrill High Country Stone

The High Country Stone comes with 100g of venison, accompanied by ‘medallions’ of beef and lamb. I’ll admit I did also want to try venison which contributed to going with this one.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Chicken
Mackenzies Stonegrill Chicken

Mine came with a nice hot gravy where the chicken came with a warm satay sauce. I quite enjoyed it but I found I did prefer the sauce more that I had last time with the chicken and it did go quite well with the red meats too. The satay sauce with the chicken is excellent and works well with the vegetables too.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Chicken
Mackenzies Stonegrill Chicken

For those concerned about their food safety, the chicken does come with two sets of cutlery, one for cutting the chicken as it cooks and the other for eating with. One other thing I noticed is that the chicken stonegrill was hotter than the high country one to start with and so it stayed hotter for longer. I assume this is intentional to make sure that there is no possibility of the chicken not being fully cooked.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Dining Menu
Mackenzies Stonegrill Dining Menu

As you can see from the stonegrill dining menu you can come up with a custom grill to your liking, but I’d definitely recommend the chicken. Of the two that I’ve tried it was definitely the best and arguably some of the nicest chicken I’ve ever had. If a stonegrill isn’t your thing, they do have a regular a la carte menu, but I didn’t take a photo to share since we didn’t have anything from it sorry.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Gluten Free Chocolate Torte
Mackenzies Stonegrill Gluten Free Chocolate Torte

Next up, dessert. We were pretty full so we decided to just share the gluten free chocolate torte. It was quite nice, but not as good as the dessert we had last time. Unfortunately though it was the only chocolate dessert on the menu (there was also a chocolate and sticky date pudding as you can see in the menu below, but it didn’t really jump out to us.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Desserts Menu
Mackenzies Stonegrill Desserts Menu

Perhaps because it was served cold with only the sauce warmed it wasn’t as nice as it could have been. I really think warming it would have made a big difference to it. I guess on the flip side though, being gluten free it may fall apart being warmed up. We noticed some others near us having the cheesecake of the day and it was a pretty serious serve and looked very good, but it wasn’t really what we were feeling like this night.

Overall, I definitely recommend giving Mackenzie’s Bar and Grill a try when you are in Lake Tekapo. I especially recommend giving the stonegrill a go, and if you like chicken, you will definitely love the chicken stonegrill!

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