Pig & Whistle historic pub

Maori motifs on the building façade!

On a wintry September day in New Zealand, it’s most welcoming to step into the warm and toasty interior of an old building where a fire is burning in the fireplace, right there in the front lobby.  Later when I read the literature on the table, I learnt that this imposing building on the corner of Haupapa and Tutanekai Street in Rotorua, North Island, which houses the Pig & Whistle historic pub now, was once a Police Station. 

There is a choice of indoor or outdoor seating in the covered terrace and we picked the outdoor area to enjoy the chill while we tuck into hot food.  It is really quite chilly but the kind waiter turned on the overhead heating to keep us comfortable. 
After studying the vintage looking menu, I did not hesitate to pick my choice of oven-baked pork spare ribs.  How can I be at the Pig & Whistle and not taste their pork dishes?  And I know that the portion will be generous enough to share if anyone wanted a taste.

Swine Lager, anyone?
Once my order is placed, I wander around the pub and went outside to take a better look at the façade.  In the tradition of 1940s architecture, the Royal Coat of Arms is carved in stone and placed above the doorway.  I look closer at the top of the building façade and see under the row of bricks, the unusual feature of a plaster cast in Maori design that runs in a wide band around the building. This simply reminded me that we are in New Zealand!

I went back into the cosy interior to admire the long bar and see an interesting range of cider, lager, beer and ales on tap.  Among them is a boutique crafted beer called, Swine Lager! 

Oven-baked Pork Ribs at the Pig & Whistle
When our meal is served, the portions (including the pig-tail fries!) are indeed generous.  I’m glad they provided a finger bowl with my generous serving of pork ribs because there’s no other way to savour good ribs but with my fingers.  When I sink my teeth into the ribs, I’m utterly impressed because they are roasted in a plum, orange and barbecue glaze and oven-baked until perfectly sticky.  And the ribs taste simply super! 

I don’t claim to be an expert at ribs but this rib dish has a flavour that matches my taste and preference. With every bite, we are recalling the taste of ribs that we ate in better restaurants both in Malaysia and Singapore and arrived at a unanimous agreement that this comes out tops.  As I polish off rib after rib and shared my meal with the others, there is still enough left over to pack for takeaway!  Yum!
The Pig & Whistle historic pub is housed in a former Police Station
Delightful and delicious lunch at the Pig & Whistle historic pub in Rotorua, NZ
Can't help smiling at this farewell wish on the door!
Feeling comfortable after our satisfying meal, we make our way out and share a chuckle when we see two brass plaques on the door frames, each embossed with the word, “Oink!”  
Now you know where to go for good pork ribs when you are in Rotorua.  Website: www.pigandwhistle.co.nz


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