The latest from Atlas

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

One Day Only - May 4th 2014

We are excited to announce that our awesome, annual Atlas Beer Cafe expansion, One Day Only, is back for 2014! 

Like last year, we're are taking over neighbouring Farelli's Tratoria for the evening to bring you a little extra Atlas and to see off the MTB season in style. It'll be another evening of fun and frolics with loads of fantastic raffle prizes up for grabs - all with the aim of boosting the QMTBC coffers. 

To kick-off the proceedings all the bikers among you are invited to meet at the top of Skyline form a mega-train down Hammy's trail. Everyone is welcome to join in. If you are keen meet at the top of the Gondola at 5pm - the run will start at 5.15pm. Then, once the mega-train arrives at Atlas, the party will begin!

We'll have tunes from DJ Justin Mathews; MTB videos up on the big screen; the Atlas Year Book slide show; special Atlas pizzas will be available at Farelli's (along with usual menu at Atlas); beer specials and of course the massive prize give away. All hosted by your MC for the evening, QTMBC's Mr Fraser Gordon.

The support so many Queenstown businesses gave this event last year completely overwhelmed us. So many incredibly, generous prizes were contributed and we were hugely grateful. We've already had some awesome donations to this year's raffle so it looks like the prize draw will be be even bigger and better than last years! Keep checking out our Facebook page as we'll start posting prizes over the next few days.

Raffle tickets go on sale on Friday and are available from Atlas.

2 for $5, 5 for $10, 12 for $20

This year it's our goal to try and raise enough money to help QMTBC buy a digger. We'd love it if you can help us make that possible by joining us for an amazing Atlas night out. We look forward to seeing you! 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easter and Anzac Day Opening Times

Here's are opening times Easter Weekend and also Anzac Day


Thursday 17th – close at midnight
Good Friday – closed
Easter Saturday – 10am - midnight
Easter Sunday – 10am -10pm - diners only
Easter Monday – 9am - late 

ANZAC DAY - 25th April

11am - late

Come in and see us! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

How to cook the perfect steak. Part 2

Hello there...
In the last post we wrote about a few popular cuts, marbling and what aged steak is. Now it's time to get cooking so here are our steps to steak-cooking perfection.

Take your steak out of the fridge. Make sure you take your steak out of the fridge before cooking it. An hour is preferable but at least 20 mins if you are pressed for time. This is important as cooking a cold steak can result in a steak that's overcooked on the outside and cold on the inside; the muscle fibres in the meat will seize up and it'll be tough eating. Not good.

How thick is your steak? Most steaks from the supermarket are sliced on the thinner side so pan cooking will be fine. If you've got a nice thick chunk of steak from the butchers a little time in the oven will required to finish off cooking the steak. So get the oven on to a temperature of around 220c.

Choose your pan. A heavy based frying pan is ideal and also something that is flat bottomed as this will ensure even heat distribution. For thicker steaks a little time in the oven, once seared, is an approach so an oven proof pan is needed

Season it. You can rub some olive oil on the steak and season with salt and pepper on both sides, patting the seasoning into the meat. Avoid seasoning the steak in the pan as putting the seasoning directly into the hot pan can burn it.

Get the pan nice and hot. Use an oil with a high smoking point. The pan needs to be really hot so the outside of the steak is seared. You don't want to braise the steak. Searing will help to seal the juices inside the meat and will also encourage the natural sugars in the meat to caramelise. Some people like to flavour the pan with a little butter, you can do that but don't use butter as the primary cooking fat as it'll burn - it doesn't smoke high enough.

Whack it in the pan and turn it. Let the steak sear on one side for a minute and then sear on the other side for a minute and continue to turn the steak every minute. This ensures an even cooking and keeps all the moisture in the middle of the steak. Whilst you are turning the steak you can baste the top with a little butter or some chefs rub a garlic clove on the meat. Avoid putting crushed garlic straight into the pan as the garlic will burn and it tastes a bit bitter then. 

The fingertip test. Most people have heard of the method of testing a steak's temperature. With one hand (keeping it relaxed) touch the tip of your thumb to your index finger. The palm area at the base of your thumb is how a steak should feel to touch.

Index to thumb: rare
Middle to thumb: medium rare
Ring finger to thumb: medium
Pinkie to thumb: well done

Rest the meat. Once the steak is cooked to your desired temperature don't plate it up straight away. Put it on a warm plate in a warm place and let it rest. You can cover it with tin foil too. Don't whack it onto a cold plate as you want it to retain heat for when you serve it. Rest it for about 2 mins. 

Resting is important as when the steak was placed in the hot pan all the juices were forced into the middle of the steak by the heat. If you were to slice the steak straight from the pan all those juices would just flow out onto the plate. Resting allows the juices to slowly migrate back through the meat to the outer parts of the steak again meaning the steak will be beautifully juicy. Some juice will flow onto the plate, that's all right. You are still keeping more juice in the steak itself by resting and you can tip the resting juices back into the pan, de-glaze the brown tasty bits with some wine and you a have jus to serve with your steak.

Our approach at Atlas is to sear the steak in a super hot pan and turn the steak a few times to really sear the outside of the steak and get that tasty caramelisation going. Then, as our steak are very thick, we transfer them to the oven to continue cooking. The advantage of thicker steaks is that you can really cook the outside thoroughly resulting in great flavour and still have the steak medium rare on the inside. That's trickier to do with portions that have been cut a little thinner. The steaks are then rested in a warm place for a few minutes before being served up with fries, salad and our delicious demi-glace and Cafe de Paris butter.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cool radio programme about beer - check it out

Popcorn and seaweed flavoured beer; ancient European recipes; vintage yeasts in yeast banks; Scotland's award winning Brewdog; sour beers and the legendary Michael Jackson (beer writer not pop icon) and more.

This 30 minute show, recently broadcast on the UK's Radio 4, is jammed full of interesting info for all you craft beer lovers and maybe some inspiration for the home brewers among you. A listen is highly recommended - click on the link below to check it out. 


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Patron XO Cafe: now available at Atlas Beer Cafe

Tequila and coffee combined
If you like tequila and you are also partial to your coffee then look no further as we are serving the perfect tipple for you.

We currently have Patron XO Cafe on the drinks list at Atlas. It's a blend of ultra premium tequila and the finest coffee essence and unlike many lower-proof coffee liquers it's not sweet-tasting like you'd expect. It's much dryer and the higher proof really allows the roasty flavours of the coffee to really shine through.

The nose is intense black coffee along with a hint of chocolate.

The palatte is rich and warming with the coffee roastiness continuing accompanied by caramel and nougat flavours.

Patron XO Cafe | 35% | $9 per 30ml shot

Please enjoy responsibly

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Atlas Beer Cafe: How to Cook the Perfect Steak - Part 1

Ready for the pan
Apparently, if there's one question a chef gets asked the most it's how to cook a steak properly.

Many dishes on the Atlas menu are very popular. But, if there's one meal that's made us famous around town and become an Atlas (if not Queenstown) institution... it's our steak and fries meal. So we've decided to write a couple of posts with some helpful hints on how to cook the perfect steak - Atlas style!

To begin:

Just explaining what temperature a steak should be cooked and for how long is tricky. 

There are many variables to consider like the cut of meat, thickness of the cuts plus different cuts have different structure.  So it helps, from the offset, to have a little info on some of the different cuts available to you.

A few suggested cuts:


This is the most expensive cut. It doesn't have much fat and and a result is really meaty. The downside can be that the lack of fat means it doesn't have so much flavour but as long as it has good marbling (more on marbling in a minute) it can be really delicious. Eye-fillet is from the loin area of the beef.

Rib Eye or Scotch Fillet: 

This cut is regarded by some people as having the best flavour. It's from the upper rib area of the animal and has an eye-sized piece of fat in it which also adds flavour to the cut. As these muscles don't really support the cow's weight or work as hard as other muscles the result is a cut with a softer texture. Often called Rib if on the bone and Scotch if the bone is removed. 


The sirloin is a multi-muscled area and it can have a few different cuts, which all get called Sirloin, which is confusing! Whilst not as tender as the steaks from the loin or the rib area the sirloin steaks are still very flavourful. The Sirloin section is next behind the rib section. The term comes from Old French - surlonge meaning sur la longe or 'above the loin'. There are stories of an English King knighting a steak and calling it Sir Loin, hence the name, sirloin. It's not true!


Moving along the beast we come next to the rump section. Like the sirloin this is a multi-muscled cut with grains running in different directions. Rump is what we serve at Atlas as it's delicious and provides us with nice, big, juicy steaks! 

The Atlas chefs carefully prepare the rump cutting it down into the different muscle sections so that the grain is consistent and the steaks are more uniform ensuring they will cook with an even tenderness. Rump is best when it's aged and our rumps are aged around 21 days.

And what does 'aged steak' mean?

This refers to how long the meat is hung for by the butcher. As the meat hangs the flavours start to saturate and the meat becomes more tender. 


This refers to the little streams of white fat that run through a cut of meat. As the meat cooks this streaks of fat melt into the meat and almost baste it from within. This makes the steak nice and succulent. Things like the breed of the animal and what it's been fed on can affect the marbling.

So that's a bit of background on a few cuts and some info and on ageing and marbling. In our next post - we get cooking!

Couple of snaps from the Great Kiwi Beer Fest

Getting educated by The Yeastie Boys in the Pomeroy's Beer Academy

The Emerson's Team prepare for a very busy day

Whole heap of tasty tasting tickets

Two Thumbs Brewery's "Corporate Lounge"
Beers in the late afternoon sunshine = perfection!

Atlas Featured on Marco Beero's Video

We recently welcomed Marco Beero, craft beer enthusiast and one half of the Carpe Diem Couple to Atlas. During his visit Marco caught up with our manager, Amy; sampled some some brews; some Atlas food; marvelled at our view and made this awesome little video about Atlas! Thanks for coming to visit us, Marco it was great to meet you. 

If you'd like to hear what Marco had to say about us, click on the link below.