In September I explored my way around New Zealand.
As well as extremely enjoying myself, I took note of the food along the way, just so I could tell you all about it. I think my hubby and I did just about everything in terms of food:
- 3, 4 and 5 star hotels.
- food courts.
- take away.
- and everything in between!
I think we had a fair attempt at all food categories while we where in New Zealand, not only because we were on holidays (and didn’t know the best places), but also because we were constantly exploring. We never ate at the same place twice because we wanted to know more. Or we didn’t really like it, which happened on a few occasions.
We always considered the little details, like:
- friendliness or service of the waiter/waitress.
- quality of the restuarant/shop, etc.
- price of the dish.
- the ingredients used.
- the presentation of the dish.
- the saltiness/flavour or lack of salt/flavour in a dish.
On that last point: I’m really sensitive to the level of salt in a dish, and when something doesn’t have enough salt it just doesn’t have the flavour punch I’m looking for. And conversly, after a couple of weeks on the road, eating out all the time, you have so much salt that you’re not sure you want any more. Those were the nights when we grabbed something easy from the supermarket, like cheese and crackers with dip and fruit and yoghurt. The best one was tuna sandwiches made at the hotel in Rotorua – we were badly craving something fresh so we got salad in a bag to throw on a bun with tun and a couple of tomatoes.
I did come home feeling a little dehydrated at the end of the trip, despite however much water I drank. One salty thing I did enjoy was the cassava chips. They are a-MA-zing! You have to try them if you get to New Zealand. They were a definate highlight of the trip and something I really miss now that I’m back in Melbourne. And I just can’t remember the name of the brand but the sour cream and onion ones were the best.
But, sometimes its not the food itself, but where you get it from. The smallest restaurant will surprise you. Or the most expensive restaurant disappoints. Or everything is just amazing and you really can’t tell unless you sit down and try a meal. For example, we had Turkish Pizza from a takeaway in Auckland one night when we wanted something easy so we could relax at the hotel. It was the only Turkish store we’d seen and we were definately excited by the prices. The staff were really nice and chatted away to us while they made the pizza from scratch for us, but in the end the taste wasn’t as good as in Melbourne. All in all it was still a great meal at the end of a busy day.
Here’s my top picks for New Zealand food (and check out the next post for extra photos):
While Auckland is not the capital it is the largest city in New Zealand. That means that there are a lot more outside influences so there is more choice of food. In terms of cafés and restaurants we found that the better food was to be found here.
|I loved it that they served the Hollandaise on the side.
New Zealand smoked salmon is really, really good!
|I had this lovely grilled fish with salad (front)
and my hubby had the lamb with polenta chips (back).
|I just loved, loved, loved this malai kofta (front).
Hubby had the chicken biryani (back) which they specially made for him.
|We sat just inside the window so we could look out
at the little cobble stoned street. Its a great little cafe. Wish we could go back again.
|This was just one of the three food bars,
plus there was the meat and hot dishes too.
|Pistachio crusted cutlets with a berry jus.
My hubby raved about it for days afterwards.
|I ordered the sun-dried tomato, marinated eggplant and zucchini pizza with feta.
It tasted so, so good.
|I had the French toast with fruit and maple syrup.
I just love the presentation.
|My first savoury crepe. Surprisingly yum!|
|Wall to wall bookcases. I loved it. I could spend hours here.|