Food at Wellington, Christchurch & Queenstown, New Zealand

Published January 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello Everyone, hope this blog finds you all well. I’m so sleepy today didn’t get home from the movie till 12am and was eating supper while watching the DVD – ‘UP’ again for the 2nd time. Eventually got to bed around 1am and woke up around 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep and now I’m at work feeling tired… hope my blog post make sense today if not you know why…so time to write up our next destination for food. This time we drove from Christchurch to Queenstown via Lake Tekapo,other lakes as well and amongst other little places. But for those who knows me well enough would know I have a gold fish memory can’t remember things that happened 5 minutes ago let along trips that happened months and months ago. We went around October and it was towards the end of snow season. Fortunately when we got there, there was still some snow left so we could make some snow man. We had the chance of riding on the gondola all the way up the mountains and go for the luge ride.

It was time for some snack so we decided to order some sweets – first we had this puff pastry that has apple and cream as a filling and we came across this cinnamon donut filled with cream they were both very tasty however very sweet too. I’m a savoury person so I’m usually not that into dessert sweet items but I had the craving for sweet stuff. All in all they both were worth it.

So we hop onto the luge ride and you get to choose either the scenery route or the adventurous route. We decided since we ‘ve never ride the luge before it’s best we try the scenery route first.

After the rides, we were hungry for lunch and decided to head towards the restuarant near by. I ordered some hamburger feast that came with chips and salad and Pandabear had breakfast works they were still selling breakfast stuff during that time. I had a look at the serving and I was impressed it’s huge… and it tasted delicious. All produce was fresh and nicely cooked and the presentation was fantastic. So Pandabear had some sausages, 2 eggs with halliday sauce, hash brown, salad and some mushrooms and they were really affordable too. I think approx AUD$14.00 per meal which is pretty good. 🙂

Fortunately, we were able to hire a car to get us by to places so the next place we’re off to is this restaurant called The Hilltop Cafe and Bar, located half way between Christchurch and Akaroa on the South Island of New Zealand. Upon arrival I was amazed with the view/scenery across the hill top it was amazing and breath taking I’m never seen such a beautiful scenery any where else. It was fantastic… anyways you can choose to dine outside with the breath taking view or inside. As it was quite windy and cold that day, we decided to dine indoor just before I stepped into the restaurant I came across this little goat who is standing on the fence top. How strange it got there and then it hopped itself down to the grass area, I had the urge of patting it but Pandabear screamed out don’t incase it bites you. So I just watched thinking it’s gotta be owned by someone it looks too groomed to be a wild goat. My curiosity soon was uncovered it’s the owner’s little goat – it even has a name ‘Billy’ the goat so I saw it trying to eat some shrubs and grass, so I pulled off some shrubbs and fed it. It was such a nice experience, never been such close to a goat before.

So it was time to go back inside and have some lunch. I immediately come across their specialty seafood chowder which I wanna to try and Pandabear had his usual favourite fish and chips. When we got our dishes it looks great, the seafood chowder was thick and tasty and I could literally tasted all the seafood – prawns, mussels, fish and it was so creamy and it even came with a crusty bread. Pandabear’s dish was fish and chips and it was a huge serve. I had to help him eat his serve and it was delicious the seafood in New Zealand is really fresh must be the sparkling river in New Zealand.

It was time for dinner, we settled into our hotel and decided we will try out the hotel’s restaurant as it looked rather classy and the atmosphere was pretty nice. So for entree I had ordered some vegies spring rolls I know it sounds abit healthy but I feel like something vegetarian for entrees and Pandabear had some grilled prawns. I’m starting to regret what I’ve ordered cos Pandabear’s prawns looked so good so he gave me one of his prawns and mine didn’t taste that nice. So for main course Pandabear ordered lamb hock with pumpkin mash and I had slow cook pork over baby broccoli. Both dishes were sensational, the meats literally fell apart when you dig your fork into it. So we were really pleased with the main course. For dessert, the waitress recommended us some fondue chocolate with lots of yummy fruits. That really ended our dinner well… 🙂

The next day we decided to try a boat cruise around the river side – the boat was called ‘a million dollar cruise’ and it was great to ride the boat along sparkling river and the scenery of all the houses on the mountain tops – it was well worth it, the captain even allowed us to wear the captain’s hat and steer the steering wheel. I thought that was pretty nice of him and too some photos for us. Overally, New Zealand people are pretty friendly and helpful. After the cruise, we were feeling pretty hungry so had some fish and chips. This little fish and chips stores were great, they cook their fish and chips fresh and it was very well-priced something like AUD$15.00 for a large container of fish and chips.

As we were walking around Queenstown we came across this street full of Asian foods similiar to china town except it’s only Thai, Japanese and Korean. So as usual I love Japanese food so we went to the Japanese restaurant called ‘Hikari Izakaya’ – a pretty small place that sells authentic Japanese food. All staff were Japanese and even the chef was Japanese – and you ask me how I know cos I overhead the chef coming out talking Japanese with the waitress staff. So Pandabear felt like some udon – so he ordered seafood udon and I had the special for the night which was the ultimate bento box which had teriyaki mix, salad, sushi and teriyaki chicken with rice. The serving was huge, I’m not sure why but all the restaurants in New Zealand I’ve been to seems to give generous serving. I’m not complaining and the price is pretty reasonable.

So while we were in New Zealand Pandabear had one of his overseas conference workshop to go to so we were staying in Wellington for the conference and we had a congress dinner where they serve set dinner. For entree everyone gets the same – a selection of seafood – abalone, prawns and some fish and it was delicious. For main course you had a choice between salmon or Lamb – I went for the salmon – I’m a fish or chicken type of person, not so into lamb because I don’t like the taste of it that much. Dessert was Kiwi brulee and the presentation is fantastic they had literally digged out some cream brulee and left some inside the kiwi fruit and some with kiw fruits out on the plate. I loved it and it was very tasty.

While we were in New Zealand we were really addicted to their New Zealand Green Lips Mussels now I’m not a mussel person but I love chilli mussels and I wanted to try their version of chilli mussels. They had none, we could not find one restaurant that sells chilli mussels they all sell creamy green lips mussels. So I had to give it a try, and I loved it – it was creamy and it went really well with green lips mussels – they were huge, every where I go for entree I would look for green lips mussels cos they were sweet and juicy and the cream went really well with it. Pandabear had some crumbed squid with sweet chilli sauce and he really liked it. For our main I had some free range chicken and Pandabear had some chinese stir fried noodles. I thought that was a bit strange to be selling some stir fried noodles in a western-style restaurant, he said it was actually not too bad. I don’t know about that…for our dessert we shared a chocolate mudcake together and it was very tasty 🙂

To sum up we ate out everyday and it was a fantastic culinary experience for both of us. We would highly recommend ordering seafood at New Zealand and you won’t be disappointed especially with the green lips mussels I’m still drooling everytime I think about it. Their food serving is huge and well priced so yup it’s definitely one of the destination that I would like to visit again in the future just to see whether ‘Billy’ the goat is still at the hill top Cafe 🙂 Enjoy…


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