Christchurch’s Best Kiwi Eats
Christchurch’s Best Kiwi Eats

Christchurch’s Best Kiwi Eats

Last year the family and I set off of on a driving holiday throughout New Zealand. We started in Auckland, then flew to Christchurch and spent the next few weeks driving around Christchurch and the surrounding areas. It was an amazing experience, and I am embarrassed to say I have shared very little with readers to date.  Here is a snippet of some of the best Kiwi eats of the trip.

New Zealand Scenery

New Zealand Scenery

Christchurch’s Best Kiwi Eats

Every country and culture has its own specialty dishes that surprise and tantalise the tastebuds. Needless to say, New Zealand is up there with the best of them. The following is a guide to five of Christchurch’s top Kiwi eats, with information on where to source them if you’re holidaying in and around Christchurch.  Christchurch is a great spot for seafood due to its coastal location, and a central point for fresh food deliveries from all over the South Island. You can’t consider yourself a truly experienced Kiwi traveler unless you’ve tackled some of the suggestions below!

Marlborough Green Lipped Mussels

These green gems of goodness can grow up to 240 mm long and have handfuls of health benefits as well as being exceptionally tasty, containing necessary omega-3s and being packed with protein. Mussel farming makes up the majority of the country’s seafood industry, with over 550 farms nationwide that export to over 50 countries across the world. Although nothing beats the experience of sampling them fresh from the mussel farm, paired with your favourite brand of crisp Marlborough sauv blanc, the best place to catch them in Christchurch is Pomeroy’s, the iconic family-owned pub renowned for its comfortable atmosphere, great restaurant and wide range of boutique beers on tap.

Paua

Paua Shell NZ

Paua Shell NZ

If you have some extra time in New Zealand you can do what we did and hire a car. Take a drive up the beautiful East Coast to the quaint seaside town of Kaikoura where you will have the opportunity to gorge on fresh Paua. Somewhat of an acquired taste, “Paua” is a type of marine snail (Abalone) only found in New Zealand and has been enjoyed by people since this country was settled. Due to their relatively stagnant lifestyle, Paua are easy to catch and make a particularly lucrative contribution to the New Zealand export market, particularly for Asian markets like China. One of the best places to eat Paua is at the Maori restaurant Paua Barn Cafe & Bar in Kaikoura.

Kaikoura-New-Zealand-Abalone

Paua Fritters Cooking (Abalone) – Best Kiwi Eats

Here you can sit in the large outdoor dining area with Polynesia-inspired décor and feast on a platter of Paua while overlooking the beautiful mountains. You still have the pleasure, if you wish, of booking a park-side Christchurch hotel through Expedia, while managing to squeeze in some seaside action around the same time. If you want something a bit more intimate, there’s a hotel that comes highly recommended, The Chateau on the Park.

Bluff Oysters

Renowned as being the most flavoursome of their kind in the world, people flock from all over the globe for the opening of the Bluff oyster season, which kicks off in March and runs until June/July, depending on when quotas are reached. Grown slowly in the pure, clear waters of the Foveaux Strait, these fat, juicy morsels top the fantasy list of most fresh seafood fans. If you can’t make the crazy cool opening-of-the-season festival down South, Christchurch is probably the second best place to source these beauties, with many of the restaurants adding special Oyster dishes over the Autumn/Winter months. Vinnie’s Restaurant and Rotherhams are two of the best places to get your fix — without having to pay an exorbitant price.

New Zealand Hangi

Haka Performance

Haka Performance

You can’t visit New Zealand with out the pleasure of experiencing a real Maori Hāngi. This special tradition has been passed down through many generations, evidence exists that Hāngi has been held in the Otago Peninsula from as early as 1280 by early Polynesian settlers. For those who may not have had the chance to experience this rich dining experience in an authentic capacity as part of a celebration or special occasion, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch is now the proud home of Ko Tane, the South Island’s only Maori Cultural Performance and Hangi experience. Over the course of a lunch or evening, visitors will be treated to a four-course, traditional hangi feast of slow-cooked veggies and meat, while being entertained by haka performances and poi dances.

West Coast Whitebait

Kaikoura-New-Zealand_whitebait_fritter

Whitebait Fritters Cooking

The pride of the coast, West Coast Whitebait season occurs from 1st September to 14th November and people flock to Greymouth, Hokitika and its surrounds from all over the country to try and catch their fill of this translucent treat. Christchurch also benefits, as it is one of the main places in the country the oversupply ends up. An amount of Canterbury pubs will put on various fritter and sandwich meals during this time and you can also get your hands on a bag from various roadside stalls.

Kaikoura-New-Zealand-original-BBQ

Kaikoura’s Original BBQ Seafood Food Van

Mr GG has insisted I add one more “Best Kiwi Eat.”

Seafood Chowder

White Morph Restaurant Seafood Chowder

White Morph Restaurant Seafood Chowder – Best Kiwi Eats

Whilst driving around the New Zealand coastal towns hubby must have eaten his body weight in this delicious hearty seafood soup.  He tried seafood chowder our of seaside caravans, restaurants and cafes but his favourite was found at a restaurant in Kaikoura called White Morph Restaurant.  This chowder has become the Seafood chowder that all others are measured by in Mr GG’s eyes.

How many of these Unique Kiwi foods have you tried? New Zealand may be just a stones through from Australia but there is so many different food and culture to be enjoyed. Oh and I love the relaxed pace of the Kiwi’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. We “might” be visiting New Zealand this coming winter, so I especially loved this post. Not sure I can get my family on board with eating lots of seafood, but I’ll be in heaven!!

  2. What an amazing road trip that must’ve been!! I do so love New Zealand and am aching to return and do a trip just like yours. 🙂

  3. This all sounds so great, what a good round up. I’d love to get back to NZ so much beautiful scenery to explore, and by the looks of it some wonderful food too!

    Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au

  4. New Zealand looks gorgeous! It must have been amazing to experience authentic Maori dancing, cuisine and culture.

    P.s. I always associate lamb with New Zealand. (I often saw it in Japanese markets.) Very interesting to learn about all the different seafood in their dishes.

    • I know Ninja,
      They are known for their lamb because the country has such lush pastures… perfect for farming, but NZ is an island so more traditionally seafood was the staple … at least on the coast 🙂

  5. Sound so delicious! Really highlighting the best of NZ and so different to what you’d get here in Aus. I so wish I knew about these foods when I was last at NZ as we struggled to find things to eat at the time — shame!

  6. I lived in the Bay of Islands in the north island for nearly 2 years. I think a hangi is a great way to cook. I haven’t been to Christchurch since the earthquakes but when I was there last – definitely a garden city.

  7. I haven’t eaten much Kiwi food I guess, but I do love their wine!

  8. Dear Julie,

    The south island of NZ is truly so beautiful. I fondly remember our driving holiday starting from Christchurch all the way up the east coast and whale watching in Kaikoura as well as those lobster caravans by the road side!

  9. Your scenary photo is just gorgeous! Lots of great eats here. Great seafood by the coast. I hope Christchurch area and people are on the mend.

  10. Unfortunately, I’d have to say that I advent tried any Kiwi specialties! I’m not a huge seafood fan but I could happily stare at the mountains and the gorgeous scenery all day!

  11. I know New Zealanad is really one fo the best place to venture. Please do also write attractions and kiama accommodation. Thanks for sharing nice information during your travel in New Zealand it inspires me.

  12. I thought the main attraction for me would be the scenery. I can see here that the food would be a big rival to that beautiful scenery, which makes such a trip def. win-win.

  13. Wow, that first post image of the scenery is absolutely beautiful… like, seriously “whoa!”. I love driving holidays… I took a road-trip with my father to move from France to Sweden which was great but I would have loved more time. Perhaps another time I can do a trip like it again.

  14. I love the food in NZ. They do it so well, making use of local and sustainable. They have been doing it for years.

  15. Sounds interesting.. There are lots of place to visit.. I will include that also in my itinerary.

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