When one thinks of New Zealand, it’s usually with a mental image of majestic mountains, emerald grasslands, and far too many sheep. “Fine dining”, one rather assumes, would be a fancy mint sauce to go with the lamb that the Kiwis no doubt eat three times a day. Nothing could be further from the richness that is true Kiwi cuisine! But to find it: that’s the trick, isn’t it?
- If you happen to be in Wellington, CultureTrip highly recommended Martin Bosley’s, calling it a “must-go” for those with a wish for fish. If you’re more “turf” than “surf”, Crazy Horse the Steakhouse has been celebrating New Zealand’s superb meat since 2006.
- Up in Gisborne, reviewers on TripAdvisor are raving about The Marina Restaurant, calling it “outstanding”, “lovely”, and “some of the finest I’ve eaten”.
- Over in New Plymouth, the Orangery, located in the Quality Hotel, features exceptional service, New Zealand cuisine with a French twist, and the finest wines the Taranaki region has to offer.
- Up in Auckland, Cuisine’s Good Food Guide ranked the owner of Depot as the 2013 Restaurant Personality of the Year.
While it sounds charming just to hop into the car and putter about in search of that special little gem known only to the locals, the truth is that you’re more likely to find the place they all avoid. That’s why it’s best to rely on local knowledge, but not many people thrill to the idea of bothering strangers. Instead, rely on a professional travel agency such as ANZCRO, which employs agents who have experience in the Australasia region. This ensures they know exactly what they’re talking about and you spend less time driving aimlessly about looking at sheep and more time actually experiencing your New Zealand holidays. From the North Island, we now head down to the
- In Marlborough, award-winning Hans’ Degustation is located in a winery and features the very best of New Zealand wines and fine dining while the attached Cellar Door Bistro offers a more affordable lunch menu featuring the same exceptional quality ingredients.
- In Christchurch, Chillingworth Road is one of the up-and-coming stars of the Canterbury region’s gastronome scene, featuring an intimate venue and seafood caught and supplied by the chef’s own father.
- The Rapahoe Beachfront Hotel, popular with tourists and locals alike, is the perfect example of Kiwi charm and sure to be a highlight of your trip to Greymouth.
- Marahau, Tasman, is home to Hooked on Marahau, beloved for its superlative service and incredible views. The menu includes gluten-free alternatives on occasion (order it when they’re not busy in the kitchen, though).
With such a variety of exceptional dining experiences from which to choose, everything from the coziest beach-side shack to the finest of New Zealand dining, once you’ve made your selections, the only thing you’ll regret is not having twice as long for your vacation!