Delve off the beaten track on your travels around New Zealand and you’ll come across some hidden culinary gems tucked away in unknown pockets. Here are a few that are currently ruffling feathers in our office:
1. Foredeck, Bay of Many Coves, Marlborough Sounds
Part of the Bay of Many Coves Resort, Foredeck’s unique setting amidst the Marlborough Sounds welcomes tranquillity, romance and is the ideal spot for candle-lit conversations over beautiful food. The menu boasts an array of delights from the sea and wholesome New Zealand beef and lamb.
2. Pitches Store, Ophir, Otago
This little diamond in the rough is located on the Otago Rail Trail is accompanied by six simple yet indulgent guest rooms. Priding themselves on innovative menus with regionally inspired cuisine – make a weekend of it and get on ya bike!
3. Huntaway Lodge, Te Ngaere Bay, Northland
If you find yourself longing for some luxury, Huntaway Lodge in the winterless north is just the ticket. With an inhouse restaurant, chef Wayne Olsen is committed to showcasing New Zealand’s world class producers, growers and artisans with a big emphasis on using local, sustainable food from the land, sea and earth. Dishes on the menu feature produce grown in the kitchen garden – could you get any more local?
4. Whistling Frog, The Catlins
With a more casual vibe, the Whistling Frog offers a wide selection of hearty sandwiches, with menu options including all of the major proteins including beef and lamb, big tick! Once again, chef Tom Peake is big on ‘local’ and uses fresh, seasonal produce grown in their kitchen garden along with other homemade ingredients. Stop by and enjoy the live music and comedy they often have on offer.
5. Poppies Cafe, Twizel
Set amongst the Southern Alps and just a stone’s throw from Mt Cook this family friendly spot describes themselves as contemporary and funky. With extensive gardens, Poppies is alfresco dining at it’s best. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and being fully licensed, Poppies couldn’t be any more accommodating. Serving up Canterbury lamb rack, fillet steak and lamb curry to name a few, this local secret prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients.
6. Punga Cove Resort, Punga Cove Resort, Marlborough Sounds
‘The art of living begins at the table’ is the mantra at Punga Cove Resort. Nestled in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, this special spot is the perfect place to unwind over some stunning local wines and of course, hearty beef and lamb cuisine. Their summer menu includes rib eye and Hawkes Bay lamb rump, two of the best.
7. Wharekauhau, Wairarapa
Tucked away in a remote spot in the Wairarapa overlooking green pastures and the Pacific Ocean, Wharekauhau is located 1.5 hours drive from Wellington. Luxury would be an understatement and the food is no exception. With Head Chef, Marc Soper not only in charge of the culinary fare but also offering cooking classes to guests, this is the ultimate spot for those foodies wanting to learn from the best.
8. Stoney River Boutique Hotel, Okato, Taranaki
Serving European influenced food with a twist of Kiwi, Stoney River has plenty of character. The menu includes Wagyu rump and lamb neck along with many European delights, some even prepared in their own smoke house. On Wednesday nights they have live music – just the right time to head along and enjoy a hearty meal and a stein!