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Great Fresh Seafood Outlets (SI)

Published: 12/10/2014 by itravelNZ®

Being a long, insular land we control a large commercial fishing zone and, importantly, we are far removed from the earth’s polluted areas so our fish stocks are pristine and wholesome.

Marine resources are managed under a strict quota system for all commercial fishing companies with annual Total Allowable Catch reviews. In 2011, an international fisheries review placed New Zealand first among 53 nations for our management systems.

Our seafood is in a flavour class of its own, whether it be juicy green shell mussels, delicious Bluff oysters, hoki, squid or Marlborough salmon.

Listed below is a selection of South Island seafood outlets that you will find on your travels. Part of the enjoyment is that you’ll find these tangy seafood treasures in places you would least expect them. Enjoy the taste experience!

Sunny Nelson is New Zealand’s oldest city and a fun place to explore. The city is home to Australasia’s largest fishing fleet so there’s a ready supply of fresh fish to the many seafood outlets, cafes and restaurants on the waterfront.

You can enjoy the famous Nelson scallops, crabs and seafood while sunning yourself on the pier with grand ocean views. Paddle crabs are a novelty food. You roll up your sleeves and get stuck in It’s a messy business but it creates a lot of fun.
The Boat Shed Cafe is a great place to enjoy award winning cuisine in a wonderful setting.

If you like a seafood selection on one plate, the Kaimoana Platter offers white fish ceviche, salmon, mussels, scallops and prawns, with a crab, salmon and avocado tartare. Solander Seafood have a retail outlet at 577 Ward Street, Nelson and Guytons Seafood has a fresh fish store on the waterfront and in the Richmond Mall, offering 20 species of fresh white fish and a range of shellfish.

The Nelson Saturday Markets have a variety of fish products on offer. The Smokehouse at Mapua produces a wonderful range of hot-smoked fish, king salmon, mussels and pates.

A traveller’s first sighting of the giant replica mussel pot on The Mussel Pot Restaurant roof is guaranteed to whet the appetite. The quirky eatery in New Zealand’s ‘Green Shell Mussel Capital’ is entirely devoted to mussels.

They will even show you how to eat freshly-steamed mussels without burning your fingers. The nearby Slip Inn Cafe, Restaurant & Wine Bar at the Havelock Marina, sources its mussels from the Pelorus Sound and serves them lightly grilled with a variety of simple sauces, or as chowder, pizza or pie. Local wines and craft brewery beers are the perfect accompaniment.
Any trip to sunny Marlborough isn’t complete without sampling its world-famous green lip mussels, which are one of our top quality seafood delicacies.

They were first developed in the sounds in 1968 using Spanish long line hanging methods. Today the humble mussel is honoured with a national festival in March each year with mussel-opening contests and 90 stalls. There’s also an indulgent Mussel Cruise where the succulent bi-valve is paired with Marlborough sauvignon blanc as the perfect match.

Marlborough is home to the King Salmon Company, the major supplier of farmed Chinook salmon to the world. Chinook are the ‘king’ as the largest salmon seen in the wild was a 55kg chinook.

As you approach this famous whale watching, dolphin & seal haven from the north, you’re bound to do a double take when you spot Nins Bin, a classic roadside caravan selling fresh local crayfish.

This iconic Kaikoura attraction started in 1977 and is still the perfect stop-off point to either dine in, or take away an ambrosial taste treat for your enjoyment later on. Kaikoura is a Maori word meaning ‘meal of crayfish’ and while this New Zealand spiny rock lobster is relatively expensive, it’s worth every cent to seafood lovers.

Your Kiwi cuisine experience in this seafood mecca can include tasteful dining in fine local restaurants like The Pier Hotel Restaurant in Avoca Street, Flukes Cafe in Whaleway Station Road and Koura Bay Lodge in Koura Bay Drive.

The Seafood BBQ feeds hungry hordes of visitors enroute to the seal colony with seafood chowder, grilled crayfish, scallops, fish, mussels and whitebait fritters. In October each year, Seafest Festival is a taste, sight and sound extravaganza for lovers of good food.

Say ‘bonjour’ to this charming, old-world former French settlement 90 minute’s drive from Christchurch on Banks Peninsula and you’re in for a special treat.

Check out the stunning view from the hilltop en route, pull into Barry’s Bay Cheese factory for a sampler pack and drive on to French Farm Vineyard, before taking a leisurely stroll down quaint Rue Lavaud. Murphy’s Seafood Restaurant on the Akaroa Wharf is the popular place for fish sandwiches made with the ‘catch of the day’.

Akaroa Fish & Chips shop has indoor/outdoor dining with waterfront views at 59 Beach Road. The town is home to a great bunch of imaginative chefs who can create anything from sensational snacks to degustation dinners accompanied by local boutique wines, cheeses and micro-brewery beers.

The Trading Rooms Restaurant is a case in point at 71 Beach Road, where stunning harbour views enhance a meal of fresh fish and chips, or Akaroa salmon. Whatever your indulgence, tranquil Akaroa is filled with epicurean pleasures awaiting discovery.

The West Coast is a coastal strip of towering mountains, serene lakes, rushing rivers and wild seas. It’s not a place for the faint-hearted to tackle raw nature but it’s ideal for salivating seafood lovers. Whitebait, a tiny, pale, estuarine native galaxid is the greatest asset of the hardy, independent coasters.

The little critters were once so plentiful that they were ploughed into pasture as fertilizer but now stocks are greatly diminished. The sought after juveniles have lost spawning grounds to urban growth, farming and forestry.

Westport, the coast’s oldest town, is a great place to enjoy whitebait, washed down with locally-brewed beer. The tiny fish are served as fritters, similar to an omelette, crisply fried to give a taste that is subtle and slightly sweet. The Cray Pot Cafe at Jacksons Bay serves giant whitebait sandwiches with a side salad.

Hokitika, the jade centre, has the Ocean View Restaurant, which offers a quality seafood dining experience while you watch whitecap waves breaking on the beach. This old gold town is renowned for its Wild Foods Festival in March each year.

Greymouth has the Retail Fresh Fish & Seafood Shop at 69 Gresson Street with an excellent range of products. The South Westland Salmon Farm & Cafe at Lake Paringa offers superb fresh and smoked salmon dishes.

The South Island’s east coast between Oamaru and Dunedin has a few hidden seafood gems that are worth seeking out. Oamaru is renowned for its attractive townscape, gardens, Victorian precinct of neoclassical stone buildings and New Zealand’s most accessible penguin colony.
Toby’s Fresh Fish Shop at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market has filleted fish from Moeraki and Karitane crayfish is available between June and November.

The Riverstone Kitchen at 1431 SH.1, 12km north of Oamaru offers classics such as Coromandel scallops, Karitane crayfish and Mt Cook salmon. Moeraki Boulders Cafe nestled on the cliff above the famous spherical boulders, serves delicious fresh blue cod and seafood chowder.

Fleur’s Place at 169 Haven Street in Moeraki Village is a slice of Otago chic that delivers the superlative flavour of pan-fried blue cod and the crayfish and smoked mussels are highly addictive.

The Fish Inn at Karitane by the Waikouaiti River mouth has a reputation for mouth-watering blue cod fish and chips and also has sole, flounder, gurnard, octopus, mussels and smoked salmon. The textured white flesh and low oil content of blue cod make it well suited to being battered or crumbed.

The incomparable Bluff oyster epitomises the powerful and unique flavour of New Zealand seafood. It’s the ultimate hunter/gatherer food dredged from our wildest stretch of ocean, Foveaux Strait.

The first arrivals of new season’s oyster stock are besieged in every town in the country and devoured with relish. When the Bluff oyster season kicks off in March the avid oyster lovers proclaim the credo, ‘Eat them neat’, that is fresh, raw and straight from the shell, perhaps garnished with a splash of lemon juice. Others prefer a Japanese-style tempura with wasabi and wakame seaweed complemented by semillon wine or champagne.

The large, tangy, salty tasting oysters can be enjoyed at a number of Bluff restaurants such as the Anchorage Cafe & Wine Bar, Oyster Cove Cafe & Bar, Drunken Sailor Cafe, Big Oyster Seafood Restaurant and Bluff Fish & Chips.

In Invercargill, there’s the quirky Chai Diner at 102 Elles Road, where adventurous foodies can enjoy smoked salmon fins and mutton bird/sooty shearwater.

The Bluff Oyster & Food Festival celebrates the juicy bi-valve with shucking and eating races. The oyster season is from late March to late August. That’s the time to have a love affair with this salty, sexy beast. Some say that Bluff oysters are the finest in the world.

Take an hour-long ferry ride from Bluff, or a 20 minute flight from Invercargill and you’ll find yourself in a different world. Stewart Island offers a glimpse into a simpler, slower lifestyle in rhythm with the sea and the tides.

It’s a natural world of bush and beach with 85 per cent of the land being preserved as Rakiura National Park. You can walk, boat, fish, dive, kayak and hunt here or you can just bring an appetite for the islands’ splendid selection of seafood.

Stewart Island has a range of accommodation in Oban and Half Moon Bay, where the comfortable South Sea Hotel can be found. The Church Hill Restaurant & Oyster Bar is one place to get acquainted with the famous oyster and enjoy amazing views as well.

Then there’s the Bird on a Pear Restaurant on the pier, The Perfect Dinner, Just Us Cafe and the Kaikart Takeaways. All seafood on this unspoiled, untamed island is amazing.

IMAGE: Matakana Oysters

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Great Fresh Seafood Outlets (SI)


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FishInn Waikouaiti

Marion from NZ - 20 May 2015 - 11:04 pm

FishInn has great takeaway Food no doubt about it but you have the wrong address. It is on Main Street Waikouaiti SH1 just a few miles north of the Karitane turnoff.