The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Otago, New Zealand

Eating and Drinking in Otago, New Zealand

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Dux de Lux Restaurant, Bar and Brewery

Queenstown

Breweries

After a day on the slopes there’s no better venue to pull off the boots, have a couple of beers and start tappin’ those toes. No less than an institution on the NZ music scene, musicians come from far and wide playing jazz to rock and everything in between. Alpine Ale and Ginger Tom are just two of their award-winning and seasonally home-brewed beers. Famed for its vegetarian and seafood dishes, the restaurant is just next door.

Dux de Lux Restaurant, Bar and Brewery
  • Prices: Beers from $5 - $7, starters/light meals $6 - $12, mains $10 - $38, pizzas $18 - $24. Kids meals $8.
  • Contact: 14-16 Church Street, Queenstown
  • Tel: 03-442-9688
  • Fax: 03-442-9608
  • Cel: 021-762-375
  • Email: info@thedux.co.nz
  • Web: www.thedux.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Freeway Orchard

Cromwell

Cafés & delis

Just off the highway into Cromwell, this is the largest fruit stall in ‘orchard country’ Central Otago. An extensive array of local produce from apples and pears to peaches and persimmons are piled high, ripe for your picking. There are ice creams, juices and wheatgrass shots as well as a few more local delights - fresh tamarillos, dried kiwi fruit, fancy scroggin’ and feijoa jam to name but a few - that must be tried.

  • Contact: Highway 8b, Cromwell
  • Tel: 03-445-1500
  • Fax: 03-445-1508
  • Email: freewayorchard@ihug.co.nz
  • Web: www.freewayorchard.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Vudu Cafe

Queenstown

Cafés & delis

Vudu was my spiritual home in Queenstown. When they closed for a refurb on my last day, I felt a genuine sense of loss. This wonderfully friendly and relaxed café made the best porridge with stewed fruit and molasses, and the house pinot noir wasn’t bad either (porridge and wine were not consumed together, I hasten to add). The décor was funky, the music chilled, and I loved the neighbourhood notice-board full of yoga classes and organic food markets.

  • Prices: $9.50 for soup of the day.
  • Contact: 23 Beach St, Queenstown
  • Tel: 03-442-5347, 03-442-5357
  • Email: admin@vudu.co.nz
  • Web: www.vudu.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Mediterranean Market

Queenstown

Cafés & delis

The freshest, the finest and the most diverse are attributes that keenly describe products in this wonderful market shop, deli and café. Everything is in-store here from piles and piles of just-picked fruit and veg, obscure ‘what’s that?’ Japanese products to more familiar local pinots and imported Italians. The best markets are sourced, the finest meats and cheeses are imported, breads are baked and salads and their condiments are prepared daily to kit out the most cosmopolitan of picnic hampers and platters. Deli-icious!

Mediterranean Market
  • Contact: 53 Robins Road, Queenstown
  • Tel: 03-442-4161
  • Fax: 033-442-4162
  • Email: shop@mediterranean.co.nz
  • Web: www.mediterranean.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Ardmore Street Food Company

Wanaka

Cafés & delis

Tucked away behind the main drag yet just across from the lake, Mark and Cris’s newest café and deli is the kind of place that makes tourists and locals alike come in and feel right at home. I certainly did when I dropped by for an excellent coffee and some rocky road kill (… immeasurably more pleasurable than it sounds!). Artisan breads, specialty mains, mighty burgers and decadent cakes join over 30 innovative deli concoctions to set your taste buds a-singing.

  • Prices: Breakfasts from $9.50 - $15.50, burgers and mains $15 - $16.50. Rocky road kill and other desserts from $6.50.
  • Contact: 155 Ardmore Street, Wanaka
  • Tel: 03-442-2230
  • Fax: 03-443-2240
  • Email: wanakapie@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Nova Cafe

Dunedin

Cafés/galleries

Sometimes all you need of an evening, or a lunchtime, is a nice, casual café with good, wholesome comfort food. Enter Nova Café, right next to the art gallery; it serves up really good nosh day and night. There’s no need to pre-book so you can be as spontaneous as you wish.

  • Contact: 29 The Octagon
  • Tel: 03-479-0808
  • Email: novacafe@extra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Central Otago Farmers' Market

Cromwell

Markets

The market wasn’t running when I visited in deepest, snow-covered winter, but as it comes highly recommended by Sue from Silverpine, GG owner and chef extraordinaire, it really should be mentioned. Set in the fertile heartland of Central Otago, you could spend a happy day here under the South Island’s wide blue skies; buying, and eating, local cherries and apricots, and gossiping with locals over the lunchtime BBQ before taking some fresh fish home for a slap-up supper.

  • Prices: Prices vary. Hours: 1st and 3rd Sunday (Sept to Easter) 9 am - 1 pm; every Sunday in January.
  • Contact: Cromwell Old Town
  • Email: info@provisions.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Blues Lounge

Alexandra

Restaurants

The Blues Lounge is everything a café should be with a wonderfully warm and friendly atmosphere, funky orange retro furniture and a menu that serves up the best gumbo stew this side of New Orleans. The kumara and chicken soup was pretty memorable as well, especially when eaten during one of the worst snowstorms in living memory! The artwork and wine is local and the staff double-up as musicians during the evening jamming sessions. Definitely worth a stop if you're passing through this sleepy, rural town.

  • Prices: Soup of the day: $9.50.
  • Contact: 49 Centennial Drive, Alexandra, New Zealand
  • Tel: 03-448-5959
  • Email: booking@blues-lounge.co.nz
  • Web: www.blues-lounge.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Postmaster's House Restaurant

Arrowtown

Restaurants

‘Designed for the adventurous’ the tasting menu here is meant to tantalize the most epicurean of palettes. Neither starter size nor main the one-size-fits-all dishes are somewhere in-between so it’s best to pick a few and share. Quite a relief when there’s so much yumminess (Ottoman steak tartare, citrus, pistachio and pecorino salad, sticky glazed quail) on offer.... For those that know their minds, there are also the usual starter and main sizes on offer as well. The stunning greenstone slab of a bar is great for pre-dinner drinks at this award-winning, ‘almost perfect’ (so says the NY Times) eatery.

The Postmaster's House Restaurant
  • Prices: Everything comes in both starters size $16 and main size $30. Shut Mon in summer and Mon/Tues in winter.
  • Contact: 54 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown
  • Tel: 03-442-0991
  • Fax: 03-442-0983
  • Email: bookings@postmastershouse.com
  • Web: www.postmastershouse.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Plato

Dunedin

Restaurants

Firstly, hats off to whoever came up with the name – I’m still chuckling! The Plato building once played host to seafarers around the world, so it’s fitting that nowadays it lays on some of the best seafood in Dunedin. A quick skim down the menu leaves any self-respecting foodie drooling: baby flounder grenobloise, king prawns with a mizuna salad and local clams steamed in their shells. Plus there’s the prerequisite freshly-baked ciabattas to dip in all those lovely seafood juices. I loved the 1950’s crockery as well, a perfect fit with the retro surroundings. Dinner: Monday to Sunday from 6pm; brunch / lunch: Sunday from 11am.

Plato
  • Prices: Main courses between $23 and $29.
  • Contact: 2 Birch Street, Dunedin
  • Tel: 03-477-4235
  • Email: plato@platocafe.co.nz
  • Web: www.platocafe.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Table Se7en Restaurant & Bar

Dunedin

Restaurants

The atmosphere is buzzing and funky and the food is excellent, bang up-to-date, Pacific Rim-meets-Mediterranean: chilli prawns, pork belly and, according to one GG owner, the presentation is "amazing". Monday - Saturday: lunch 12 - 3pm; dinner from 6pm.

  • Prices: Around $100 for a three-course dinner and wine.
  • Contact: Cnr George & Hanover Sts, Dunedin
  • Tel: 03-477-6877
  • Email: tableseven@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Bisztro In the Villa

Dunedin

Restaurants

Set in a turn-of-the-century villa this is the kind of restaurant you might hope to find in a small French or Italian town. Karl and Darlene specialize in ‘slow-cooking’, old-world-style food and Bisztro has quickly become a local favourite. Rich and creamy smoked pork cheeks with kumara and moi-moi mash is quite notoriously wicked (in a very good way), as too is the lemon tart with star-anise praline crumbs. There’s a big fire inside and a bar nicely set in the quiet back-drop of native trees and ferns.

  • Prices: Starters $9.50 - $14, mains $21 - $29, desserts $10.50. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
  • Contact: 95 Filluel Street, Dunedin, Otago
  • Tel: 03-471-9265
  • Cel: 027-285-7073
  • Email: adrema.bisztro@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Tandoori Palace

Dunedin

Restaurants

It’s hard to find a decent curry in New Zealand. Happily Kirit and his team of top Indian chefs serve up some of the best tandooris, jalfrezis, pasandas et al in the country. Try one of the non-traditional dishes such as a ‘chicken anarkali’, especially tangy with chopped onion, tomato and pomegranate. Saucy.

  • Prices: Mains from $11 - $22.
  • Contact: 18 Mailer Street, Mornington, Dunedin
  • Tel: 03-453-1132
  • Email: info@tandooripalace.co.nz
  • Web: www.tandooripalace.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Fleur's Place

Moeraki

Restaurants

There is no place like Fleur’s. Praised by locals and foodies alike (Cuisine magazine recently voted the restaurant in the top 100 ‘things’ in NZ), this is a fantastic owner-run seafood restaurant where all pretence is firmly left at the door and the food is left to speak for itself. The freshest ingredients are caught, picked, baked and smoked from the premises and people travel miles for naturally great food and Fleur’s warm and generous hospitality. Sitting on the harbour's jetty with the sea to three sides, I sat tickled by my find, refreshed by the sea air and nourished by the best bouillabaisse south of Marseille… my favourite restaurant in NZ by a long nautical mile.

  • Prices: Entrée soups from $12 through to mains from $22.50 to $34. Desserts are around $10.50 and coffee $3.50.
  • Contact: 169 Haven Street, Moeraki, Otago
  • Tel: 03-439-4480
  • Fax: 03-439-4481
  • Email: mail@fleursplace.com
  • Web: www.fleursplace.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Amisfield Winery & Bistro

Queenstown

Restaurants

A huge lofty barn with massive glass doors and colourful modern art houses this bold, country-style bistro and cellar door just ten minutes drive from Queenstown. There’s a daily changing menu of superb organic and locally sourced dishes that you can bypass entirely to put your faith in the experts with the 2-course ‘trust the chef’ option. Children are particularly well-catered for; they’ll happily lose themselves (in a good way, Mum and Dad) in the big box of toys and nice garden.

Amisfield Winery & Bistro
  • Prices: Lunches between $9.50 and $27 a dish, desserts $12.50. 'Trust the chef' menu $45 per person, minimum 2 people.
  • Contact: 10 Lake Hayes Road, RD1, Queenstown
  • Tel: 03-442-0556
  • Fax: 03-442-0553
  • Email: bistro@amisfield.co.nz
  • Web: www.amisfield.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Winehouse & Kitchen

Queenstown

Restaurants

Peering over a gorge, the setting of this farmhouse style restaurant and cellar door is sensational. Find your sunny spot in the garden and share one of their delicious ‘platters for two’ washed down with its suggested wine companion. Between courses, venture further down the gorge to watch brave souls jump off the NZ’s original bungy bridge.

The Winehouse & Kitchen
  • Prices: Food (something light to platters for two): $13 - $48. Wine: glass $6 - $15; bottle $20 - $50.
  • Contact: Rapid No 1963 (Kawarau Bungy Centre car park), State Highway 6, Gibbston
  • Tel: 03-442-7310
  • Fax: 03-442-7317
  • Email: kirsten@winehouse.co.nz
  • Web: www.winehouse.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Wai Waterfront Restaurant

Queenstown

Restaurants

Under the watchful gaze of the Remarkables mountain range, this elegant seafood restaurant by the lake is perfect for both alfresco summer lunches and après-ski cosy suppers by the fire. Their famous Bluff Oyster menu is Wai’s trump card but chef Martin’s philosophy for well-prepared, simple food make all dishes hugely popular with locals, Greenwood Guides and critics alike. Happy staff, happy customers, happy me.

  • Prices: Entrées $16 - $25, mains $29 - $41. Chef's 7-course degustation menu with wine is $155, without $100. Oysters are market price.
  • Contact: Absolute Waterfront, Steamer Wharf, Beach Street, Queenstown
  • Tel: 03-442-5969
  • Fax: 03-442-1405
  • Email: info@wai.net.nz
  • Web: www.wai.net.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Missy's Kitchen

Wanaka

Restaurants

Lip-smackingly tasty food, cosy red interiors, big open fires and a terrace with sensational views over Lake Wanaka and the snowy peaks beyond make Missy’s an unforgettable feast for the soul. Brenda, Tony and sons Alfred and Otis offer up the freshest ingredients in a zesty, Pacific Rim/tapas-style menu, sloshed down with exotic cocktails and over 70 wines, and all served with lively bonhomie.

Missy's Kitchen
  • Prices: Entrées from $15, mains from $29.50 and desserts from $12.
  • Contact: Level 1, 80 Ardmore Street, Wanaka
  • Tel: 03-443-5099
  • Fax: 03-443-5098
  • Email: dine@missyskitchen.co.nz
  • Web: www.missyskitchen.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Café Fe

Wanaka

Restaurants

Named after the famous Mt Iron, Café Fe rests high above Wanaka and is a great place to sit and ponder town, lake and mountains over lazy long lunches or weekend brunch. The menu’s a line up of breakfasting favourites and fresh seasonal mains such as peppered venison with blackcurrant and apple vinaigrette or Aoraki salmon. Children score big here with their own menu, sandpit and toys.

Café Fe
  • Prices: Breakfasts and lunches from $9.50 to $17.50.
  • Contact: Heritage Park, Cnr Cardrona Valley & Orchard Roads, RD1, Wanaka
  • Tel: 03-443-4683
  • Fax: 03-443-4412
  • Email: cafefe@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Te Táwara o Wanaka

Wanaka

Restaurants

Café Fe’s older brother gets to stay up late, sleep all day and test its (and your) taste buds with fancier, more grown-up fare. With windows onto mountains and a courtyard under the stars Te Táwara o Wanaka is a fun venue where dishes like spiced beetroot and mascarpone bavarois, roast Moroccan spatchcock and an ‘intermezze’ of green apple sorbet set the culinary scene for a really special night out.

Te Táwara o Wanaka
  • Prices: Entrées from $15, mains from $27.
  • Contact: Heritage Park, Cnr Cardrona Valley & Orchard Roads, RD1, Wanaka
  • Tel: 03-443-4411
  • Fax: 03-443-4412
  • Email: info@tawara.co.nz
  • Web: www.tawara.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Big Picture

Cromwell

Wine

No other wine-tasting experience is quite like this. Catch a virtual flight in the auditorium to take in the wineries of Otago in one fell, drive-free swoop. Soar across the Otago landscape, its grassy plains, surging rivers and rugged hills before banking up past ridged vines as you fly over Bannockburn’s vineyards. Touch down at the wine-makers' and view the stunning scenery that makes this region so geographically unique, with, thankfully, five real glasses of world-renowned local wines to sample along the way. And then there’s the aroma room, lined with silver stoppers coated in scents relating to different wines, the object being to identify each one. Finally, to complete your sensory journey, enjoy a delicious post-flight meal in the next-door restaurant, choosing wine from your favourite vineyard to go with it.

The Big Picture
  • Contact: Cnr Sandflat Road and State Highway 6, Cromwell, Otago
  • Tel: 03-445-4052
  • Fax: 03-445-4053
  • Email: info@wineadventures.co.nz
  • Web: www.wineadventures.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Queenstown Wine Trail

Queenstown

Wine

Yes, yes, we all know that Queenstown is a party town full of raucous twenty-one year-olds. But for the more refined amongst us, it is also home to some of the best small-scale wineries in Central Otago – you just need to look at the indecently ruby roadside berries to know that there is fire in that soil. Under the tutelage of Kevin and the young, resolutely non-snooty vineyard staff, we visited Gibbston Valley, Peregrine, Watiri Creek and Amisfield, tasting their well-marinated pinot noirs (Central Otago’s grape of choice) as well as a host of other goodies from the cellar. Queenstown Wine Trail operate daily wine tours and also organise private tours.

Queenstown Wine Trail
  • Prices: Price: $99 - $285 pp.
  • Contact: PO Box 733, Queenstown , Central Otago
  • Tel: 03-442-3799
  • Fax: 03-442-3796
  • Email: info@queenstownwinetrail.co.nz
  • Web: www.queenstownwinetrail.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Wine Tastes Central Otago

Queenstown

Wine

Connoisseurs, quaffers and teetotal gadget geeks will all love this brilliant, state-of-the-art ‘try before you buy’ wine tasting innovation. Simply put credit on your wine card and work the room, bottle to bottle to bottle to bottle… sipping, sampling or sloshing your way through the 80 wines (including 24 specialty pinot noirs) on display. You should be a veritable vino buff (in theory) by the time you’ve exhausted your card. If not I’d suggest redoubling your efforts with a top-up.

Wine Tastes Central Otago
  • Prices: A purchase can be made at any value the customer wishes to load on their card.
  • Contact: 14 Beach Street, Queenstown
  • Tel: 03-409-2226
  • Fax: 03-409-2290
  • Email: queenstown@winetastes.com
  • Web: www.winetastes.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Otago Highlights

  • Spend an afternoon on the Otago Penisula outside Dunedin where you'll come across impressive royal albatrosses, rare yellow-eyed penguins and noisy (and rather stinky) sea lions.
  • Wander through the streets of architecturally rich Dunedin and, after noting its uncanny resemblance to parts of Edinburgh, grab a great cup of coffee in one of the many cafés for which it is now famed.
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