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South Island recommendations?

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I'll be traveling the South Island (of NZ, natch) in Feb for nearly three weeks, and would love any recommendations Chowhounds can give me for places to find interesting, exquisite or otherwise worthwhile chow. Thanks!

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  1. Fleur's Place in Moeraki just north of Dunedin is a given. Wonderful fish, vege from the garden in a shack in a small fishing village. In Christchurch I like Restaurant Schwass and The Twisted HOp for excellent English style microbrews.

    1. Highlights from recent SI trips for me would be:

      Felafel Gourmet in Nelson- super fresh and tasty!

      Splash out lunch at Pegasus Bay Winery
      great food, wine and setting

      cant remember the name of the cafes but there is some seriously good home baking to be eaten in Rangiora - real old school kiwi home baking

      and finally again in Nelson - probably the best pie I have had anywhere at Kapie

      Woudl love to try Fleurs Place as have the cookbook and it looks like its a real haven for great food.

      have fun on your trip.

      1. Two restaurants that we liked while holidaying and visiting family in the South Island:

        Les Alpes in Queenstown

        Merchants Restaurant in Christchurch

        1. I just returned to Kentucky from a trip to New Zealand and had a fabulous dinner at Botswana Butchery in Queenstown. I had the venison appetizer which was great and split the lamb shoulder roast for 2 which was tremendous. Amazing flavor and unbelievably tender. I had an OK seafood meal at the Boardwalk.

          1. Some of these are a bit out of the way but if you're traveling around

            Akaroa, for Blue Cod Fish & Chips try Truby's (a little bit hidden, ask around)

            Outside of Christchurch, in Mt. Somers, Stonechrubie, for excellent rack of lamb
            http://www.stronechrubie.co.nz/ Also a nice place to stay

            Kinloch Lodge in Kinloch, if you're headed to the Routeburn track
            Again, a nice place to stay

            I second Amisfield and Fleur's.

            1. February is busy on the South Island. You'll be at the end of summer season and about 1,000 people coming off the Ice! That said, here are a few places we've enjoyed the past couple of years.

              My husband and I had a lovely dinner at Ginger and Garlic in Timaru. Wonderful seafood, amuse bouche between courses, nice wine list, attentive service, great view of Caroline Bay from several tables in the main dining room.

              335 Stafford Street, Timaru 7910, Canterbury

              On the west coast in Hokitika is Cafe de Paris. A nice, casual cafe we've eaten at a couple of times on different trips. Good salads featuring the local salmon, venison and lamb.

              19 Tancred Street, Hokitika 7810, West Coast

              If you get to Havelock (between Nelson and Picton off SH 6), I recommend a stop at The Mussel Pot. Their green lipped mussels are heaven. They can be ordered steamed in wine, beer, or garlic, white wine and fresh herbs. My favorite was the coriander, chili ginger & coconut milk.

              73 Main Rd ยท Havelock, Marlborough

              1 Reply
              1. re: AntarcticWidow

                There are so many great options for eating out around the South Island - i can highly recommend Simo's in Christchurch for lovely Moroccan http://www.simos.co.nz/ ... the bakery in Reefton for awesome whitebait patty sandwiches and really good home baked pies etc - this place is always pumping which says a lot for the quality of food and coffees (they do an enormous 'bowl' for cappucino or latte). Check out the Barker's shop in Geraldine for free tastings of their fruit based products - preserves and chutneys etc. You might want to check out http://whatshot.christchurchnz.com or the blog at http://blog.christchurchnz.com for some more ideas and specials etc. Hope you have a great trip!

              2. Definitely second (or third) Fleur's Place. Also Bacchus in Blenhiem is worth a nosey. If you're looking for something slighty odd-er try picking up a fresh crayfish from one of the caravans on the side of the road in Kaikoura. Oddly enough House of Ales in Nelson has a newish chef who has rather an eye for great food and for a gastro-pub I've had some good food there.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JenNZ

                  Well, I'm back from my trip, and I had some amazing meals and some other less amazing (but never ever bad) meals. Among the highlights:

                  Oamaru: Lovely town, with amazing food at Fleur's (south of town) and Riverstone (north)
                  Cromwell: We had an outstanding meal at Feast in the Cromwell Mall; unpromising location but the food was sublime
                  Dunedin: Excellent food in a quirky setting at Plato
                  Blenheim: Wonderful food (not such wonderful service) at Gibb's, and nice simpler food at Wairau Winery
                  Christchurch: One of the best meals of our trip at Restaurant Schwass

                  We loved NZ so much that we are now contemplating buying a house in Oamaru (our favorite town)!