Remarkable Eats…

Amisfield Winery
Amisfield Winery

I’ve posted about Queenstown’s food scene before – here and here. But that was then and this is now – so we’re due an update. Fergburger is still a ‘thing’. The queues are there all day, and on a fine evening, hordes of people will sit by the lakeside with the distinctive Fergburger packaging. But there’s more to this town than burgers- as good as the Fergburger is…millions of backpackers can’t be wrong. Anyways, here are my picks…

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Breakfast

Vudu Cafe & Larder

just how pretty is this eggs bennie?
just how pretty is this eggs bennie?

I still can’t go past Vudu – and ate here 3 times over my recent visit. Although I did try some other options, the eggs benedict is still my fave. There’s something about the way they do their hollandaise that lightens it a tad. Apparently it’s the apple cider vinegar. I don’t know – all I know is I love bennie, but often my tummy doesn’t – and at Vudu all is good.

The halloumi stack
The halloumi stack

This cafe is busy – all the time – so either be prepared to grab a seat outside (no great hardship given the view of the lake, but sometimes a tad chilly) or wait. Then there’s the queue to order – there’s always a queue to order – but it moves quickly and gives you a chance to check out what else is on offer.

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As an aside, if you’ve read Wish You Were Here, Vudu was my inspiration for Jess’s cafe.

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Bespoke Kitchen

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Up on the hill near the Gondola, Bespoke Kitchen is the sister restaurant to Vudu. The same great coffee, the same great looking yummies are in the counter display,

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but the menu is slightly different. I went for the Moroccan chickpea egg special.

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Other options…

Fergbaker does a great line in ready made egg and bacon rolls, and Fergburger do breakfast burgers. Yes, there’s usually a queue waiting for them to open. Otherwise, try Joe’s Garage.

Lunch

Something snacky…

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If you’re after just a cheap and easy snack, or a no-fuss lunch, you could always try Queenie’s Dumplings. As well as dumplings, they also do noodle soups.

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Madame Woo

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This is possibly my favourite place to eat in Queenstown. Their hainanese chicken is remarkably good – and, if I do say so myself, I’ve eaten a lot of hainanese chicken over the years.

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Public Bar

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Down on the waterfront near the giant moa, you can’t miss this place. It’s the perfect spot for kicking back with a beer and some share plates and watching the action on the lake.

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salt cod croquettes
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pork rilettes

Dinner…

Rata

I’ve eaten here a few times now and have never been disappointed. It’s another of those places, though, where I could go mad on ordering bites or small plates – where every mouthful is good and interesting.

We started with bites to share and cocktails,

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moved to entrees (mine was the posh cheese roll in the top – remember how I told you about cheese rolls?)

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and ambitiously also ordered a main. Mine is the fish in the bottom pic: blue cod with green lipped mussels, young vegetables and roast garlic butter.

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There was no way I could manage a sweet, but did squeeze in a dessert cocktail before waddling back up the hill to the hotel.

 

Oh, and it’s best to book. Details are here.

Botswana Butchery

Another fave, we saved this one for when my husband was in town. The plates are larger and the menu meatier – as you might guess from the name. This place is also very popular, so it’s best to book. You can find out more here.

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Something a little different

Blue Kanu

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Walking into this restaurant is a little like what I’d expect a tiki bar to be like in Hawaii – even though I’ve never been to Hawaii. It’s kitschy, it’s cool, it’s funky, it’s very different from pretty well anything else in Queenstown. It also serves very good food – pacific rim with and asian influence, if we want to bring it down to genre. I much prefer the tagline on their fabulously colourful website: Flavours that float your boat.

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Something very special…

Amisfield Winery

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If you’re after somewhere more than a little bit special (and your wallet is feeling a tad generous), Amisfield Winery would be my pick. Sure, it’s indulgence and it’s a bit out of town, but if there’s a group of you, you can negotiate a fixed price with the taxis. It cost us $60NZD between us. Or, if you have your own transport and someone happy to be designated driver, even better.

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We went with the ‘trust the chef’ menu (and matching wines) and each course was stupendously good- from the amuse bouche

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through each of the 4 courses that followed.

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I didn’t have dessert, but this souffle that one of our party ordered was apparently as yum as it was pretty.

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Even the macaroons that came out with coffee were instagrammable.

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My tips? If the day is fine, try for a seat outside. Oh, and book – well ahead. Especially if you’re visiting on a weekend. You’ll find the details here.
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Have you been to Queenstown lately? Any faves on your list?

 

 

Comments

4 comments on “Remarkable Eats…”
  1. Deborah says:

    Yummm…. and how lovely you were able to get specific inspiration for your book from a place you’d visited!

    1. Jo says:

      Queenstown has enough inspiration for an entire series for me 😉

  2. I love Vudu! So happy that it’s still going. It was a fav when I lived there in 2002/2003! I miss Queenstown for so many reasons.

    1. Jo says:

      The other one in Beach St has now gone, but the same people have opened Bespoke so all is ok.

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