Fare New Zealand – Eating Across The North Island

16 February 2015

Food in New Zealand has gone beyond fish n' chips and the age-old debate over who makes the best pavlova. The country is awash with fresh ingredients, which fuels a vibrant and diverse food scene. From fine-dining to trendy cafes, the country is in the grip of the food craze, producing an array of restaurants that will satiate any appetite.

 Fine dining and fine views in Auckland

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The Upper Crust

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Over recent years, New Zealand's North Island has continued to develop its fine-dining scene. Drawing inspiration from the throng of top quality ingredients that can be locally sourced, restaurants are creating menus of fresh and modern dishes that masterfully blend culinary styles from around the world. Auckland is prime stomping ground for experienced chefs showcasing their creations as the city is home to a handful of culinary hotspots.

Of course the waterfront is among the top locations for discerning foodies, with Viaducts Harbour featuring more than 30 chic bars and restaurants. Ranging from impeccably presented Asian-style cuisine to the unique sophistication of artisan eateries, wining and dining in Auckland can be a very classy affair. The sweep of exceptional water views are just icing on the cake.

 Unveiling the Hangi in Rotorua

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Savour The Traditional

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Viewing the preparation of a traditional Hangi is nearly as impressive as the meal itself. A deep pit is opened, gushing with clouds of subterranean geothermal steam. Two men hop in on either side of a large crate, throwing back layers of canvas and burlap to the enthusiastic 'ohs' and 'ahs' of an appreciative crowd. Finally, a large foil lined tray is revealed, brimming with meat and vegetables that have been gently steaming over hot rocks for the last four hours.

One of the best places to experience a traditional Hangi is at Rotorua's Te Puia. This cultural centre offers an opportunity to learn about Maori culture through engaging performances prior to dinner. The meal is then presented buffet style accompanied by an all too generous spread of bread, salads, seafood and desserts. Be sure to try the pavlova. Dare I say it's as good as than those in Oz?


Looking for more Auckland travel tips? Auckland's Luxury Hotels

More New Zealand Food and Wine. Waiheke: Auckland’s Island Of Wine


 

 

 Getting trendy and delicious in Hamilton

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Cafes, Bistros and Gastropubs – Oh My!

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The movement toward more refined, locally sourced and handmade fare isn't restricted to New Zealand's fine dining establishments. A crop of trendy cafes, bistros and gastropubs has popped up across the North Island that provide a decidedly more laidback dining experience. Comfort food and local brews; delicate deserts and freshly roasted coffee;  salads, sandwiches and fresh pressed juices – it's all represented with style and flair.

Big and small, cities across New Zealand are teeming with casual eateries that serve up quality grub. Auckland's Ponsonby Road sees boutiques, cafes and bistros merge in an ultra-trendy and all-inclusive strip. Venture off the main road for even more hidden gems.

Further south, Hamilton is home to the now famous Good George brewery, known for creating Hobbiton's exclusive brews. This gastropub also offers up a full menu of inspired dishes that range from generous share platters to menu mainstays like lamb shanks. Of course, one of the in-house craft beers is the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.