Workmans Cafe and Bar: Great food for hobbits?
This is a popular cafe/bar (good idea to book if you want to eat in the evening) with a great atmosphere, funky decoration themes, excellent toilets (always an indicator of a good place in my opinion), super service and above all, excellent and interesting food.
In 2006 I had a great BLAT here prior to a tandem skydive and always hoped to make a return visit. Last night (10 February 2008) I was pretty keen to write this up for VTers who might be in NZ at the mo) we called in for dinner.
The place was busy and buzzing but they found us a table (good mix of clientele, including children early in the evening) and it was fine to have anything from a coffee to a full blown dinner. I had the venison, see "favourite dish", my partner had the Scotch fillet which he reported delicious. The veges were gently cooked to a firm perfection and the accompanying salad was interesting, with toasted pumpkin seeds and other good things.
Lots of interesting things on the menu, including a catch of the day and vegetarian options. I highly recommend the Workmans to you all - you can go while you are visiting Hobbiton or enroute between Auckland and the Coromandel/Bay of Plenty, or just make a special trip!!
Note - closed on Mondays
Favorite Dish: Venison with beetroot and rosemary (served with seasonal veges, a salad and a hunk of bread) - the most tender venison I have ever tasted, delicious with the beetroot, beautifully cooked and presented - I only left the pattern on the plate!!Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Sky Diving
- Road Trip
A dish for everyone!
New Zealand is becoming more and more aware of the world that surrounds them. As we are so far away from many countries, we are however taking the opportunity to discover so many beautiful cuisines from around the world. Thirty years ago many New Zealander's would only dine out unless it was a very special occasion and even then it was rather limited. Choices were often a buffet dinner of roasted and cold cuts of meat, vegetables boiled or roasted, a few different types of salads, maybe a seafood dish and a few desserts. Then there was Chinese with a westernised flavour to it, dishes that were based largely from the Cantonese, a sprinkle of fast food restaurants like Kentucky Fried Chicken, a NZ based pie fast food chain called Georgie Pie, and little family restaurants called Cobb and Co which specialised in dishes like Cordon Bleu chicken and Shrimp cocktails. There was of course the public bars with their own pub meals, the RSA clubs, Gentlemans clubs, Hotels and Motor Inn's with their own restaurants etc... but it was no where as exciting as it is now
Much of that has changed now we are seeing almost everything here..... In Auckland, New Zealand's largest city we are seeing a diverse range of people from all corners of the globe and it is great that we are now getting the chance to eat anything from Arabia to Vietnam.
Favorite Dish: My favourite New Zealand dish would have to be Roasted sweet potato. This simple dish is often beautifully cooked in what the New Zealand maori call a "hangi" which is basically where food is cooked in the ground. The smokeyness that cooks this vegetable (also known as Kumara) always does it for me and even if I don't have it in a Hangi, I always enjoy it cooked in my own oven.
Other favourites of mine include the variety of seafood we have here in New Zealand and I cannot help but enjoy the infamous Pavlova which you can see in my homepage under my Virtual tourist cookbook.
New Zealand truly has come ahead in recent years with their culinary fare and it is great to see when a new cafe pops up in my city and I can sit back and try their new flavours and coffees. Dine out website (the website I have listed below) is great if you want to review or read a review on a restaurant here in New Zealand. I have made a few contributions of my own and it is great to see how others view restaurants and cafes in the area.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Arizona Steakhouse: BEEF!
Arizona seems like a gathering place after the Wellington work day. The atmosphere is noisy, much like an American bar. It's sort of a cross between eating at the Outback, going to a local Yuppie bar (reminded me a lot of the Federal Hill/Fells Point area....very young clientele!) and a sidewalk cafe. This isn't the place for a date...it is WAY too noisy! The food was good....dishes were based on some that you would find at a steakhouse, with a gourmet twist. I had a steak that had a homemade chili jam accompany it and it was amazing! My husband had a special dish that they only had that night and loved it. Dessert was amazing and all were creations. I had a special banana split with a chargrilled banana which reminded me of when we used to camp. Hubby had cornbread and butter pudding which was yummy! All in all, a very good meal. Arizona is expensive, but then we are used to eating out at places like the Outback or Longhorn where it's a little cheaper because they buy in mass quantity. The only thing we really didn't care for is for a restaurant, it is very much like eating in a bar and we felt like the elderly as the average age of the client was 30 or less.
Reservations would be a good idea after 6 PM....dining in New Zealand seems later to American standards.
Favorite Dish: I loved the chargrilled banana split! If you have ever camped and threw a banana on the fire, then you understand what I am talking about!Related to:
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
Gingko Authentic Chinese: By God this Baiju's Strong
The food was good, the decor was a bit tacky but chinese in every way.
"The Baiju" was the highlight. It's the chinese equivalent of Saki and it kicks Saki's ass hands down.
Super potent and to be drunk in thimble sized china shot glasses, the baiju is a perfect college drink. It gets you drunk for cheap, quickly and hits you hard.
Everything tastes and looks better after that.
Favorite Dish: The sauteed beans. The Pork and Lamb were served in huge portions and were real good.
Dimitri's Souvlaki: Oh.. That's soo good!
Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's. Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's. Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's. Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's. Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's. Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's. Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's.
Favorite Dish: Dimitri's Souvlaki serves great Lamb Souvlaki's.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Izakaya Yuki: Can I have Another?
We’re hungry and trying real hard to like Dunedin. The ***ty scam room we got did some serious damage to our moods.
We venture out for our taste of this lively New Zealand city. We walk around the inner and outer quadrangle that makes the Dunedin city center and try looking for some stomach-filling options.
A tiny Japanese restaurant looks inviting with a wooden door and the only inkling of the décor is a flag fluttering outside.
Turns out this is the best Japanese food both me or my brother have had in a long long time. The food was exceptional and the atmosphere reminiscent of an old Japanese drinking den.
This place isn’t a discovery because all the tables were taken, but I’m surprised it’s not over-run, considering the food they serve.
Favorite Dish: Everything was beyond our expectation. This place set a new personal standard for Japanese food.Related to:
Highfield Estate: Dine & Wine
The Highfield Estate is a famous NZ winery better known for its wines. The Wineyard also has a gourmet restaurant that serves rich entrees to accompany their wines.
The restaurant is built on the highest point of the Wineyard (and most of blenheim). So you get sweeping views of the surrounding Marlborough region and its many wineyards.
It's always special when your sipping a glass of wine and the very air echoes the wine's own bouquet.
Favorite Dish: The Lamb and Beef Main courses we indulged in were perfect.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Thai Siam: The "New" New Zealand
So New Zealand has taken to thai food, like the rest of us, with a vengence. Christchurch and just about all of NZ is floded with great thai restaurants.
I'm not sure if this is a result of the best "cooking mom's" in thailand immigrating to New Zealand or if the Kiwi's just love thai food. But whatever the case good thai food can be had in NZ.
Thai Siam is a chain (we didn't know this then) and serves good thai food in a clean modern setting.
Favorite Dish: The lamb sizzling platter was just right.Related to:
- Whale Watching
Sea Fest Tents: Seriously.. Don't Miss the fresh seafood
The first Saturday in October is the annual Kaikoura sea fest. A day when the pacific plate drops and there is a huge under water trench that opens up. Huge sea mammals like whales and dolphins come for the feast and the city is packed with tents serving fresh seafood, music concerts and ample CrayFish (what the locals call Lobster's).
Favorite Dish: Cray FishRelated to:
The Blue Ice Café: Pizza’s in New Zealand.
A nice gourmet restaurant at eye level and a travelers den above ground. The pub on top is a great place to grab a drink, play some pool and exchange stories about your own New Zealand adventure.
The heavy use of wood upstairs is both comfy and classy.
Favorite Dish: The Pizza’s set the mood for a laid back evening among friends.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Skiing and Boarding
The Landing: Lamb Shanks for the soul
A typical (if commercial, it’s owned by speights the local brewery) ski town restaurant and bar with big windows to admire the view and fireplaces for warmth and that sense of cozyness.
Favorite Dish: The food is excellent and the portions are appropriate, after a day on the slopes or tramping. The Lamb Shank was a big hit on our table.Related to:
- Skiing and Boarding
- Hiking and Walking
Fergburger Queenstown: Don't miss this hamburger
Best hamburger I have ever tasted and its huge! Generous fillings makes it a great take away while you keep your adrenalin rushing in the adventure capital of the world...
Favorite Dish: Burger burger and more burgers!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Blue Water Bar & Bistro: When in Opua...
Run by an American couple (well the guy's originally from New Zealand) Shana and Matt.
The Blue Water restaurant is perhaps the best place to get a nice romantic gourmet meal in Opua.
Favorite Dish: The Rare Beef Salad was a knockout.
Mako: Beers on the Strip
A happening place during the season (so the barman tells me). Mako is a sea front bar in Paihia that offers local pub grub with beers and an unbeatable view of the Paihia Bay.
During season they have Hoola Nights and i'm sure that's easy to do after tequila shots.
Favorite Dish: Samosas / spring roll platter. Nachos.
The Burgers are gourmet, huge and come well recommended, but I wasn't too hungry.
Opua Yacht Club: Sea Fare
A great big hall with a bar, kitchen and outdoor seating. The Opua Yacht Club is a great place to catch up with locals and travellers sailing into or out of Opua. They have a very reasonably priced bar and the kitchen can make some great local favorites (read: Fish and Chips).
The decor is like a big living room with huge bay windows leading onto the outer deck that overlooks the marina.
There's a lot of local sea-fairing history up on the walls.
They also have showers for those who need one badly. I used it and would highly recommend it.
Favorite Dish: Fish & Chips!
Visiting sailors are welcome. Meals available Wed, Thurs (not in winter), Fri and Sun.
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