July 20, 2011

Recent Eats Kiwi-styles

Since we arrived in New Zealand, we haven't gone out as often for meals. It's a combination of things like schedules, wanting to cook at home, proximity to restaurants, but mostly, it's operating hours, and being newbies! Surprisingly on weekends many restaurants are closed. And as newbies, sometimes we end up at the dingiest places, I sure do miss grubhub and yelp for reviews!

But, we've made a commitment to get out and try new places, and keep an eye out on new places we want to visit. Hoping that will expand our nights out on the town, however small the town may be!

Recently we ventured out to Featherston Bar and Grill. I passed it while on the bus and was mesmerized by the height of the ceilings, the lights and the crowd action! We checked it out and while I failed on taking pictures to showcase the ceilings and outter lights, it was packed, and promised classic kiwi hospitality. Um, yes please!

I originally planned on chowing down on a big salad or grilled fish (I had the stomach flu earlier in the week and once I had my appetite back, I inhaled a ridiculous amount of junky food, so a lighter meal was on my mind.) Just one little problem... I wasn't going to find a lighter option on this menu, and I'm not complaining!

Note sure if you can see, but the menu also includes "on toast". This section has been on every menu I've seen. The variety of options offered "on toast" cracks me up! For me, I'm used to toast being a side item to your breakfast/brunch meal, but here it's the star! And, for the simplicity of the items, it's often expensive, usually $12+. Avocado and tomato, ON TOAST! Mushroom and pesto sauce, ON TOAST! Scrambled eggs, ON TOAST!

So many great options to choose from, that ultimately I settled on a mushroom and chardonnay risotto (with a glass of buttery chard on the side) while Kev enjoyed pork belly and ribs.

Another meal I enjoyed was a Maori Hangi. Hangi food is traditionally cooked in an earth oven (hangi), a pit in the ground and wrapped in banana leaf. Meat (pork, chicken, beef) carrot, cabbage, sweet potato are all steamed up and served in the banana leaf and often enjoyed on special occasions. While the traditional methods are cooked in the hangi, modern versions are cooked in tin foil in a regular oven. I enjoyed one tasty and filling meal for lunch and loved that it was similar to Thanksgiving food!

Half eaten, don't judge - I was hungry.

There was even stuffing! A pleasant surprise because Thanksgiving (Canadian or American) is not celebrated, and while on this topic, fruit pies are considered odd. Especially pumpkin pies, I get side-eye when I bring it up. Pies here are meat pies. Savory, dirty pies (as they are referred to), often enjoyed late night or to cure the morning hangover. Dirty pies!?! And fruit pies get the cut-eye?

I didn't expect food options or restaurants to be different, but they are, there are small changes with menu focus, service, operating hours and traditions. I'm looking forward to more nights out so we can dine at more places and discover more kiwistyles! And, I even picked up a kiwi cookbook, so I can adopt more of the New Zealand cooking methods into my own.

Have you relocated only to find the food differs? What makes it different, and are you brave willing to try to new things, or a creature of habit?


  1. Everything looks amazing! That's surprising about the fruit pies . . . no ones gets between me and my pumpkin pie :)

  2. Aren't Hangis great?! The Fijian equivalent is the lovo, for which I'm catching a bus (2 hours) and boat (1 hour) and another bus (1.5 hours) to travel to Levuka (Father in law's place) to eat! Have a great weekend Sara.

  3. that looks delicious!!!!

    and ohhhh yea the food is different in norway than in the US. they eat so much bread here i have gained weight. im trying to eat like a norwegian, but it's not been good for my body. i went through (omg i cant believe im about to write this...) constipated times trying to adjust to the food here. it was really tough. but now im getting a grip on it and enjoying it!!!

    one thing i love here is they eat fresh bread! not the sliced crap we have in the US, but true fresh bread. so i actually enjoy the sandwiches when i eat them. just my weight doesn't enjoy them!!!


So glad you wandered by!