When you think food, and New Zealand, your thoughts immediately turn to “Fush n’ Chups”, but as we found out during our visit there is a lot more diversity to it than that. As far as places go, Kaikoura is amazingly abundant with the most incredible array of scrumptious seafood to savour any palette. It was interesting to know that the Mouri meaning for Kaikoura actually means crayfish and it’s not hard to see why.
During our wonderful time spent in Kaikoura the place that we frequented the most for food was the acclaimed Seafood BBQ at Kaikoura. Even if you are not a total seafood enthusiast your taste buds will still be in for a huge treat. Even writing this now as I am thinking about the tantalising food we ate makes my mouth begin to water.
The Seafood BBQ operates daily from 11:00am until dark. It’s important to note that sometimes due to bad weather they may be closed.
To find this amazing place, obviously you will need to be at the South Island of New Zealand at the whale watching village of Kaikoura a beautifully sleepily community full of happy folk willing to offer help always with a friendly smile. Yes we make it sound like a made up place, but its real… I assure you.
To find this local secret, starting from the centre of Kaikoura, you head out to the peninsula where the fur seal colony is. Hugging the coast, it sits about 30 seconds drive from the seal colony. This map should help.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that when you arrive you spot a food van, you won’t find any carnival folk lurking inside. Also don’t be put off by its appearance it really is just a van and some tables situated by the side of the road so if you are looking for a distinguishably decorated diner this is not the place for you.
The view at the Seafood BBQ is what you first notice when you arrive. You are surrounded by lush green rolling hills not just dotted but covered by the finest New Zealand sheep. On the other side the waves gently crash on the pebbled beach along the magnificent Kaikoura coast line. In the background the snow covered mountain peaks and opposite that a collection of fur seals playing in the water or having a quiet doze on the near by rocks. What a specular sight.
It must be noted here that you can get take away but why would you being surrounded by that view?
As you step out of the car and walk towards this frequented haunt, your sensus are delightfully tickled by the deliciously wafting aromas. The menu is to put it simply and plainly is amazing! Don’t be fooled by the chilly bins resting near the van, they are filled with mouth-watering spoils fresh from the sea just for you.
Your chef and host provide you with expert knowledge on the catch of the day and suggest a meal to suit your desired tastes. The menu does change depending on the catch but mostly you can order crayfish, scallops and many varieties of local fresh fish this is usually served with a side of crisp salad and fluffy rice. They make a point of not being a fish and chip diner, so you won’t get any chips with your meal. The other delicacy that is a must to try from the menu is the insatiable seafood chowder served with fresh bread most enjoyed by sipping and dipping, perfect to warm your stomach on a cold New Zealand day.
You can be guaranteed that the catch is fresh everyday at this place as they are so popular they run out pretty quickly so we recommend that if you want to try this out, get in early at around 5:00pm for an early dinner and you won’t be disappointed, just sit back eat and relax in your jandals and think to yourself “How’s the serenity?!”
Stuart & Rebecca