Alfresco Dining – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #3

January 31, 2011 at 10:30 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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After emptying my tummy on the roller coaster ride watching the whale’s tail, I needed to replenish my fuel tank badly. Earlier on, we missed our motel and saw a stall selling barbecued seafood that smelled good. It was recommended by the motel as the most economical and tasty, offering authentic Kiwi-styled barbecued fare. Even Lonely Planet recommends it. So we thought we shall give it a try.

A simple make-shift stall…

The menu…Affordable by NZ’s standard…

I ordered the Prawn Pattie. Tisu Boy wanted the Grilled Fish but was told that it was sold out. 😦 We peeped at other people’s order of the scallops and mussels and the portion looked small…more a side dish than a proper meal. Not knowing what is White Bait, Tisu Boy decided that he wanted to be “adventurous” so went ahead and ordered that after the lady said it’s a very authentic NZ food. We paid and happily took the “number pebble” to find ourselves a seat. But the makeshift tables were all occupied so we settled for another more private table further away… :p

Our “private table” complete with salt and pepper seasoning, set against
a backdrop of shore plants. We had the sound of waves as background music.
All perfect except that it was getting a bit cold now…

A laminated paper reminding diners not to feed wild pigeons as their
droppings can spread diseases. Great idea for using the reflective material
on the words for easy reading at night

Our little privacy was soon intruded by an elderly couple from England, who asked to share our table. Had a little chat and found that they were retired and would be spending about a week or so in Kaikoura before touring around other parts of NZ. Wow…I wished I had the luxury to slowly explore…We only had slightly more than a day here. When I went to the money changer back home, the old guy was a bit surprised that I asked to change New Zealand notes. He asked why was I going there and commented that no Singaporeans go there as there is “nothing to do and only the retirees will go” as it is so expensive! Was a bit offended then cos I thought it was cool to go NZ with the many choices of outdoor activities available…a bit like in OZ, except that there is definitely more places to shop in Oz. Maybe really nothing to do for people who only travels overseas just to hop from one shopping centre to another…but definitely a haven for outdoor or nature lovers! So when I heard the couple were retirees, couldn’t help but think of the money changer…Soon, our number was called out and Tisu Boy went over to collect our food with the number pebble…should have taken a picture of that.. :p

When he came back, was a bit surprised to see the dish so simple and the portion so small…Thought angmohs normally serve bigger portion…But after all the vomiting, maybe it was not a good idea to eat too full either…

My Prawn Pattie. Not too bad except too little prawn…hahah…Forgot to take
a proper pix before biting…Too hungry and cold…

And we sure forgotten to take the White Bait Pattie!! Was curious what is White Bait all about and turned out it looked and tasted like those little white fish we called Silver fish (银鱼仔), which is so easily available and sold cheaply in our supermarkets! These come either dried or chilled but both taste great with omelette. Wow! So NZ$8 for a “gan hee gia” (Ikan Billi in Hokien) with roti?? Not that it didn’t taste good but a bit expensive right?! Hahah….Found it so funny that we were speechless…haha….

Well, according to Wikipedia, white bait in New Zealand are the juvenile of fish like the inanga, which “lays its eggs during spring tides in autumn on the banks of a river amongst grasses that are flooded by the tide. The next spring tide causes the eggs to hatch into larvae which are then flushed down to the sea with the outgoing tide where they form part of the ocean’s plankton mass. After six months the developed juveniles return to rivers and move upstream to live in freshwater.” White bait are caught by open-mouthed handheld nets and is a seasonal activity. “The combination of the fishing controls, a limited season and the depletion of habitat as a result of forest felling during the era of colonisation results in limited quantities being available on the market.” It is considered a delicacy and commands high prices.

Er, maybe if we had read more about white bait before ordering, we would appreciate it more…hahah…

Tisu Girl returning the plates at the collection box. Everyone else was very

A photo with the friendly lady boss

Also see related posts:
> A Roller Coaster Ride – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #2
> Mass Exodus – Christchurch, New Zealand Trip #1


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