Aotearoa land of the long white cloud; the homeland of kiwis, the rugby world cup, award winning Pinots, fresh seafood and of course, chulli buns (that is- chilli bins, esky’s or ice boxes).
Extra mile- 10
Budget – Medium
*Scores are out of 10
As a kid growing up I was fortunate enough to have access to fresh seafood on a regular basis, for example I could have crayfish whenever I wanted, it was so common place that I would only eat the tails (quite the crayfish snob). Needless to say I was horrified when MC had to pay for his crayfish in last year’s blog (and that I also had to eat the legs). New Zealand is synonymous with organic fresh produce, meat and fish, and as such many restaurants claim to have ‘the best seafood/meat/fish and chips…’ around. So when we were told that we were being taken out to lunch at New Zealand’s best seafood restaurant, my excitement at the prospect of eating amazing seafood was tinged with slight sceptism. Not because I thought the restaurant would be bad, but because it takes a lot to impress me with seafood.
MC’s Dad, TC (the big version of MC – and for the record I have decided that MC definitely takes after his father, both handsome men of course) had booked us a table at the wonderful restaurant Fleurs Place.
In order to get to the restaurant we had to go on an hour and a half hour tiki tour (this means drive). Driving an hour and a half to a restaurant requires commitment, and I suspected that if TC was willing to drive all that way for a meal, then clearly the food was worth it.
Fleurs is off the beaten track, and is tucked away in the bay of Moereki. One has to drive past the attraction of the Moereki boulders (which are just big round stones in the sand), and follow the coastline road to reach Fleurs. MC and I were commenting that even though we had driven that particular stretch of road between Timaru and Dunedin numerous times we had never known that quaint Moereki Bay had existed.
Fleurs is very unassuming, and is a brown shack like place tucked on piece of land that juts out into the harbour. On one side is the all the fishing boats, to the front an old wharf and to the other side the open ocean. Rural coastal NZ at its finest!
For such an isolated place the restaurant was busy!
Upon sitting down and reading more about Fleurs, it was apparent that this restaurant really did live up to its reputation. Especially since Rick Stein, the seafood specialist and guru chef celebrity, had named it as one of the best seafood dining experiences he has ever had. Not a bad for a little kiwi place.
After picking the wine (very important that you select a good white wine to go with the seafood) we ordered our entrees. We settled on Fleurs homemade chicken liver patè and blue cod wings with plum sauce.
The liver pate was the best patè I have ever tasted. It was creamy, fresh and ‘melt in the mouth’ goodness. The cod wings were exactly that, the fins and flesh of Cod slathered in a delightful plum sauce.
For the main I ordered the Pan-fried Moki in anchovy butter with Smoked Mussels, and the men ordered Smoked Bacon wrapped Blue Cod with Cockles in White wine Sauce…(by the way I am salivating at the memory of this dish).
My first words to come out of my mouth after eating a juicy little mussel were along the lines of ‘Oh. My. God’, however, if TC wasn’t there it probably would’ve been ‘F**k me’ – that’s what I was saying inside my head anyways.
I had a mouth orgasm (commonly known as a mouthgasm- MC). And I kept having them because the flavours on my plate were absolutely amazing. The flavours were the perfect balance of salty, smoky and sweet, and the fish was perfectly cooked. Words cannot express how happy I was eating that meal, and from the looks on MC and TC faces, I can assume that they too were having mouth orgasms (hmm that sentence sounds a little twisted).
In conclusion, I can unequivocally say that Fleurs Place Restaurant is THE best seafood that I have ever tasted, and would recommend to anyone who is in NZ or going to NZ to make the effort to go visit it. As one previous diner had written on Fleurs wall ‘this is one to tick off the bucket list’.
That is a glowing review if ever I read one. She’s not wrong though. Fleurs was simply awesome.
Dad and the rest of my family have all been there and I’ve had to live with their stories of its seafood brilliance.
Seeing as I only really got into seafood in the last few years, for me to say this place rocked my world is pretty damn significant. So, you know, react accordingly…
There is something so peaceful about a place that is by the sea, surrounded by nature and is completely unpretentious and brilliant. I loved this meal for three reasons:
There is something more to great tasting seafood than meets the taste buds, and that’s its immense benefits.
Fresh, wild caught seafood is so jammed full of nutrients, it’s essentially a superfood. Protein, vitamins, minerals, tick tick tick. However, the kicker with seafood of this quality is its Omega 3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA.
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, or been living as Tom Hanks’ Wilson on a deserted island, you should know of ‘Omega 3s’ or fish oil. Well, remarkably enough, fish oil comes from fish…
There is no better source than wild caught fish, like what we had at Fleurs. This stuff is a legit superfood and I recommend it as a stable supplement to anyone. Like everything, there is no ‘one size fits all’, but omega 3s (name DHA and EPA) provide too many benefits to us to name them all. However, a few of the best are improved cognition, anti-inflammatory, fat loss and numerous overall health benefits.
If you’re not currently, start taking a quality fish oil supplement today. Or tomorrow. Just get some very soon.
Oh and get to Fleurs Place, it’s fucking awesome! Also- Fleur herself took the call when dad booked us in, took great interest in my 52 meats from 2012 and also in this 52 Eats project, to the degree that she insisted we visit her that day at her other restaurant in nearby Oamaru. Sadly, we couldn’t find the place, so missed out on meeting Fleur and chatting about the food and this blog. Still, that’s pretty remarkable ‘extra mile’ stuff.
Not only that, but the fish was so fresh, we could see if being filleted outside the window as it arrived to the restaurant. Completely acceptable…
As I write this I am sat back at my desk in Sydney. I can’t complain, the view is stupid good, however, we had an amazing time back in New Zealand visiting friends, family and some of the best country side NZ has to offer. In fact we also visited one more restaurant for this current week’s blog.
That will hit your eyes sometime early next week.
For now ka kite ano (see you again)…
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