Blue Kanu the place for you
The small Pacific-themed restaurant was humming when my wife and I got in for a latish dinner on a very rare excursion away from the darling children. We didn’t really know what to expect. A Pacific restaurant in Queenstown, which is about as far away from the ocean as you can get in New Zealand. It had all the decor of a Pacific-styled restaurant. The servers were decked out in Hawaiian shirts and the doors and windows were wide open allowing for a light breeze. Other patrons were cheery and we were seated right at the end of the restaurant which is good for the romantics but possibly not so good for getting amongst the vibe. All that was needed to enhance the atmosphere was a fellow playing the bongo drums.
There is only one word for the spread we were treated to ... yummo. The one dish that keeps
my mouth watering to this day was the Wild Fiordland Venison. The meat was tender and wellcooked, if slightly lacking in salt. However, it was the sauce it was swimming in that was the star. Smoky, peppery and absolutely delish.
What made it extra satisfying was that at a Pacific-style restaurant, you would expect to order seafood and if you dared order anything else, you might be disappointed. Not so. My wife doesn’t eat seafood and as we were ‘‘sharing’’ (damn it), I had to go without. The Spicy Chicken Karaage with Wasabi Aioli and the Char Sui Pork Belly Steamed Bun as an entree were also magic. The Fire Cracker Chicken was good but again lacking in salt. I like salt.
Our server, a polite and wellmannered North American, was outstanding. If we tipped in New Zealand, he would get a large one. Fortunately, we don’t tip so I didn’t have to shell out to receive great service. He was knowledgeable, friendly and catered to our every need, namely, beverages. We were able to wow him also, by being the first people ever to eat (drink?) all of the sauce from the venison dish. The gents behind the bar were also excellent and up for a good old yarn which is what I’m keen on too.
We left Blue Kanu merry and satisfied and with intentions of going back again. Next time, however, I’m not sharing and I’ll be tasting every available seafood dish. We had a really enjoyable time.
The Wild Fiordland Vension at Blue Kanu, Queenstown.