Blue Kanu the place for you

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT - AT­MO­SPHERE: FOOD: SER­VICE: VER­DICT:

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.

RHYS CHAMBERLAIN

The Wild Fiord­land Ven­sion at Blue Kanu, Queen­stown.

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