Wednesday, July 19, 2017

To Moeraki and Fleur's Place: My Favorite Resto in NZ

Did we return to Moeraki because it's a gem on the Pacific or were are we really here to eat at Fleur's Place again? Perhaps the two can't be disentangled, so closely are they affiliated.

Fleur's Place boasts fish fresh from the dock just meters from its tables. In 2015 Fleur told me she started the restaurant to encourage people to eat a range of fish they might not otherwise try. Click here for some beautiful pictures of her restaurant from our first visit.

Today we start with pate.

I'm interested in where this gin is made. Our waitress checks and says Takaka. What? Must be the Schnapp Dragon Village Distillery where we sampled many delicious small-batch concoctions on the last trip to Golden Bay the day we had a flat tire.

Upon further research, that small distillery has perhaps renamed itself Dancing Sands Distillery. We look forward to a second visit. Whatever the case, I'm having a gin fizz.

This after a nice walk along the shore. Massive rains are predicted for the next couple days and I think I see the edge of the front.

The interior of Fleur's Place is a visual playground.

We take a seat next to the stove on this cool overcast day.

Fleur fusses in the loveliest way over her customers. What have you chosen?, she asks Art, who tells her the scallops, and she nods sagely, saying "they're very good today."

I've decided on the sole, in the happy company of perfectly cooked organic vegetables and a tray of three sauces. The fish comes with one sauce only, but Fleur assures me I'll want to try several...and of course she's right. The sole is as fresh as can be, caught this morning, filleted by the fisher or chef, and rinsed only in sea water before it's given a light dusting of flour and sauteed in butter.

For dessert: fig pudding with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Two spoons please.

A two-and-a-half hour lunch this delicious is maybe the best living I can imagine.

If like us you can't get enough of Fleur's Place, click here for a story on our first meal in 2015. Or you could just wait until we return in the next few days.

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