Amazing Restaurant in amazing Setting
Fleur Sullivan is a living legend: Winner of numerous hospitality awards in New Zealand for her outstanding Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge, she went to retire from this grueling business to the small costal village of Moeraki, halfway between Oamaru and Dunedin. Watching the fishermen unload heaps of fresh seafood every day at the small jetty, she set up an old caravan and started selling chowder. In 2002 she expanded her little business and started another restaurant, set on a small peninsula in Moeraki harbour, surrounded by water with gorgeous views over the south Pacific. The building is a work of art with plenty of angles and small nooks and crannies, made purely out of old wooden beams, with an impressive bar in the middle of the room, and a small gallery with a balcony, on which Gwyneth Paltrow a couple of weeks ago apparently enjoyed her Salad. The food is impressive, with an eye for detail, featuring mainly produce from the local organic growers and farmers and of course a plethora of seafood from her small jetty. Prices range between 60 to a 100 NZ dollars for a meal for two, but you can just drop by for a beer if that's too steep for your wallet. The winelist only features local products, with prices from 40 to 120 dollars per bottle, but there's plenty of choice for guests who only want to have the odd glass.
Fleur herself can be seen observing her staff, communicating with the punters, waiting and discussing menu with the cook: You can see that this place is genuinely her creation, with her being involved in all aspects of the business. That's probably the reason why it's so successful: the place is always brimming with custumers, wether they're standing around the bar, having an Emerson's, sitting on the numerous tables around the building or just munching away with a happy expression on their face.
Downsides? Well, it can be pretty cramped at times, and the restaurant is drawing a lot of punters to this quiet little village. There's also an ongoing dispute with the local council about the use of the surrounding area for parking and dining, but the locals are firmly behind on the side of their local pub, and mediation will certainly bring everybody to a agreeable solution.
A worthwhile addition to the itineray if you're visiting North Otago.
Tel: +64 3 439 5980