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Christchurch, New Zealand

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Christchurch Dining

South Island culture is derived from its British roots, though it’s also been recently influenced by Polynesian (Maori) and Asian cultures. Its cuisine boasts a great variety of styles and ingredients. South Island is also home to important wineries that produce sauvignon Blanc wines, said to be among the best in the world by wine critics.

As you tour the many places of interest in South Island, you’ll discover the variety of restaurants that make dining in South Island a special experience.

Amazing Views
You’ll find that just about every restaurant or pub in South Island offers great views. However, there are a few that stand out. One of these places is the Skyline Gondola Restaurant in Queenstown. It’s not just a great place for dining in South Island, but a must see. Located high above town, if offers the most stunning views of Coronet Peak, the mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter peaks. You can enjoy the great buffet on the terrace and sample South Island seafood like salmon, salads, roast meats and specialty desserts. You may ascend by gondola or via one of the walking tracks.

Elegant
Queenstown is home to about 100 or more restaurants, and the Bunker Restaurant & Bar ranks among the top, described as a gem in fine dining in South Island. A great way to start your meal is with home made Bunker bread with spreads and olive oil. Among its specialties you’ll find creative dishes like roasted quail with caramelized chicory, warm tomato and herb salad with a port wine sauce. If you’re looking to try the seafood, the restaurant’s sautéed scallops with a lobster dressing, white beans, covered with a French style veloute sauce, is a favorite among the locals. The restaurant also serves venison, roasted calf, duck and salmon.

Tip: Make room for the incredible desserts. The chef’s favorite is a candied jalapeno with Thai rice pudding, apricots, blueberries, pistachios and caramelized carrot crisps.

Though pricier than the average, its menu is well worth it.

International Cuisine
There is so much variety for dining in South Island; you’ll have an opportunity to taste the gastronomy of different parts of the world. Plaza India Bistro and Tandoor, is one of the favorite Indian restaurants; it has four locations, the most visited being in Nelson.
The atmosphere is casual with a touch of classic Indian elegance. You’ll find specialties like korma (boneless beef curry), Man Soori Kebab (baby lamb in tandoori oven), samosas (pastry filled with spiced vegetables). Best of all, you can ask the chef to prepare your meal to your taste, from mild to very hot. The prices are reasonable.

Other places to experience great dining in South Island are the numerous pubs; you’ll find great food, live music and best of all, reasonable prices. Try The Bog Irish Bar for the best Irish stew, the Jolly Poacher for its in-house brews, or Vic & Whale Beer Café for wonderful brunches, all located in Christchurch.
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