A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.



Hunting and gathering in New Zealand

Posted date:  January 13, 2010
3 Comments


Cockles, collected on Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

Frankly, I wasn’t blown away by my restaurant meals during my recent stay in Auckland. We had some genuinely fun and tasty dinners, but what I’ll continue to remember are the meals based around ingredients that we were able to pick, scavenge and hunt ourselves.

Our hunting and gathering started close to home, at G and G’s beautiful garden just outside Auckland:

G and G's garden, Auckland, New Zealand

which had everything from fresh herbs to potatoes:

Freshly gathered from G and G's garden, Auckland, New Zealand

Maytel had the brilliant idea to take some of the abundant Swiss chard (known locally as silverbeet) and combine it with a blue cheese studded béchamel, which Hock topped with crispy breadcrumbs:

Swiss chard in bechamel sauce, Auckland

Twice we were given rabbit, an invasive menace in New Zealand, whose hunting is encouraged:

Preparing rabbit, Auckland, New Zealand

One lot we braised with red wine and served over homemade gnocchi:

Braised rabbit served over homemade gnocchi, Auckland, New Zealand

and with another two I made two vast pots of rabbit and oyster gumbo, easily the tastiest gumbo I’ve ever assembled.

After a few days in Auckland we headed over to nearby Waiheke Island:

Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

where within minutes of arriving, we were on our knees looking for pipis, a type of local shellfish:

Collecting cockles on Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

We found none, but instead came upon heaps of deliciously salty cockles, half of which we grilled:

Grilled cockles, collected off Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

accompanied, courtesy of G and G, by a 2000 vintage Moët (it wasn’t all hard work):

A glass of 2000 Moet, enjoyed off Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

and the other half Maytel stir-fried Chinese-style.

The next day we took off on G and G’s boat, The Beaver, for some fishing, and returned 12 hours later with this catch of snapper:

Snapper caught off Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

Hock filleted the entire lot, some of which we gave to the neighbours, some of which I made into a ceviche (following this simple recipe from memory), and the remainder of which he made into some truly memorable fish and chips:

Making fish and chips, Waiheke Island, outside Auckland, New Zealand

Amazingly, it wasn’t until virtually my last day in New Zealand that I set foot in a grocery store.


3 Comments for Hunting and gathering in New Zealand


Glad you had a great time here despite not finding the good restaurants. That’s an amazing haul of fish you caught!

    bequite u know nothing there a good reserrunts the things they caught makes a resturant

I’ve always wanted to go to NZ…

Just wanted to say I’ve followed your blog for quite a while and love it. Your food photos are amazing!

I was also curious to know if you know of a good (or any) Arab restaurants in the Ramkhamhaeng area?

Again, keep up the good work!



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