Queenstown’s amazing eats

I’m not really into the whole “take a photo of every meal you eat” trend that’s been happening for a while now, so I don’t instinctively pull out my phone/camera every time someone puts a plate of food in front of me. As such, I didn’t really take any photos of food while in Queenstown. (Yes, I’m still getting around to posting about stuff from my holiday, earlier this month. I suppose it’s good I don’t go on holidays too often…) In fact, I only took one photo of food while I was there. Even then, I was maybe a third into the meal before I stopped and thought that it might be worthwhile to take a picture.

I would drag this little guessing game on a bit longer, but anyone who knows Queenstown, or anyone who’s cheated and just scrolled down to read the rest of the post and/or look at the photo – anyone would know I’m talking about Fergburger.

I’d heard some good things about Fergburger. It seems like it’s the number one, most recommended place to visit in Queenstown. Even so, I hadn’t built my hopes up. I was questioning how good a burger could really be.

Well, it sure showed me!

Fergburger

Fergburger!!

Either that or I just made a really good burger choice for my tastes: the “Chief Wiggum” burger. And, in case the photo isn’t clear enough (and it quite possibly might not be – I only used my phone camera), the burger features tender, slow-cooked pork belly with crackling, plus hash brown, mustard and other things that I can’t remember. Everything just worked so well together…

If I go back to Queenstown, I’d like to try their other burger choices, you know, just in case I totally fluked it. My friends didn’t seem quite as enamoured by their burgers as I was with mine. The pies and breads in the Ferg Bakery next door were pretty spectacular, though. Their blueberry pie and apple pie were of proportions I’d never seen before – and generously filled too! Service was lovely, too, which is commendable of a place open 22 hours a day.

I think the best service, however, was at the Ballarat Trading Co.. We went there on a Thursday night, and they were obviously busy (everywhere is busy every night because it’s such a tourist town, filled with people who don’t have work the next day, any day) but we were seated quickly, orders taken promptly, food and drinks brought out in a timely manner. Not to mention the waitress who looked after us – pleasant, cheerful and ever-helpful. She even came back to our table after the bill (and tip!) had been taken care of, and asked if we wanted a container to take the left-overs away in!

I just think it’s a shame that I didn’t have much appetite that day. It was good, hearty food, but I just got full really quickly, and couldn’t do it justice…

But I was really glad that I somehow managed to regain my appetite the following day when we ordered a pizza and some Moroccan chicken wings from Winnies for dinner. Winnies is part of the same company/ownership (?) as the Ballarat Trading Co., so we kind of figured that one good turn deserves another. We chose the “Montonara” pizza, which featured chicken, sun-dried tomato, sweet chili sauce, sour cream and other good things. It was seriously amazing.

The place that I really, really want to go back to, however, (apart from Fergburger) is Public. We ate here for our last dinner in Queenstown, and the food was beyond my expectations (granted, I didn’t really know what to expect walking in there, but everything on the menu sounded incredible – I wanted to order everything). I loved the salmon (the most perfectly cooked salmon I’ve ever had), loved the venison osso bucco, loved the pork belly… Need I go on? Service was great too – our waiter was charming and friendly – and it was a nice kind of environment.

As I’m finishing up this post, I keep thinking of the other places that I should give mentions to…

Pub on Wharf: We went here for lunch on our first day. Without referring to my notes, I distinctly remember that I had the liver pate and a warm vegetable salad. Both were scrumptious (and not just because I was quite hungry at the time). It felt closer to a “bistro” than a “pub”, but I don’t think it was over-priced or anything. They did well. I’d definitely come back here on a future visit.

My Thai: I’m not sure if this place is at all related to the “My Thai” restaurant in Brisbane but, either way, their food was very satisfying. However, from my experience with Thai food, anything with duck or soft-shell crab is always a winner, so I guess the odds were kind of in their favour.

PJ’s FIsh & Chips: Best fish burger ever. That is all.

Patagonia Chocolates: They have a store in nearby Arrowtown as well as one in Queenstown Airport. Their lavendar hot chocolate is quite beautiful, but my favourite of their selection is definitely their “Higos”, which are essentially dried figs, stuffed with walnuts, and covered in dark chocolate. They are potentially the most perfect singular, bite-size thing I have ever eaten.

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