Cuisine & Wine

New Zealand Cuisine: Innovative and electric

New Zealand’s culinary presentations are regarded as among the best in the world

New Zealand’s culinary presentations are regarded as among the best in the world with a diverse range of ingredients utilizing the ‘fresh is best’ policy which extends from seafood and prime beef and lamb, to fresh fruit and vegetables. The overall ‘Pacific Rim’ influence that is peculiar to New Zealand takes its inspiration from regions and countries such as Europe, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Japan and Vietnam. This unique blend of influences has created a mouth-watering range of flavours and food available from cafes and restaurants nationwide.

For dishes that have a distinctly New Zealand style look out for lamb, pork and venison; salmon, crayfish, Bluff oysters, paua (abalone), mussels and scallops; kumara (sweet potato); kiwifruit and tamarillo; and pavlova, our national dessert, made from meringue and lashings of fresh whipped cream topped with fresh fruit or berries.

While the main centres support a few elegant, silver-service restaurants, the trend is towards more relaxed cafe-bar dining. There is a wide variety of international food available including Japanese, Indian, Halal, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Malaysian and Thai. There are more than 900 Asian restaurants throughout New Zealand.

While you are here, take the opportunity to discover more about New Zealand wines. Our white wines, particularly Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, have achieved an international reputation for excellence – and the reds are catching-up fast! The wine trails are wonderful and are to be found in most parts of New Zealand, with emphasis being Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and the Christchurch Plains.

Most night-spots, restaurants and cafes serve liquor seven days a week. You can purchase alcohol from liquor outlets (beer, wine and spirits) and supermarkets (beer and wine only) seven days a week. Legally you must be 18 years old to buy alcohol or consume it in a public place, and you may be asked for a photo-ID.