Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fleurs Place, Moeraki


Fleurs Place, Moeraki
Fleurs Place

Before I tell you about Fleur's Place, I have to make a confession. I turned our New Zealand trip upside down just to have one dinner here. It was completely out of the way, and reflecting back, it didn't make sense logistically.

But, I wanted to go badly, and being the super nice guy my husband is, he re-arranged our entire trip. In the end, we took a 1 day detour to Fleurs Place and luckily, it all worked out. Our meal at Fleurs was fantastic and our visit to Moeraki was heaps of fun.

The word about Fleurs Place first leaked out when British chef and food writer, Rick Stein, wrote about this restaurant. When Rick Stein was told he could go anywhere in the world to write a travel article, he chose Fleurs Place. After reading about it, I wanted to check it out for myself.

When you walk in, you are likely to see Fleur Sullivan sitting at a wooden table working away. She is extremely friendly, and divides her time between working and chatting up her customers.

Fleurs Place, Moeraki
Fleurs Place

Fleur's Place has a very eclectic feel to it. The reason for this is because every little bit of her restaurant is made of recycled materials and antiques from around New Zealand. For example, the foundation of her building is made of borrowed timber from a building at Kakanui wharf, her staircase comes from an old mansion in Dunedin, and her tables and chairs were found at the Oamaru racecourse.

Things didn't always come so easy for Fleur. She faced many challenges trying to open this restaurant, and there were days where she felt very unsure about the future of the restaurant. It wasn't until the day she witnessed a whale swim close to her restaurant that she knew everything was going to be alright. According to Maori legend, the whale was a good omen.

One reason why her restaurant attracts so many people is the freshness of her fish. The fish come straight off her boat and are still wriggling when they enter her kitchen.

CK and I enjoyed our fresh meal with wonderful live music playing in the background.

Fleurs Place, Moeraki
Wharf at Fleurs Place

My meal was the flounder with Whitestone cheese rarebit, smoked eel, egg, and salad. This dish is everything Fleur stands for: good food and plenty of it.

A small funny story here. This dish was originally CK's. But, when he saw the eel head sitting on top of his flounder, he freaked out and switched dishes with me. It all worked out in the end because this was my favorite of the two.

Smoked Eel, rarebit cheese, and fish
Flounder with Whitestone Cheese Rarebit, Smoked Eel, Egg, and Salad

After the switch, CK's meal was the trumpeter fish with caper & lime sauce. The fish was lightly breaded and pan fried, and underneath it was a slew of fresh veggies. The caper & lime sauce was light and incredibly fresh.

Trumpeter with Caper and Lime Sauce
Trumpeter with Caper & Lime Sauce

For dessert, the two of us split a Tunisian orange cake with yogurt sorbet. This was a perfect end to a great meal. I loved the citrus in the cake, and the yogurt sorbet paired nicely. I also loved the extra touches: flower petals, dark chocolate, and almond shortbread.

Tunison Orange Cake
Tunisian Orange Cake with Yogurt Sorbet

I really loved their rustic looking plate and cutlery. Simple and elegant.

Tunison Orange Cake

After our dinner, I purchased Fleur's book entitled "Fleurs Place". This is a beautiful book detailing Fleurs personal story. It also includes pages and pages of original recipes from both her restaurant and her home.

You can buy her book via fishpond.co.nz

If you are ever in this area, a great attraction is the Moeraki Boulders. They are large, spherical boulders that sit along a stretch of Koekohe Beach. The Moeraki Boulders are on the AA Travel's 101 Must Do Things in New Zealand for Kiwis list.

Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki Boulders

Most were easy to climb but the one below was 5 ft high.

Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki Boulders

Fleurs Place
At the Old Jetty
Moeraki, Otago, New Zealand
Telephone: 03 439 4480


La Table De Nana said...

I can't believe the places you see:) I enjoyed reading about Fleurs' Place~

I am certain it was worth the change in agenda..Your husband did not want the head of the fish? That is so cute..you took it:)

I love eating by the water and I like the look of this rustic place..How wonderful the whale came by and gave the perfect omen.
I love the look of this place and I don't think it is unfamiliar to me..I just don't think it was Rick Stein and now I am searching my archives(badly scattered in my head..)
How lovely she is living a dream..good for her.

The Little Teochew said...

LOL! I would have freaked out at the eel head as well ;) But truly, their food and presentation are first class. I was wowed by the orange cake, in particular. How delightfully pretty. Great post!

Pam said...

I've been there...ish! We had fish & chips at a place near to there, after seeing the Moeraki boulders. My grandmother (who lives in Oamaru) told me about Fleurs' Place and said that it was an overpriced tourist trap! I still want to go though, after seeing these amazing photos. God I miss NZ :(

nooschi said...

Interesting about your grandmother's comment. We started our travels in Marlborough Sounds, and one of the local guys we met was raving about this place. He had the Fleurs book and was so excited about it. He pulled it out and showed us a bunch of the recipes he had tried. Yes, NZ rocks. My fav country in the world right now. Thanks for your comment!