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.
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.
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.
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 & 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.
Tunisian Orange Cake with Yogurt Sorbet
I really loved their rustic looking plate and cutlery. Simple and elegant.
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.
Most were easy to climb but the one below was 5 ft high.
At the Old Jetty
Moeraki, Otago, New Zealand
Telephone: 03 439 4480