New Zealand : Homemade Valentine’s Dinner

i was fortunate enough to spend the (supposedly) most romantic day of the year with my friends and a ‘meat selection’ platter! and even better, everything was home-cooked by the boys (yep, the boys cook!)

i cant exactly remember why we settled for a very meaty dinner that day (well, most likely because we’ve been sheep after sheep after sheep…and sometimes cows every now and then) but i vividly recall the fullness after eating those delicious protein :p

assortment of meat

we had an assortment of beef and lamb cutlets (and a ‘sprinkle’ of garlic mushroom on the side with some greens) which were all bought locally and seasoned with local herbs. just another way of soaking in some new zealand goodness!

another new zealand ‘goodness’ that we managed to soak was monteith’s brewery’s own black beer (you can taste the chocolate/caramel/coffee note in it!) – okay, i’m not a beer-sommelier…or however you spell it. i just know that it is one heck of a beer! i’m still trying to find where in melbourne that sell these babies :(

monteith's black beer

and to top it all off, we had a view!! might not be overlooking anything significant but we could still see the sunset that night *sigh* – such an ending to a beautiful day…

dinner with a view

in case you are wondering, yes, that is indeed a bottle of sweet chili sauce on the table ^_^v

note: we stayed at Fiordland Holiday Park

New Zealand : Arrowtown

in new zealand, we visited a small old town just outside of queenstown. the name is arrowtown, probably the equivalent of ‘balarat’ in melbourne. the town itself is quite picturesque, framed by mountains on 3 sides- really did remind me of the old cowboy town in the west (sans the saloons and gunshots, of course)

we were planning on a light lunch (because we booked the dinner at Skyline Restaurant- pictures coming soon!) so we stopped by this cafe, which i cant recall the name of :( but they have the prettiest salad i’ve ever seen – tasty too!

the prettiest salad ever

isnt it the prettiest? it consist of shredded purple lettuce, feta, pecans and some more greens. i’m not a big of salads but this one is dee-lee-cious! or maybe i’m just biased because of the appearance :p

we also had some savoury scone on the side. what i love about this scone is that it’s made in front of our eyes! they baked everything behind the counter and in particular this one, you can see the cheeses that they use (a very delicious NZ cheddar and parmesan cheeses were involved in the process) – a very well done savoury scone i must say!

savoury scone

okay, as far as i can remember, this little cafe has a huge ‘Lost Cafe’ sign above it but we later found out that it is not the said cafe. oh well, if you ever visited Arrowtown in NZ, you will have plenty of choices to dine at, both casual and fine dining available :)

New Zealand : La Dolce Vita

during our trip to New Zealand, we stopped by a small town called Te Anau. before we got there, we were thinking how limited our eating-out option would be but turns out, we were spoilt with choices! however, due to our unawareness of opening-closing time of the eateries in such a small town, La Dolce Vita was one of the few options left :(

dont get me wrong. it wasn’t a disappointing experience. it was AN experience! i was in New Zealand and enjoying life, what’s there to complain about! :)

venison steak

rib-eye steak

the steaks were ‘okay’ – we ordered the rib-eye medium rare and the venison medium-well done. but, they wrote in the other way *sigh* oh wells, we were hungry and they were closing so…

venison ragout spaghetti

i ordered the venison ragout spaghetti, just to be safe and it was quite pleasant for my liking. or probably because i was just too hungry? well, either way, the spaghetti was cooked quite well :)


meanwhile, on our way to Te Anau, we stopped by at Queenstown [food blogging at Queenstown is probably one of the most exciting so stay tuned!] and we grabbed a quick lunch in the mall’s foodcourt. i got me some sushi at Yama Sushi!

salmon and avocado sushi rolls


[previous New Zealand entry was Astro Cafe Breakfast! one of the best views EVER so make sure you’ve ‘sipped’ a bit :) ]

New Zealand : Astro Cafe

no offense to every cafe/restaurant/eatery i’ve ever been to but this place is WITHOUT A DOUBT has the best view (yet) – located on top of a mountain (no, seriously) and it was clear skies when we were there. just writing about it makes me wanna go back to Lake Tekapo and revisit this humble eatery!

astro blueberry muffins

the menu selection is, honestly, quite ordinary but they sourced their ingredients from the best of local produces (eg NZ salmon!! excuse the exclamations please) the “usual” egg & bacon, fritatas and bagels are available.

pumpkin & cucumber fritata

muesli & berries

vegie fajitas with tomato salsa

big breakfast set

NZ salmon and spinach with cream cheese on toasted bagel

so that’s the lot that we got. needless to say, the view enhanced the taste of our food by a thousand fold. yes, i keep talking about the view because it is THAT good. but first, the coffee. i ordered a latte and found out that they are using Supreme’s beans! *yay!*

astro coffee

and while we were enjoying all those delicious delicacies above, here’s a glimpse of our view :)

astro view

aaaah… i miss that view so much!! waking up every morning and having your breakfast looking at that …*sigh*….

astro cafe


Astro Cafe is located at Lake Tekapo about halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown.

New Zealand : Old Library

as i have mentioned before, a group of us (me and friends) went to New Zealand for a week*. we went to Christchurch, Te Anau, Lake Tekapo, Milford Sound and Queenstown….yes, Queenstown. oh how i looooove Queenstown! anyways, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here :p

when we first arrived, we were so amazed by New Zealand’s “purity” (i refuse to call it beauty because beauty is relative, whereas purity is indisputable) that we were about 2 hours behind schedule :( we were meant to arrive in the first town Fairlie around 7pm but because of the impromptu picture taking along the way, we arrived around 9pm, which according to locals translates into ‘no one on the street’ – well, quite literally there was no one and everywhere was already closed :'(

however, we passed this place called ‘Old Library’ which was still opened but looked rrrrreally quiet. so a friend of mine decided to walk in and asked if they can serve dinner. after my friend confirmed that we can still have several dishes on the menu, we jumped in straightaway.

there were 7 of us and only 2 options, either salmon salad or fish & chips. i opted for the fish and chips because i was famished!

fish and chips

to be honest, i couldn’t tell if the fish and chips were really that delicious because i was THAT hungry but it certainly has one of the crunchiest batter i’ve ever come across! my friends decided to order the salmon salad and it was not bad too!

salmon salad

the vegies all looked fresh and so was the salmon! not to shabby for an ’emergency dinner’ i must say :)

but this was not our first meal in NZ, when we first arrived, it was a bit passed lunch time in Christchurch and we stopped on the first familiar sight that can guarantee a happy tummy ;)

burger king (aka hungry jack's)



*we went to NZ just a week before the devastating quake in Christchurch happened :(