For our first real meal in New Zealand, and by “real,” I mean the first meal where we weren’t so tired, we couldn’t think straight, we went with an all New Zealand theme at our hotel restaurant. We’re staying at the Kiwi International Hotel in Auckland, and its restaurant blows the reputation of hotel eateries out of the water. As long as you’re willing to sit and eat a leisurely meal, there have been few hotels that I’ve stayed at that have had food this good.
We started the meal off with fish and chips. New Zealand is a couple of islands, so it only makes sense that the seafood would be good. Not only is it fresh, but the people have grown up learning how to cook it right. The fish portion of our meal was two strips of moist, flaky, beautifully cooked fish. They were served on top of fried and with a salad that had a sweet and tangy dressing that was light. Ketchup and tartar sauce were included in little side dishes. I tried the tartar sauce and decided it wasn’t for me.
To drink, I had an L&P soda. This is, apparently, a lemon-flavored beverage bottled and world famous in New Zealand. It tasted like ginger ale to me, which is good. However, I thought it would taste like Squirt after watching one of those New Zealand tourist videos. The lemon was not overpowering at all. The can had a cool texture to it. The letters were smooth, but the dark spaces were bumpy.
To finish off the meal, we had a pavlova. I didn’t think I would like this dessert. Meringue topped with whip cream and kiwifruit? I was wrong. The meringue wasn’t as crunchy as I expected. In fact, the outside had a crispness to it, but the inside was delicate and soft. The tartness of the kiwifruits was a beautiful contrast to the sweetness of the meringue and the whipped cream. It was definitely a good meal. (The price for the food was $26 New Zealand, which I think is equivalent to about $18 American.)