F is for Friday Fajitas

Friday fajitas are a family tradition. With the meat (chicken and steak) cooked on the BBQ, the ones in New Zealand, eaten in the fresh air are particularly tasty. A table full of dishes of salsa, kidney beans, re-fried beans, grilled peppers, grated cheese, salad and sour cream are all the ingredients you need to add to your meat and wraps. Delicious.

F is for food generally. The food in New Zealand restaurants is fresh and tasty. We sampled many, from the formal to the casual. Local to F and J’s house, some of the best places to eat were within an industrial complex. The Silver Dollar is one of those, Cafe IZone another. At Cafe IZone I had the biggest, most delicious prawn salad ever.

In Akaroa we found The Brasserie where I had my first breakfast of buttermilk pancakes drenched in maple syrup and topped by grilled bananas and bacon. Extraordinary and yummy.

Also in Akaroa we had a delightful family dinner in Le Petit Bistro. Champagne to start of course. Wonderful lamb and beef. Canterbury beef with a truffle jus and horseradish croquettes.  Sadly one of us was horrified when her fish arrived on the bone and with its head still on. So a good deal of negotiation and food swapping went on. We accompanied the main course with red wine and finished off with a calming dessert wine, Hunter Valley Semillion.

Near the end of our trip we had dinner in The Curator’s House in Christchurch Botanic Gardens (where we spotted an Oxbridge style punt being steered by a chap in striped blazer and boater). The restaurant is a Spanish tapas restaurant. I had the best steak I have ever had — crispy on the outside and perfectly tender inside. The boys shared a paella.

On our way back from Akaroa we stopped at the Taitapu Hotel for a platter lunch. Sitting in the shade in a large sunlit garden we tucked into pork, chicken wings, Camembert balls, salami, chips, tomatoes, garlic bread, olives and pate.

On the transalpine express train, I had an incredibly sweet caramel and chocolate muffin. Sadly the potatoes gratin F and I shared was small and microwaved. Tasty though.

Off to a business meeting about memoir writing at the Laboratory and discovered smashed avocado and smoked salmon on toast is great.

Perhaps one of the strangest snacks were “Spaghetti Scrolls” made of scone mix covered in spaghetti in tomato sauce and cheese baked in the oven. Excellent. The food of choice for J and his golfing tournament buddies but there was plenty left for us!

Of course we mustn’t forget how organised and hardworking both F and Fr. Were as they catered and cooked in between forays to restaurants. As well as the Christmas and caravanning fare there were quiches, macaroni pie, chicken alla carbonara, bacon and egg rolls amongst many other meals — all delicious.



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