When it comes to summer dining, we think you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than Aotearoa’s abundant offering of kai moana, and the local chefs who do brilliant things with it. To help guide your craving, we’ve homed in on some of the best seafood dishes to seek out this summer.
Ruakaka Kingfish from Hello Beasty
This new addition to Hello Beasty’s menu is far more beauty than beast, comprising exquisitely fresh pieces of kingfish crudo paired with perfectly balanced flavours of whipped avocado, radish, pickled daikon, buttermilk and sudachi dressing (sudachi is a small, lime-like Japanese fruit), and wakame.
Smoked Scallops Grilled on Lava Stone from La Marée
These fragrant morsels see balsamic, beetroot, lemon caviar and horopito join expertly-grilled scallops in each harmoniously complex bite.
Scampi Corndogs from Ahi
Everything tastes better in batter, including juicy, impressively-sized scampi. This dish is worth ordering for the dipping sauce alone.
Paua Risotto from Onemata
Amidst an array of dishes that showcase the best of Aotearoa’s ingredients, this risotto is a stand-out with miso butter, shiitake mushroom and onsen egg complementing the delicate paua.
Buttermilk Blue Cod Wings from Kingi
Roll up your sleeves and tuck into a plate of these tasty wings — crunchy on the outside, moist and flaky on the inside, the only bad part is when it’s over.
Fiordland Crayfish Eclairs from Onslow
Creamy lobster, air-light eclair and a hint of basil combine for a bite-sized delight that is incredibly moreish.
Oysters from Depot
It’s hard to choose just one thing from Depot’s excellent raw bar, which includes the likes of clams, kingfish and our must-try — oysters. Take your pick from three local varieties (or try them all). Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Chipotle Prawn BLAT from The Crab Shack
A soft buttered roll houses juicy prawns and crispy bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato in this sandwich of our dreams. Doused with spicy mayo, it’s the perfect amount of creamy with a kick.
Mussel Escabeche from Bar Magda
From Bar Magda’s Filipino-inspired fare, this mussel escabeche is a suitably refreshing dish on its ‘something cold’ menu. Served with green garlic sauce and pickled fennel, it’s bright, savoury and fresh.
Smoked Trevally Rillettes from Atelier
From Karangahape Road newcomer Atelier, this smoked trevally rillettes dip is perfect for spreading on its special Daily Bread sourdough — topped with fried capers and salmon caviar, and paired with cornichons, there’s balance to every bite.
Grilled Snapper from Soul Bar & Bistro
There’s a lot to be said for simplicity, and a perfectly cooked piece of fish often hits the spot. Soul’s grilled snapper is served with a delicious and colourful confit tomato and saffron sauce.
Seafood Platter from Ostro
The freshest catch sings on this loaded seafood platter, comprising local battered and fresh oysters, Skull Island prawns, trevally ceviche, tuna and smoked green lip mussels — served with flavoursome dressings and dipping sauces. This dish is summer on a plate.