I love the idea of destination restaurants where you drive for miles not just to eat, but to enjoy an experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Fleur’s Place is situated on a jetty in the small fishing village of Moeraki, about an hour or so drive from Dunedin. Headed by award-winning restauranteur– Fleur Sullivan, the restaurant specializes in fresh Moeraki seafood and local produce, and like those who had gone before us, we too were prepared to clock up some K’s for the experience. So, with baby in tow, we made our way from Dunedin to Christchurch (as part of our South Island summer odyssey), and made a long-awaited stop off at Fleur’s Place for lunch.
As we drove up to Fleur’s, I couldn’t help but be caught off-guard by the beauty of the dock-side setting. And I’m not sure if it’s out of practicality or for the sake of ‘spectacle’, but just to the side of the restaurant a man in gumboots and apron preps the catch-of-the-day, in full view of arriving diners. It doesn’t spoil the view or the experience though, even with seagulls perched, eagerly waiting for the promise of a tasty scrap to be thrown their way. What’s more, it reinforces the theme of ‘freshness,’ and I couldn’t help but think, who might be the lucky diner about to partake in a fresh fish feast!
Built from demolition materials and gathered collectibles from all over New Zealand, the building has a composed and considered make-shift interior with plenty of natural wood, a stained glass feature skylight/window and impressive collection of China teacups, which all makes for a cosy, homely and unpretentious atmosphere.
When it came to choosing something to eat, making our way through the myriad options available we settled on a warm fresh fish platter (one of many available platter options on the menu) which came with 3 different sauces. The fish was delicate and fresh, although it was difficult to discern between the 3 different types of fish on the platter. Surrounding the morsels of fish were vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli and corn. The platter was lovely, with an emphasis on natural flavours, and there was more than enough fish for the two of us.
On our way out, we were tempted by some of the baked treats on offer at the counter– Macarons, sticky pecan pie, savoury scones and yummy chocolate brownie. We left with the latter, and shared it on the drive through to Christchurch. It was definitely worth the stop, and I’m pleased that we can finally tick Fleur’s Place off our list of things to do!