Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Searching for the Best Sushi...in New Zealand

There are a number of reasons why I, with my characteristic zeal, pursued the sushi in Aotearoa, or Land of the Long White Cloud, otherwise known as New Zealand.

Known for its splendid natural beauty and famous for being an extreme sports mecca, New Zealand is also a First World country—I found these factors intriguing enough, so I finally paid a visit. And of course, the food, particularly the sushi, lured me there.

Sure, there were other foods I noshed on which were not classified as Japanese fare—there were the wonderfully greasy lamb burgers as well as fatty slow roasted pork belly sandwiches which were sure unlike any I’d ever tasted in other parts of the world…the food in New Zealand tastes untainted, naked and wholesome, like the pure, untreated vegetables and raw cubes of whale sashimi in Iceland. There were also fresh king prawns, meat pies, green-lipped New Zealand mussels…the list goes on and on.

What most people don’t realize is that sushi really does vary in different parts of the world, whether it’s the types of fish, the serving style, the trading hours or the uber-unusual ingredients. So allow this blog to take you on an Epicurean journey that features some of the very best that I could cram into my calendar—as well as my mouth—in two weeks’ time.

Do look for photos of the feasting in Queenstown, a destination in which I enjoyed the best crayfish maki, and even a Venison Roll, of all things. And don’t overlook the elegance and refinement of the upmarket establishments in Auckland (a vibrant city in which a third of the country’s entire population resides, which to me meant only one thing: good eating).

In two weeks, I managed to cover some of the most eclectic sushi in both the North and South Islands, expecting (and finding) some parallels to the sushi I came across in Australia a few years ago due to New Zealand’s proximity to Oz. From the tortuous metropolis of Auckland to the quaint city with the trademark “rotten egg” smell known as Rotorua, and down to the energetic resort town named Queenstown, you will find everything from pampering service in uppity establishments to the simplicity of grabbing a pair of tongs with which to pluck individually priced pieces of sushi out of display cabinets in more casual joints.

So let’s get to it….
The Sushi Diva

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