The food in Queenstown was amazingly fresh and delicious. Mr. Selfish and I didn’t have a single average meal. It was all outstanding.
Fergburger: The Legendary Burgers
Prior to arriving in Queenstown, we had heard tales about the hamburgers at Fergburger (42 Shotover Street, Queenstown Town Centre 9300). We were skeptical that the long line would be worth the wait but we figured that we would give it a try.
I ordered the traditional Fergburger with blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and tomato relish. After an hour of waiting, my Fergburger arrived. The patty on my Fergburger was perfectly cooked. The bun was delightfully toasted, and the aioli and tomato relish were a perfect balance against the blue cheese. It was quite tasty.
Mr. Selfish went the less traditional route and ordered the Chief Wiggum, which is a pork belly burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion, hash brown, aioli, and an apricot seeded mustard. The pork belly was quite yummy, and the hash brown provided a very good crunchy texture. The apricot seeded mustard also added a nice sweet flavor. Although the traditional Fergburger was quite good, I think the Chief Wiggum was better due to the novelty factor.
If you’re in Queenstown, you should definitely try a burger or two at Fergburger. It met and exceeded all of the hype.
Aggy’s Shack: Quick and Delicious Seafood
Although I would have loved to eat at Fergburger multiple times, the line was a killer. As a result, we opted for a couple of quick seafood meals at Aggy’s Shack (on the corner of Marine Parade and Church Street, Queenstown 9300).
We ordered the fish and chips, the green-lipped mussels, and the Stewart Island oysters. Each item was delicious, but I found the oysters to be the standout item. They were the best oysters I’ve ever had, but don’t tell Mr. Selfish since I didn’t share any with him.
Amisfield Winery & Bistro: Trust the Chef!
Due to the cooler weather, Mr. Selfish and I were surprised that there were so many wineries in the vicinity of Queenstown. We were delighted to discover that the region does indeed produce some great wines. The best winery we visited was Amisfield Winery & Bistro (10 Lake Hayes Road, RD1 9371, New Zealand). We are happy to report that you can buy Amisfield wines in the States.
We also had a delicious five course meal at Amisfield. For dinner, you have to “trust the chef” and have him/her just cook whatever is freshest that day. The staff doesn’t tell you in advance what is being cooked for each course, so it is a delicious surprise five times in a row.
The first course was a savory beet soup. Man, those Kiwis know how to cook their beets, and this soup was delicious.
The second course was a pasta with peanuts, broccolini, sun-dried tomatos, parmesan, and truffle oil. Although it was tasty, I feel like this was the weakest dish since me and Mr. Selfish could have probably cooked it.
Then, we had salmon with capers, crème fraîche, sautéed onions, and salad for the third course. The salmon was local and utterly divine. It was a very fresh and light course.
For the fourth course, we had a slow cooked local lamb with veggies in a yogurt sauce. The lamb was, of course, delicious.
For our two desserts, we had a chocolate brownie and an apple and ginger concoction with frozen yogurt. Although the chocolate brownie looks better, the apple and ginger was a bit more different and memorable.
If you plan on visiting Queenstown, I would definitely trust the chef for dinner at Amisfield. Be sure to make a reservation because seating is limited and it is quite popular.
Chard Farm Vineyard: A Changing Riesling
Mr. Selfish and I did a tasting at Chard Farm Vineyard (205 Chard Road RD 1,
Gibbston 9197), which is the second oldest winery in the area. It has the best view in the valley.
Chard Farm has a very different Riesling, which changes flavor when you swallow it. I had never had a wine that changed flavor so much, but this Riesling is dry on the front end but then has a very apple aroma when you swallow. I would visit Chard Farm just to taste this Riesling.
Peregrine Wines: Tasty and Available in the States
Peregrine Wines (2127 Kawarau Gorge Road, Gibbston RD1, Queenstown 9371) was the first winery we visited, and we found the wines to be quite nice. However, once we learned that the wines are available at Wholefoods, we decided not to buy any.
In the States, Peregrine wines are primarily known under the Mohua label, for which we will have to look when we are settled in San Francisco.
Gibbston Valley Wines: First but Not the Best
Gibbston Valley (1820 Gibbston Highway, Queenstown 9371) was the only winery we visited to charge a tasting fee. Although it is the first winery in the area, we didn’t find the wines that great. It had a huge cellar door, bakery, and dining area though.
Gibbston Valley even had wine bottles with Chinese labels, which indicates to me that they are pretty mass market. I wouldn’t recommend Gibbston Valley unless you’re looking to form a base for comparison.
I highly recommend every eatery or winery in this post (other than Gibbston Valley) in Queenstown. It’s hard to go wrong when there is so much good food around.