New Zealand Eats

This is another post that’s been waiting to see the light of day for far too long – almost 12 months in fact. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we took a little trip over to our neighbour New Zealand. We spent 2 1/2 weeks driving around the south island in a campervan. It felt good to be back on the road living the van life, albeit too short. While we did a bit of simple van cooking in that time, we of course did our fair share of eating out as well. Today I’m going to share some of those eats with you, because it fits in perfectly with this week’s international theme.

Before I go any further though, I must apologise for some of the photos that you are about to see. Unfortunately I decided to mess with my camera settings while we were over there, and I struggled to remember what I’d done/get it back to normal so a few of them are a little wacked. I also must apologise about the lack of detail that is to follow. I made some notes in my diary about each dish and our thoughts on them while we were there, but since it is now 2016, the old diary is no longer with us. Whoops.


Our first stop was to the Shroom Room Cafe in Lyttelton, not too far out of Christchurch. Lyttelton was very sweet, and we were immediately attracted to the laid back vibe of the Shroom Room – from the name, to the retro crockery, to the rustic interior.


We shared two dishes, above I think was the veggie hash stack. As I said, I don’t remember too much detail (can you blame me after 12 months?), but uhh….that’s what it looks like?

I’m pretty sure this was a falafel burger. I do recall the bread being dense and tasty, but perhaps a little dry. Nothing a bit more sauce or avocado wouldn’t solve. The side salads were a little lacking in size and content – a few more slices of cucumber and some cherry tomatoes wouldn’t go astray.

shroomroom5The items we got were straight from the quite extensive display cabinet, but they also had a decent sized menu board to select from. We shared a banana milkshake from it which made us reminisce of our childhood and banana nesquik. I would have loved to come back and sample more from the menu, but it was a little out of the way of the rest of our journey, so I guess I’ll have to save it for next trip.

While in Queenstown we visited the infamous Fergburger, which had constant queues out the door. Wanting to know what all the fuss was about, we took up spot in the line.There were two vegetarian burgers on offer – one falafel based and the other tofu. Having had our falafel hit at Shroom Room, we both opted for the Holier Than Thou – a tempered tofu with a spicy satay, coconut and coriander sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, snow pea shoots and aioli which we were told could be made vegan. Unfortunately, that meant removing most of the sauces and being given replacements. I vaguely remember requesting some sort of chilli sauce, but I think it ended up being sweet chilli. The burger itself was kind of disappointing, likely due to the lack of flavours that were supposed to make it delicious.

Obligatory chips.

Old mate duck wanted in on the burger action.

Next eat was Hell Pizza, who have a few locations around NZ. We had heard good things about them, so made an effort to visit them when passing through Invercargill.

We got the Sinister – a pizza with refried beans, avocado, onion, salsa, jalapenos, capsicum and optional vegan cheese (which we went for). I was a little hesitant to go with the mexican style pizza, but I need not have worried. This was gosh darn delicious. I mean SO good. After eating this pizza, we talked about it for the rest of our trip, making loose plans to find another Hell Pizza to get our fix. Unfortunately it never happened (though we almost went for a 30+ minute detour on the way back to the airport to try and find another store before recognising that this was kind of crazy and not worth missing our flight home for….or was it?)

We got some garlic bread too because, well, garlic bread, and were surprised to find it cut lengthways. It seemed like a wholemealy type loaf which was nice.

The last meal to share with you was from Soul Food Organic in Wanaka. Soul Food is a little cafe slash health food store with a good range of veg options on offer. We stopped in for a quick lunch after a kayaking adventure on the lake. I can’t remember exactly what this was – some kind of vegan omelette crepe thing with tofu and maybe miso? It was the last one of it’s kind in the display cabinet and unfortunately I think the last of yesterday’s batch as after I got mine a whole bunch of fresh ones came out. It was nice but a little wilty.

The Bear got a cream of asparagus soup which he was thrilled with because he loves it and I have never made it for him.

I spotted this banana bean coconut ice cream in the freezer on the way out and had to give it a go as the retro style packaging was too cute. Good thing I did, as it was mighty fine. They do a range of flavours according to their website, including vanilla bean, chocolate, mango and toasted coconut caramel, though I only saw a couple of them. They apparently also do flavoured coconut milks – yummo!

I had a couple of dodgy photos from a place we stopped in at in Dunedin – I think it was Circadian Rhythm. It had some pretty average reviews but we decided to give it a shot anyway. Seemingly the reviews were quite accurate and the food was as disappointing as my shoddy photos and the service subpar, as many reviewers had noted. As I just looked it up to try to remember the name, I’ve discovered that it is now closed anyway (perhaps for the better?) so I will leave them off the post entirely and end on the high of delicious banana bean ice cream. Thanks Little Island!

Shroom Room
48 London St, Lyttelton
Open 7 days – 8am – 4pm

42 Shotover St, Queenstown
Open 7 days – 8.30am – 5am

Hell Pizza
2 Dee St, Invercargill (other locations available)
Sun – Thurs – 11.30am – 9pm
Fri – Sat – 11.30am – 10pm

Soul Food Organic
74 Ardmore St, Wanaka
Mon – Fri – 8am – 6pm
Sat – Sun – 8am – 4pm