Where to Get Your Bluff Oyster Fix
'Bluffies' are back on the menu at top eateries around town
The arrival of March means one thing only for the thousands and thousands of people around New Zealand craving a hit of salty, succulent and addictive Bluff oysters — “Bluffies” are back on the menu at the top eateries around town. Here are five places where you can feast on these seasonal favourites.
1. Private Britomart bar Seafarers is opening its fabulous rooftop area to the public for the first time for its Seafarers Summer event series over the next few weeks. The Galley, on from April 3-7, sees chefs Josh Emett, Fred Wong, Yukio Ozeki and Cobus Klopper put their unique spins on Bluff oysters. $40 gets you six oysters and a glass of bubbles — bookings require a minimum of two people.
52 Tyler St, Britomart, Auckland
2. Soul Bar and Bistro launches the new season with its famous all-you-can-eat Bluff Oyster Lunch during the first weekend of March (this year March 3 and 4), which sells out months in advance. Fear not, however, as oysters will be on the menu for the rest of the month served several ways, either freshly shucked, with fresh horseradish and mignonette ($4.50); Rockefeller, with grilled spinach and gruyere crumbs; or Kilpatrick, with grilled bacon and shallots ($17 for three or $34 for six). They’ll also be serving a fried oyster burger in a brioche bun, which comes with coleslaw and spicy mayonnaise ($23).
Viaduct, Auckland, until March 31
3. Bluffie season is a big deal over at Euro Bar and Bistro, which also hosts a Great Bluff Lunch at the start of March (this year March 2) to kick off the Princes Wharf Oyster Festival. This year chefs Gareth Stewart and Adam Rickett are travelling to Bluff, joining the crew on board The Dafney, and accompanying 450 dozen oysters as they make their journey north to Auckland. If you’re quick, there are a handful of tickets left to the lunch; for $250 you’ll get to enjoy a seven-course oyster-inspired menu matched with four champagnes, including Cristal. For the rest of March, the restaurant is offering a dozen freshly shucked oysters daily for $20 from 12-3pm. Eateries involved in the Oyster Festival other than Euro include The Culpepper, Coley and Punch, The Crab Shack and Fish; each will offer daily oyster and drink deals, live entertainment and more.
Princes Wharf, Auckland
4. No surprises that The Oyster Inn is where you need to be if you’re on Waiheke Island this weekend — the stylish Oneroa eatery is hosting two Bluff lunches on March 3 and 4, slightly later than planned due to possible bad weather down south. For $75 you’ll get a dozen oysters and two glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Bookings essential.
124 Ocean View Rd, Oneroa, Auckland
5. Back in the city, Ostro Brasserie & Bar has a lot going on to celebrate the southern delicacy. From Friday until March 12, at dinner or lunch a dozen oysters are $25; and from then until the end of March, you can enjoy half-a-dozen oysters and a glass of Cloudy Bay Pelorus Brut for $25, or a dozen oysters and a bottle of Cloudy Bay Pelorus Brut for $95. Out on The Deck from March 3, a glass of Cloudy Bay Pelorus Brut and three Bluffies are $20, while six and a beer will set you back $25. Finally, if you buy a drink between 5-7pm from Monday to Friday, the oysters are $2 each (three per customer per drink).
52 Tyler St, Britomart, Auckland
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