Libby and I made a trip down to Oamaru last weekend, to visit a few favourite places. Our first stop was the Oamaru Farmers Market held in the carpark opposite the Loan and Merc. Still a small market, we were especially taken with the little caravan selling Southland-style cheese rolls. Peckish after the drive from Christchurch, we enjoyed our unpretentious $5 combo of cheese rolls and strawberry milkshake served up by the "cheese roll lady".
Next stop was Moeraki to have lunch at Fleurs Place. I loved the seafood hotpot below, especially pulling the crab to bits at the end. Delicious. The others all had blue cod in various guises which received top marks too. Don't expect anything fancy as this is rustic, tasty food done well.
Back in Oamaru, well worth a look is the Real Good Fudge HQ. They used to sell at the Farmers Market, and have recently taken the leap and set up their own cafe/shop located in the historical precinct of Harbour St. Their fudge is excellent, and reasonably priced. We chose the caramel, passionfruit and mocha slabs. Whilst googling for a link I found out they sell on Trademe - for $15 they will deliver 3 slabs anywhere in NZ. How nice would it be to find that wee package in the letterbox?!
Dinner, and then lunch the next day was at Riverstone Kitchen, one of my favourite places. Do Oamaru residents known how lucky they are to have RK on their doorstep? Restaurant standard food and service with pub/cafe prices and portions, Riverstone offers excellent value for money. We went with the tasting menu for dinner, which changes daily and is a steal at $55 for five courses. Our highlight was the duck main, with celeriac puree and brussel sprouts like never before; in all honesty we wanted to lick the plate. At lunch the next day we couldn't go past the venison pies.
Another highlight of our trip was our luxurious accommodation at Highfield Mews. Give those grim-looking motels in Oamaru a wide berth and stay here. Beautifully fitted-out rooms that are spotlessly clean and much posher than the nightly tariff would suggest.