Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand
| +64 3-750 0035
Sun - Sat 12pm - 7:30pm
CrayTastic - Road's End Culinary DelightWhen my friend, Raspberry Catering chef Sam Metcalfe, recommended the hour detour down to the CrayPot restaurant on Jackson Bay where the road ends on New Zealand's West Coast, I got out the map. He suggested we have lunch in the little caboose-like building parked next to the bay. He called to make sure they were open noting they were not only open, but also had plenty of Crayfish. Sam suggested we check the sandwich boards along the highway for updates on operating hours. Done.
Make no mistake, New Zealand's idea of a crawdad, is nothing like what you'd find on a New Orleans menu. The CrayPot version of crayfish is what's commonly know as lobster in most places on the planet. It is the jewel in a menu that's as fresh as the breeze blowing across Jackson bay. The pier that stretches out into the aquamarine ocean is the viaduct for the catch-of-the-day to finds its way into owner/chef Meg Ede’s kitchen. And what comes out of that tiny galley is nothing short of a five-star culinary experience.
The crayfish on our visit was a generous tail prepared to perfection. The fresh garden greens, lightly dressed in a white wine vinaigrette offset the red and white of the tail. The fingerling potato salad was graced with a savory sauce featuring capers for a little flavor boost. The presentation on the plate was impeccable, right down to the wildflower garnish on the aioli.
Be sure to read the menu board out front before going inside, it's the only way you'll know what hasn't sold out. We also ordered the fish and chips. The battered Gurnard fish was lighter than air and wonderfully flavorful. The special tartar sauce is an endless squeeze bottle of goodness and we felt no guilt in using it on the fish AND the chips. With seagulls winging by the windows and fishing boats unloading out on the pier, the CrayPot is worth the waylay.