Seven dishes you must try in New Zealand's Hawke's Bay, according to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers' head chef, James Honore.
Scallops, Broad Bean Tip, Jerusalem Artichoke, Chardonnay
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Sweet scallops with earthy Jerusalem artichokes, pan roasted, pureed, and fried until crisp. Young broad bean tips are wilted just enough to change their texture. Grown in our garden here at Cape Kidnappers, the garniture is harvested and prepared just a couple of hours before we serve to our guests.
Beetroot, Buffalo Curd, Raspberries, Flax Seeds
Black Barn Bistro
I really enjoy the contrast of the sweet, sour, earthy beetroot to the rich buffalo milk curd in this dish. This dish has a lovely blend of both cooked and raw preparations of the beetroot, sharp fresh bursts from the raspberry and salty crispness of the flax seed wafer. I recommend sitting outside under the canopy of grape vines.
Steamed Mussel & Scallop Mousse, Smoked Warehou Broth
I love this dish. Its simplicity is deceiving – a single mussel filled with a velvety scallop mousse. The addition of sago and squid offers contrasting texture while the smoked warehou broth that is rich and deep with flavour keeps you going back for more.
Mahia Octopus, Black Olive, Preserved Lemon, Gazpacho Gel, Octopus Cracker, Marrow Custard
This dish is very interesting and very textural. Served chilled, the tender, locally-caught octopus is served alongside the salty lemon and olive, and the rich custard. I like the way the gazpacho gel interacts with these flavours, cleansing the palate enough to ready you for your next bite.
These have a real following locally. A sourdough dooughnut, rolled in cinnamon sugar, either plain or with a choice of filling in a syringe. Served still warm these crunch yet yeilding balls of fried goodness are a must try.
Chopped Tukituki Venison Tartare, Tarragon & Fried Anchovy
Terroir at Craggy Range
A dish that gives you a real sense of your surroundings. The venison is from along the same river the winery runs along and is served with tarragon from the garden on the property. The fried anchovy crumb adds a deceptive cooked undertone to this elegant expression of local produce.
Smoked Venison, Vanilla Parsnip Puree, Pickled Stone Fruit, Puff Barley, Black Garlic
I like the relation of the smoked venison to the sweet parsnip puree, while the pickled stone fruit's acidity is fantastic as a contrast. The deep caramel and licorice flavour of the black garlic adds complexity, playing beautifully off the other components and making for an interesting dish to enjoy with wine.
Discover more about dining in Hawke's Bay here.
Original story published in Traveller