Small bites @ Queenstown

This is the third post in the Queenstown series. Check out the previous posts, Devil burger and Blue Kanu.

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I always have good feelings about going to Queenstown, as I had a wonderful birthday trip here with Kenny, and left with lots of unforgettable memories. Since my parents came from Hong Kong to visit, I thought I had to take them here.

Our time in Queenstown was brief, and I could only book a night staying at the hotel due to the Christmas crowd.

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Queenstown is very walkable, with many narrow side streets and turns filled with all different types of shops and restaurants.

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We stumbled upon a tiny pastry shop called The empanada kitchen, which specialises in empanadas, a stuffed baked pastry. This little shop is located along the waterfront of Lake Wakatipu.

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Of course I had to stop by and try one out. The menu was simple, with only four empanada choices to choose from. I ordered the lemon and rosemary chicken empanada, which is baked chicken with lemon, garlic, rosemary, and green olives.

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The empanada was cleverly presented, with ‘Emp kitchen’ stamped on the pastry. The pastry was flaky and light, and the filling was super generous. It was delicious. The shredded chicken was very flavorful, having absorbed the flavours from rosemary and lemon. It was a simple, but delicately spiced and well baked.

Sadly, I didn’t know about their special sauces that are available on the counter to add to the empanada. Next time, I will definitely try their famous chimichurri and hot sauce.

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We then went to a popular bakery in the centre of town called Fergbaker. I have had their pork belly and apple pie before and I absolutely loved it, so mum and dad couldn’t miss it!

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I highly recommended this pie, which is pork belly slow roasted in a caramelised apple and dijon mustard sauce. The sauce was thick and incredibly flavourful, while the pastry was flaky and buttery. The caramelised apple and pork belly worked really well together and the resulting pie was a beautiful harmony of sweet and savoury.

My parents loved it.

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Despite its pie heavy reputation, Fergbaker also has many sweet baked items. My brother was eyeing this pain au chocolat, which is a French chocolate croissant.

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The pastry was golden, slightly crisp and filled with a dark chocolate filling. It was full of sweet and rich flavours, and tasted buttery and airy on the inside, just the way croissants should be.

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We couldn’t leave without trying the famous Mexican taco place in Queenstown, Taco medic. It is a hole in the wall, food truck kind of place located down a side street, it is quite hidden so look for the banner!

All of their tacos are made to order with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and daily-pressed corn masa tortillas. So you can’t get tacos out there fresher than this!

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I ordered two tacos, which were the Bajaman (on the left), and the fisherman (on the right). The Bajaman is battered and fried fish, green slaw, special Baja sauce, traditional tomato salsa, fresh coriander, served on a warm corn tortilla. It was simple but really tasty and flavourful.

The fisherman is an Oaxacan spice rubbed and pan seared fish, with red slaw, citrus tartare, pink pickled onions, finished with fresh coriander and chilli, and served on a warm corn tortilla. The tartare sauce was spot on, and the fresh salsa was spicy and zesty!

They are easily the best tacos I have had, and they offer various sauces to try which is always a plus.

Thoughts: The Empanada kitchen, Fergbaker, and Taco medic are worth the hype in a lot of ways. The food is very tasty, offer good variety, and is really convenient for quick and small bites on the go.

The Empanada Kitchen: 60 Beach St, Queenstown,NZ
The Fergbaker: 40 Shotover St, Queenstown, NZ
Taco Medic: 3 Searle Lane, Queenstown, NZ

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