Published on January 20th, 2013 | by rayshurshur1
Auckland Seafood Festival 2013
What does Auckland Anniversary weekend mean? Seafood galore at Halsey Wharf!
Every year, the organisers of the Auckland Seafood Festival put up a great family event for everyone. All the proceeds go towards charity so let’s not moan about the $20 entry fee! 🙂
Last year, having gone on Monday the last day, I missed out on trying the most epic part of the Seafood Challenge – kina. They said it was so popular, it already sold out in 2 days.
Now, I’m not one to be scared of trying new things. But while holding up the kina to slurp it down, the spikes were still feisty and moving! And that wasn’t because of the seaside breeze either. Not allowing myself second thoughts, I slopped it all down. Everything, the membrane-like yellow tongues and that clear salty fluid. Sounds a bit like an operational table. To describe, it’s like you took a gulp of the sea with a weird slimy sensation.
The rest of the tray was luckily no stranger to my palate and after feeling like I swallowed a live fish, I was quite happy eating the pan fried octopus and terikihi.
You can probably eat seafood all day and not get full so it was great to have a carb dish that was so generous on the seafood too. Check out the load with prawns, calamari, clams, mussels..
Now this is what I call a whitebait fritter! Mouthful and mouthfuls of fresh whitebait. Not sure where whitebait fritters originated from, but it always seemed like a Kiwi childhood treat to me. We walked around the stalls to compare which fritter stall had the most whitebait in their fritters and this took out #1!
Many like their seafood fresh and raw, but I couldn’t deny the huge crowds gathering at the Flaming Wok. With only one cook manning the wok, it took a 20 min wait for me to come back cradling this baby. Wishing I had naan bread or rice to mop up the leftover sauces, the squid string was my favourite in the seafood basket.
We loved the macadamia scallops so much last year, we couldn’t resist getting another platter. At $10, it’s leaning towards the steep end when you can get a whole pan fried snapper for $6. But ohh it was worth it.
People were still filtering in by the time we left, parents determined with strollers and flanked by toddlers. With the NZ Navy concert band music blasting tunes on one end and cooking demonstrations by Masterchefs Brett MrGregor on other, you’ll find something to be entertained by.
The food was great, with a bit of fun – dipping my hands into a rod casting competition as well, but somehow we left slightly underwhelmed. Then I realised…we didn’t see the Auckland Fish Market at all this year.
Walking in last year to be faced with trailers full of huge fishes (see HERE) definitely drove it home last year. Also missing were the exhibitions inside the Viaduct Events Centre, full of fishing gear for hobbyists and extreme hobbyists. Granted, it was Day 1 of the Seafood Fest and people were probably still getting over the summer holidays.<!> Hop along to it next year if you missed out this time round!