Five Ways to Celebrate the Start of Bluff Oyster Season in Auckland
From all-you-can-eat long lunches to oyster shuck-offs — here's where to load up on new season Bluffies.
Found in the ice-cool waters of Foveaux Strait, Bluff oysters are often considered the finest bivalve molluscs in the entire underwater kingdom for their succulence and clean, briny and balanced characteristics. The Bluff oyster season kicked off on March 1, and runs until the end of August or whenever the harvest quota has been reached. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Southland aphrodisiacs this year, from all-you-can-eat long lunches to dedicated music festivals and oyster shuck-offs.
THE ALL-YOU-CAN EAT BLUFF BANQUET AT REGATTA BAR & EATERY
Takapuna's Regatta Bar & Eatery will celebrate the launch of Bluff oyster season with its fifth annual all-you-can-eat banquet on Friday, 13 March. The seafood restaurant has been hard at work perfecting different variations of the delicacy, including the smoky Kilpatrick with Worcestershire and bacon, and beer battered. Regatta's oyster shuckers will be put at work in the middle of the restaurant where you can walk up and slurp as soon as they're opened. Previous years have seen 2000 new season Bluffies up for grabs across the three-hour session. Make a booking here.
THE OYSTER & MUSIC FESTIVAL AT THE CULPEPER
As part of Princes Wharf's month-long oyster celebration, The Oyster & Music Festival will see 200 dozen fresh oysters given away for free at The Culpeper on Saturday, 28 March. You'll need to book in for lunch to take part in the sweet deal — you can do so over here. From 12pm until late there will also be an oyster shucking competition and DJs on the decks until late.
THE GREAT AFM SHUCK-OFF AT AUCKLAND FISH MARKET
Auckland Fish Market will be dishing up the fresh catch this oyster season. The precinct's month-long shellebration will kick off on Sunday, 8 March with the Great AFM Shuck-Off, as contestants go head-to-head against the AFM chefs across three rounds of oyster-shucking action. Moana New Zealand will host interactive oyster demonstrations in the courtyard from 12pm, while Seafood School head chef Paulie Hooton will teach the tricks of the trade for perfecting shucking. On Friday, 13 March, the AFM cooking school will lead participants through three delicious oyster recipes, including shallot and pepper mignonette, Kilpatrick oysters and three-cheese oyster gratin.
THE OYSTER AND WHISKEY MASTERCLASS AT COLEY & PUNCH
Learn everything there is to know about oysters at this two-hour oyster shucking and whisky tasting class. Princes Wharf cocktail bar Coley & Punch will be digging into its extensive fine whiskey collection to pair with oysters served three different ways. The harbourside venue is also serving up a special deal of one dozen Bluffies and two flutes of champagne for $80. Email bookings are essential to book your spot at the masterclass.
SHUCKIN' OYSTER MONTH AT OSTRO
As part of Seafarers' Shuckin' Oyster Month, Ostro is serving Bluff oysters by the dozen for under $30. The outstanding $29.95 deal is available from March 3–15 between 12–2.30pm. On the other side of the building, The Deck is celebrating happy hour with two Bluffies for a fiver. It's available Wednesday to Friday from 5–7pm with any drink purchase.
Top image: Regatta Bar & Eatery.
Published on March 05, 2020 by Stephen Heard