Five Ways to Celebrate the Start of Bluff Oyster Season in Auckland
From all-you-can-eat lunches to oyster happy hours — 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 kicks 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 shucking good happy hour deals to all-you-can-eat feasts.
TOBY'S RESTAURANT & BAR, TITIRANGI
Toby's has been serving Titirangi locals for almost 100 years, and this month the restaurant and bar is slinging all-you-can-eat Bluff oysters for one day only. The bottomless deal will see Bluffies flown in direct from the motherland and shucked to order. They'll be available four ways during the feasting session between 2–4.30pm on Tuesday, 16 March and it will set you back $100 per person. Email: [email protected].co.nz to claim your spot.
From March 9 to April 1, Britomart institution Ostro is shucking Bluffies for $35.95 per dozen. Bookings are essential for the deal from Tuesday to Friday between 12–5.30pm. There's a limit of one dozen per person, but with the restaurant's stunning outlook across the Waitematā Harbour, there's no better place to enjoy some fresh, briny oysters.
HARBOURSIDE OCEAN BAR & GRILL, AUCKLAND CBD
Get your tiny forks ready. The folks at Auckland waterfront restaurant Harbourside Ocean Bar & Grill are also inviting you to scoff as many of the light and briny delights as humanly possibly. The all-you-can-eat session will kick off with a flute of champagne on arrival before the oysters are presented natural, tempura battered and grilled. If that's not enough kai moana, for the main course Harbourside will present an epic seafood platter comprising poached prawns, Cloudy Bay clams, green lipped mussels, scampi tail and scallop crudo — and for those who haven't had their fill, extra oysters will be available by request.
OYSTER & CHOP, VIADUCT HARBOUR
Given the oxymoron title, there's at least two things you can expect at Oyster and Chop. The Viaduct restaurant and bar offers prime cuts from the grill and one of the most popular oyster happy hours in the city. Every day between 3—6pm (and all day Sunday) you can expect natural oysters at $2 a pop. Most of the beauties on offer are local Pacific rock species (Te Mataku, Clevedon, Big Fat) and there can up to ten varieties available on any one day. Bluffies are also known to appear on the happy hour menu, so why not roll down and try your luck?
SAILS RESTAURANT, WESTHAVEN MARINA
Located on Westhaven Marina, Sails Restaurant is somewhere you can slurp right by the water's edge. The fine dining establishment specialises in fresh kai moana and this month its celebrating the arrival of Bluff oyster season with a half price deal. Make a booking Thursday, Friday or Sunday for lunch and you could be knocking 'em back for pocket change. Further signature dishes at the restaurant include the snapper ceviche and spiced calamari, while land-based options span roasted duck breast and beef cheek pie.
Published on March 10, 2021 by Stephen Heard