Cnr Marine Parade and Church Street
Queenstown, New Zealand
+64 3 4224076
After we were told that our scheduled skydive had been cancelled, we ended up booking a Shotover jet-boating session at Shotover River at the spur of the moment. After many twists, turns and sharp corners, our appetites were rightfully worked up and so we decided to grab some fish and chips (when in New Zealand, right…?).
I had heard about Aggy’s Shack on Lorraine’s blog. Having read about her experience with the South Island’s native mutton bird (or as Maoris say, titi bird), a local delicacy, I decided that I had to give it a go. Located right by Lake Wakatipu, the shack is a long jump away from Queenstown’s busier tourist-y streets. During the day, old chap Aggy looks after the kiosk, doing everything from cooking to serving the steady stream of patrons that come and go, occasionally sitting down on the few plastic tables dotted outside the kiosk. Traditional fish and chip staples such as beer-battered fish and scallops exist alongside more unusual offerings like sea urchin and roasted mutton bird.
You can order a whole mutton bird but we decided to grab half a bird instead; it came with chips and sauce for NZD$15 (AUD$11.90).
The first thing we noticed about the bird was that it was fatty. Extremely fatty. This was because these birds need to pad on the fat to survive the harsh and cold Southern Atlantic conditions. We also noticed that the flesh tasted very fishy – in fact, more fishy than well, any poultry I’ve ever had. The flesh actually didn’t taste as nasty as it looks but it’s not something I’d be rushing to order any time soon. We just couldn’t get past all the fat and the ghastly cod liver oil aftertaste that lingered down our throats for the rest of the day.
We also shared 14 green lipped mussels (NZD $12 (AUD $9.52)). They were steamed and served with some rather orange lemons and sweet chilli sauce. Easily the best mussels I’ve ever had – they were so ridiculously fresh and so sweet. I was in Dave Dobbyn’s heaven.
I swear, my boyfriend is so embarrassing sometimes *face palm*
Despite not being endeared to the mutton bird, I did enjoy my meal at Aggy’s. The food was super fresh and I thought the mussels were out of this world. If I lived in Queenstown, I can definitely see myself popping in for some chips and a piece of fish – preferably one that hasn’t been burped up by a mutton bird.