It’s hard to miss Winifred & James. You’ll know her when you see her, sitting to the side of the South Island's State Highway 1. And nearby, the sign, promising fish off the Moeraki boats daily. Yes, it’s Fleur’s Place today. For a seafood lover’s dream.
Driving into Moeraki, Fleur’s sits exactly as you’d expect of a fish restaurant. At the end of the road right by the water. And looking out to the Moeraki harbour and South Pacific ocean in front of you, the fishing boats bob quietly. In shore now, the middle of the day - their excursions are largely by night, to drag in that delicious fresh seafood that people come for miles to enjoy.
Famous rocks, not to mention the restaurant
Moeraki has been translated as sleepy sky - a good place to rest - and it’s a small fishing village, home to Fleur’s Place. Aside from this deservedly famous restaurant, Moeraki is also well known for its boulders.
Yes, that's right, famous rocks too. Just across the way, these mysterious, large and pretty much perfectly spherical cannonball-like forms sit in the sand like sugar pearls decorating a birthday cake. They are quite a curiosity and, as seeing is believing, well worth a visit.
And that lunch
But back to Fleur’s, and lunch. The walls of the building are lined with handwritten compliments from far and wide. And although it’s no longer the done thing - the walls are just a bit full - it makes for good reading. Reused spirits bottles are repurposed as water bottles… you’d never drink your way through that much Bombay Sapphire in one sitting otherwise.
There’s daily handwritten menus, varying depending on the catch. The tasting plate is hard to go past - terakihi, sole, sea perch, monkfish and gurnard this time. It is served simply, with seasonal vegetables, and it’s just delicious.
Naturally good food
Fleur’s Place says it offers “naturally good food”. In some measure, that sums up nicely the way Fleur's clearly lets the food shine.
But we'd say it slightly differently. It's naturally really really good food. Done, at Fleur's, really really really well. Actually.