You must have a place that you have passed by regularly during your life and each time you do, you think to yourself “I really must stop there one day and take a look around”.
Often you have this thought when circumstances conspire against you: time contraints or simply not convienient stopping point at the time.
Ever since I was young I’ve wondered about this place. It’s located on State Highway 1 on the south side of Kaikoura not too far from the aerodrome and it was the landmark that told us that Kaikoura was almost literally just around the corner so we could check off a chunk of the journey to Picton as done.
It’s called The Caves Restaurant and is set back a little off the busy road, and since the Kiwidutch children were starting to complain of hunger as we got near, I decided that this would be as good a time as any to finially park up and finially satisfy my curiosity as to what the place was like.
If I’m honest, the fact that Kiwi Daughter announced from the back seat a few minutes earlier that she “was busting” also helped fuel the spur of the moment decision.
We pull in and once the pressing matter of finding the littlest rooms were taken care of, we decide that maybe a lunch break would be a good idea too.
To Kiwi Daughter’s delight there is the standard familiar warmer-cabinet in the corner, with sasuage rolls and meat pies inside it … so naturally our arms didn’t take a lot of twisting as we each chose a favourite and went outside to a table in the shade outside.
Little Mr. spied the dreaded chicken nuggets and scored a “yes you may have some” by the simple logic that since the rest of us were indugling in a unhealthy pie lunch that I couldn’t very well turn around and say he couldn’t have something that’s even less healthy like nuggets and chips without being a total hypocrite.
It was only a matter of junk-food by degrees of junk after all. Pastry is hardly health food (but boy, I wish it could be).
We use the reasoning that once we are back home there wil be no pies to consume, so a pie binge now be somehow acceptable and the more we thought about this, the more reasonable the thought became.
Anyway, we are on holiday and are not holidays are for treats and bending the rules? The more we thought about that, the more reasonable a thought that became too.
Looking around the food cabinets I let out a little gasp… something I haven’t seen for many a year: grilled sasuages that have been cut open along the top and stuffed with mashed potato and topped with cheese.
My Gran used to make these as a kid treat, but her’s (and my mother’s ones) always had beetroot on the top (where these had tomato) but Gran’s version probably weren’t the standard recipe because my mother was allergic to tomatoes.
I didn’t take one because I already had my pie out of the warmer and it was on the tray that Himself was paying for at the till but I do admit I was sorely tempted and now that I’m reminded of them again I may just have to make some here at home in The Netherlands…
…(for old times sake you understand) …and for the kids…. ok, I can’t pull the wool here can I? there will be one in there for me too … gotta test out if those childhood memories were as good I as remember them to be.
Actually I have to confess that at a certain time of my life these were pretty good after-party-got-the-raving-munchies food from the local take-a-way and they tasted brilliant, but there is the distinct possibility that maybe their flavour (and my memories) were just a tad enhanced by the amount of alcohol I had consumed at the time.
We ask directions to the place where we want to see baby seals a bit further up the coast and the staff are super friendly in sorting out where it should be (and finding the right unmarked bay on our map) and our lunch was tasty so win win.
Well amost… the only thing that I thought let the place down a bit were the conviences…they could have been a bit more modern and a tad cleaner. I know that lots of people probably swing in to this place to just use the loos and the staff were busy in the cafe/restaurant so maybe we went into them at a bad moment when things weren’t quite up to scratch, …well at least I’m hoping so.
The weather is more than decently warm so the kids twist our arms for an ice-cream in a cone and as usual even a small ice-cream in NZ is triple the size of the tiny expensive Italian Ijs we have at home so with ice-cream dripping down their hands in the heat, … the one and only (terrible) photo I manage to get tells me that goodie-gumdrop and orange choc chip are the flavours I will be wiping off the back seats shortly…their face tell me that they don’t care, our two little piglets are in ice-cream heaven.
p.s. The word “eftpos” in the first photo means “electronic funds transfer at point of sale” and tells the public that they can pay electronically here with their bank pass.