Our trip to New Zealand is a first for most of us, Astroboy is actually New Zealand born but defected to Australia many years ago, she immediately becomes our expert in all things NZ (much to her dismay). Having never had a proper opportunity to explore New Zealand we decided the best way to tackle the country would be via epic road trip! Thus we planned our route, 10 days of driving in a loop around South Island with stops in Moraki, Wanaka, Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Brunner, Hamner Springs and finally Christchurch.
Our eating adventures in Moeraki at Fleurs Place took somewhat longer than expected, by the time we leave its almost 2pm! The decision is made to skip over Queenstown and head straight to Wanaka. Unfortunately our gorgeous weather has ended and things are looking decidedly overcast by the time we roll into town. Wanaka is essentially a ski town and driving around I’m immediately reminded of Jindabyne as the town is built around the shore of Lake Wanaka.
A little eaten and worn out by the driving we decide to take a local recommendation and keep it simple with Pizza at The Cow. The directions seem simple enough, head down until you see the Post Office and take a right. Somehow we drive past 3 times before spotting a tiny alleyway and the entrance to The Cow. I’m immediately charmed by the exposed ceilings, the booths tucked along the walls and the sight of the open fireplace and we decide to relax and eat in rather than take away as per our original intentions.
There are times when photos just do not do the size of a dish justice. When our Garlic Bread comes out I can see our jaws collectively drop. Expecting a few measly slices of bread with a vague taste of Garlic we are stunned when an entire loaf of crunchy bread, slathered in butter and garlic comes around. To top it off MORE butter is provided on the side! Amazingly crunchy with the perfect center, I’ll say it. Best Garlic Bread ever.
Unfortunately the turn in weather has gotten the better of me and I can feel a cold coming along (in the following days I would go about infecting every one of my co-travellers, sorry guys!). I keep things simple with a starter of chicken soup, just what the doctor ordered. Is it just because I’m sick? I find it immensely satisfying and start looking forward to the pizzas.
Following along with the Queen’s theme we order two large Pizzas. ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ is cheekily named and is The Cow’s version of a supreme pizza, like scallops I cannot walk away from Pepperoni which is our second choice. Both Pizza’s are 14″ and come out on wooden boards similar to the Garlic Bread and are just what our tired little group needs. Both are thin-crust baked with generous toppings. I find myself going back to the Pepperoni again and again for the chili kick it has over the supreme.
By the time we leave the restaurant is packed out with families and couples alike, apparently they don’t take bookings so I would advice heading in early. A minor complaint would probably be the price tag of the Pizzas, $30 for a large pizza seems somewhat excessive no matter how large or generous the toppings are, it’s definitely not the most I’ve paid for a pizza but it is definitely up there. Despite this reservation the atmosphere is lively enough that I can see its appeal, especially as they are open every day til 11pm, servings are also generous and service is brisk and efficient.
We leave the restaurant with the sun still setting and drive around the lake for a while managing to catch a truly gorgeous low tide and sunset. Wanaka is a strange little town, on one hand I feel as though I’ve fallen into Jindabyne but a 5 minute drive along side the lake finds us in the middle of an architectural magazine with mini-mansions perched just high enough above each other to grab that ever elusive view of the lake. It’s all a bit strange, but what can I say, it’s a gorgeous view after all.
33 Ardmost St
Wanaka, Queenstown-Lakes District, New Zealand
Ph: 03-443 4269