Bluff Oyster Festival 2014 is what I had been looking forward to for the past month, as I am a huge Bluff oyster lover. Last year I had downed more than 6 dozens and this year only a dozen. And was looking at the festival to help redeem myself.
Unfortunately this year the weather packed in due to the atrocious storm that forced the the cancellation of the Bluff Oyster Festival where we were forced to evacuate the tents as the strong gail winds toppled tends and tables and knocking people of their feet.
We managed to get in without showing our tickets, just before they decided to cancel the event. To be honest when we got in, I found that the festival lacked organisation in terms of information and direction. After a few minutes we managed to find our way round the festival which consisted of a hall for the entertainment, a tent with a bar and seating, and two tents for the food.
We managed to get some food before they sold out with what some of the stall holders had on offer.
Stewart Island Smoked Salmon Plate – I always loved Stewart Island salmon. its much more lean with a stronger flavour that I enjoy over Regal King Salmon or Aoraki Salmon.
Raw Bluff Oysters – there is no trip to the Bluff Oyster Festival without getting some al-natural Bluff oysters, which were being sold by the single, half a dozen or by the dozen. These were nice and fresh, however I did get some shell in my oyster which I did not appreciate that much.
Crayfish Medallions – delightful, full of flavour. it was similar to a meatball with very little filler. these were the last lot before the stall was forced to pack up due to the gale force winds. we managed to get these at a bargain discount price as they were cold, but that did not bother us.
Braised Beef Cheek w Basil tomatoes and Oyster May in Ciabatta – the beef was nicely pulled and encased in a soft ciabatta bun. Unfortunately that was all I could say about it, as it could have done with a bit more seasoning. I guess I could have enjoyed it more if we did not have to rush to finish off our food before being evacuated from the tent.
Beer Braised Pork Belly skewer with pineapple spring on and oyster hollandsaise – not what I was expecting to be honest. The pork belly was dry, the pineapple sauce was nice, but as we were being pushed out of the tent most of the pineapple sauce fell off.
Oyster Pie – Who does not want to eat a pie?
The pie pastry was buttery and slightly flaky , however when I bit into it, it had a lot of creamy gravey and I was wondering where and when the star of the show was going to show itself (thats the oyster that I am talking about). After 3/4 of the way through I managed to find two oysters! yay!
Fresh Kina Roe – they were giving these out for free as they were trying to get rid of everything before the tents blew over. The kina roe were in shot glass containers, which you down in one mouthful. These were fresh, thick and has an describable taste. Some would say they are disgusting, I would say they were delicious. Something that I certainly do buy back home.
I would love to attend the Bluff Oyster Festival again when the weather is more settled and not having to rush ourselves. Perhaps it would be better to come earlier, so you get your first choice before the item is sold out. I found the festival to be fairly chaotic and disorganised. I do hope in future years to come, it will be more organised.
Location – Bluff Oyster Festival – 24 Foreshore Road, Bluff