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Absolute Queenstown Lakefront Dining

Lakefront dining in Queenstown doesn’t get any better than at two of the resort’s most highly rated restaurants – Pier and Boardwalk Restaurant on Steamer Wharf.

Owned by hospitality entrepreneur Pete Jefford, whose empire includes Brazz, The London and The Crown Pub and Beer Garden, the two lakefront hotspots are prime settings for wining, dining and socialising during summer.

“Pier caters to a wide market, with a large variety of meat, seafood,  vegetarian and vegan dishes,” says marketing manager Megan Molloy. “ The restaurant offers full table service that is both friendly and professional in its relaxed location.”

Seafood dishes on the Pier menu are a house speciality.

“ New to the menu is our grilled King salmon salad with kale, fennel, orange, pickled daikon, cucumber, radish, white miso and wasabi cream dressing which is a highlight,” she says “The Blue Cod tacos with chill jam, coriander, chipotle, salsa and jalapenos are very popular as is our seafood linguine with prawns, mussels, scallops in a white wine cream sauce.”

The drinks list offers Central Otago and New Zealand wines, locally sourced beers and spirits and international varieties.

With an extended seated outdoor table and bar area Pier is an al fresco social hub.

“ It’s usually the first and last stop for tourists arriving and departing Queenstown because it’s the best spot to soak up the views and ambience,” says Megan. “We welcome guests on a first come, first service basis, but do take bookings for special occasions.”

Boardwalk in the Bay

Boardwalk Restaurant on the first floor of Steamer Wharf in Queenstown Bay offers upscale, contemporary dining with a relaxed ambience.

Marketing manager Megan Molloy says the position is one of the best in Queenstown and the restaurant maximises its views over Lake Wakatipu.

“ It’s very sleek and modern inside with softer touches throughout. We have a separate bar area to the dining room with floor to ceiling windows to showcase the stunning outlook and there are three seated balcony areas which are the perfect situation for summer dining.”

Group head chef Chris Lees is classically trained and has worked in five-star restaurants in Canada, Australia and Michelin star restaurants in the UK and Scandinavia. Megan says he oversees the Boardwalk menus which rely heavily on New Zealand produce.

“ Primarily steak, seafood and oysters are customer favourites along with pan seared New Zealand scallops and Big Glory Bay cured salmon for starters. For mains it’s hard to go past the salted tomato poached Blue Cod with confit cherry tomatoes, potato gratin, broccolini and meyer lemon butter or the merino lamb duo with herb crust, vadouvan carrot puree, shallot, pistachio yoghurt and minted lamb jus. We also have daily market fish and live crayfish on the menu.”

Families and large groups are welcome at Boardwalk Restaurant and there is a separate children’s menu. Bookings are highly recommended.