Monday, June 7, 2010

Fish and chips and Thai food

We caught up with some friends from Auckland who were having a long weekend in Paihia, and had an excellent, rather wet, day with them on Saturday. After a couple of hours at the Taipa raceway, watching some fairly mad stock-car races which dissolved into the tiny clay track as the rain closed in, we drove down to Mangonui and it's rightly famous fish & chip shop.

The fish & chipper is on stilts over the water at Mangonui, always busy, and never less then excellent. The fish of the day (no choice, and who needs it?) was bluenose cod, so a couple of pieces each, in crispy batter, with some chips and quarters of lemon did us proud. It was so tasty, indeed, that we ate all the photos of the food, too. So here's a library image:
photo courtesy of the AA website
and the aftermath (or aftermaths if you speak English)

photo courtesy of LW

That evening we decided to eat in Paihia at the Thai Garden on the waterfront. It's a small cafe-style place, with a generic Thai menu, and, in my opinion, really good quality food. I had the Tom Yum soup, which I can rarely go past as a starter, and despite the presence of split coconut milk (I prefer it when it's a clear, coconut-free version) was really tasty; very hot and sour, with the regulation three jumbo prawns. LW and our friends went for the "other" option for the starter, the deep fried crispy things. Golden sacks, in LW's case, which were, indeed, golden and sack-like.

As a main course, the sizzling beef with vegetables was everybody else's choice, and went down very well indeed. For a few minutes, it was the loudest thing in the cafe. I had the Chilli Basil with Pork served with a coconut sauce with veggies. This was very fragrant, and, once again, quite fiery. It was described as "Thai medium" which suited me fine. The cafe was packed, the atmosphere happy and the service excellent. We hadn't been to this place for a couple of years (we rarely eat out in Paihia) and will definitely go back soon, as I remember the crispy fried whole snapper in chilli sauce with some fondness!

Tonight is our soup and sandwiches night, so I will attempt to record the experience with some of those new-fangled photographs all the young people are talking about.


  1. ahh the memories....

    the mangonui fish and chippery was the best fish and chips i have had in NZ. and i will have to ponder wether the best ever.

    certainly is worth the stop if you are anywhere near the vicinity.

    thanks for the memories....


  2. Oh, you can't beat a good fish supper from a great chippy! I took a photo of the one we really love last week and tried to zombiefy it on this new application I have found. It isn't perfect though, so once I have the perfect picture, it will be posted as I think it will be rather funny.