Where to eat in Te Anau? The town being not big, the choices in terms of gastronomy are limited. You have the possibility between pizzerias, Asian restaurants, New Zealand breweries and bars and then the Kepler restaurant. Of course, having worked in the restaurant during my four months in Te Anau, I will tell you about this one. Also because I think this is the best restaurant in town. Before I worked at the restaurant I was not a big fan of fish, octopus, pork ribs, etc. Since then, I’m ready to taste anything.
Kepler Restaurant, named after one of the Great Walks in the area, has been in Te Anau for quite some time but has recently changed ownership. For the past ten months, it has been run by Eduardo, a Chilean who has lived in New Zealand for 10 years. Edu, as his employees call him, decided to create a menu featuring Fiordland specialties with a South American touch. He and his team (Ingrid, Marek, Pablo and Yanette, a mix of Chilean and Argentinean) are true artists of the kitchen. Each dish is a blend of extraordinary flavors with a beautiful presentation that always impresses customers. Seafood platter, Crayfish, lamb rack, milcao, filets of various fish, soups, papas rellenas, ceviche, bread & dips, pasta, chupe, vegetables, beef and venison, cheesecake, picarones etc, blend for the pleasure of the tastes.
Apart from the food, Kepler offers you a very friendly atmosphere and service. The restaurant contains only two rooms, with superb photographs of Patagonia (very similar to Fiordland. Most of the customers are trapped) and very nice chalk drawings made by Dana, illustrate the specialties. The music is a velvet glove for the ears, a mixture of jazz, South American music and great classics by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.
The service is offered by Katie (the manager from the Philippines), Dana (from Argentina), Radek (from the Czech Republic), Thiaré (from Chile) and then me during my four months in Te Anau. A multi-cultural team that works well, full of smiles and goodwill to make your evening the best possible. During my period of work in the restaurant I greatly appreciated the pleasant atmosphere that emanated from the restaurant as well as the possibility to discuss with the customers to exchange on our respective journeys.
In addition to dinner, Kepler Restaurant is also open in the morning to offer you a breakfast mixing New Zealand specialties, bacon & eggs, toasties, etc. and a South American touch with facturas (croissants) not to be missed. A diner/breakfast at the Kepler Restaurant is a definite stop on your visit to Te Anau. The only things to know are: book before you come! The restaurant being small and very popular, it is full every night. And because it is small, it may be a bit noisy.
_ I recommend
The Lamb Rack Medaillon
For meat lovers, the Lamb Rack is not to be missed. The Ribeye (beef) or the Venison Medallion (deer) are also very good, but my heart leaned in favor of the lamb because of its beautiful presentation and the tenderness of the meat. Eight chops are available, accompanied by vegetables and mashed potatoes. One of the most tender meat I have tasted.
Taste of Earth and Sea
On the fish side, specialties of the day such as Crayfish, Seafood Platter, Duo of Fish and Homemade Seafood Pasta are musts. But my number 1 remains the Taste of Earth and Sea for its mixture of fish soup (Hoki filet) with a broth of tomato and its pork ribs, absolute delight. These are so tender that the bone is almost edible. The dish comes accompanied by sautéed vegetables for an absolutely perfect mixture.
Mandatory stops regroups the things that have marked me, the places that I particularly liked, the most interesting activities I have done, the best restaurants where I ate, in short the list, in my opinion, of things not to be missed during a visit to the country.
All the photos published in this article are my creations. They are not free of rights. Please do not use them without prior authorization.
You are interested in other Mandatory stops in the area or around the world, it’s here!