What are whitebait?

Inanga (Galaxias maculatus) whitebait

Whitebait are found across the world. They are the juvenile of a small fish. Some countries call them sprat or herring. They are different to the whitebait found here in New Zealand.

There are five different species in New Zealand, most of which are unique to us which is why you won’t find them anywhere else! The most common species is known as inanga.

Adult inanga

How do you catch them?

There are a variety of ways to catch whitebait, all of which require different skills and equipment.

How do you eat them?

The best way to eat whitebait is…fast, before anyone else gets it!

But seriously, we think the best way to eat whitebait is the minimalist way, and we don’t mean minimal on the whitebait! There is no denying that whitebait is a luxury, expensive item. But we believe in giving our customers a taste of whitebait and one where they can’t count the whitebait in their patty.

This means our whitebait patties are gluten free because there is no other added ingredients. All we use is whitebait we have (mostly) caught, with eggs from our own happy hens.

We also recommend a hint of lemon, a squirt of mint sauce and lashings of salt….but rather than be so bold as to season it for you, we provide complimentary condiments.

What are those little black flies?

They are called ‘sandflies’, but we also get mosquitos at night – lucky eh 🙂

Sandflies are notorious in parts (most) of the West Coast, and are well known for causing itchy bites and often nasty reactions in many travellers.

We wish we could share with you a secret potion, like smearing yourself with Vegemite, or drowning yourself in diesel, but we have learnt to call them the ‘kaitiaki’ instead.

What other fish do you serve?

We are proud to be cooking up our favourite fish, blue cod.

Blue cod are unique to the South Island of New Zealand only. We have many North Island customers who tell us they have never tried or even heard of blue cod.

After trying ours, we haven’t had one yet tell us they wish they hadn’t.

What sort of wildlife can be seen here?

The West Coast is such a sanctuary for many Kiwi creatures like the Kiwi!

Kiwiana Kai’s location looks over Motukiekie Beach. This is well known for its photographic features and sealife such as starfish, penguins and seals and there is a long stretch of road along the highway for parking.

The Fiordland Crested Penguin can be found here.

Where is Kiwiana Kai located exactly?

Lucky for us there is only one Coast Road! Kiwiana Kai is situated along SH6 north of Greymouth on the way to Punakaiki. Keep an eye out for the rest area signs near Motukiekie Beach. You will find us parked up along the side of the road at one of the layby areas in between 13 and 14 Mile Creek.

Do you have EFT-POS?

Such is the raw and untamed wilderness of the West Coast, that we can not currently offer EFT-POS sorry.

Cellphone coverage is unreliable along this stretch of the highway, and in many parts of the West Coast, but as time passes technology improves and we know it won’t be long before we can offer this service.

In the meantime, please bring cash and accept our gratitude for your patience and understanding. We know it is not very modern, but to be fair, that is the very reason why we love the West Coast.

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