We were met with a little mid-week surprise last week – our family friends from Scotland who told us they were coming at the end of February decided to arrive a month early! Naturally, when guests come over you must show them the local hot-spots and hidden hideaways that makes our beautiful Tasman region an even more desirable place to come visit or live. For our guests’ last night of their stay in Nelson, we took them out to a restaurant that we hold very dear to our hearts and tummies; The Boat Shed.
This café-come-restaurant is a little hidden gem, tucked away in the back of the ever-popular leisure park in Mapua. It can be tricky to find, however once you manage to track down this fine little establishment you will never forget it. The Boat Shed sits right on the water’s edge of the Mapua Inlet, providing the dining area with breath-taking views of the beautiful Tasman bay. With the restaurant being so close to the water, it lends the feeling that you are on a boat, peacefully floating along the inlet whilst enjoying good food drink and company!
It was a scorcher of a day so as soon as I sat down I reached for the drinks menu to give me a much-needed refresher. I opted for a fresh Peckham’s Elderflower cider – a very delicious and locally made beverage that is sweet to the taste but also has a subtle tang to cut through the sweetness. As for the food, we decided that everything on the menu sounded too delicious, so we couldn’t help but order 6 of the most delectable sounding small plates to share between us. Each dish packed its own individual punch of flavours and textures that really took our palettes on a journey, however my absolute all-time favourite was the grilled BBQ scampi, the thought of it even makes me drool right now! After demolishing the small plates, we were offered the dessert menu – an offer we just couldn’t refuse. After glancing at the menu my stomach leaped at the honey panna cotta and roasted fig with candied walnuts. The panna cotta wasn’t upturned onto the plate which is a shame because I didn’t get to witness the classic panna wobble, however the taste certainly made up for my presentation disappointment. Honey is a flavour that can get lost in amongst all the other elements of the meal, but this panna cotta was so packed with a gorgeous manuka honey flavour it would even impress Winnie the Pooh! Along with the tangy roasted fig and sweet walnuts, the dessert was a real naughty treat to behold.
This little date mix-up with our guests turned out to be a little blessing in surprise for me, as I got a simply beautiful free meal out of it! The Boatshed has a bountiful list of refreshing drinks, and a menu laden with mouth-watering dishes. Along with premium customer service and views to die for, this restaurant really does pull out in front in the hospitality game. I really think based off this near flawless review, I can’t rate The Boat Shed any lower than a 9/10 on the CCL scale. The only little niggles I have were the dessert presentation and there were quite a few flies buzzing around where we were sitting, but these did not spoil my culinary experience here one bit. If you are ever in Mapua and are in need for a little dining treat, definitely seek this place out and try it – you will NOT be let down, and that is a guarantee!