Local Since 1991
Fishbone has celebrated South Island seafood since opening it's doors as Queenstown's first sit down fish & chip shop in October 1991.
This historic feat makes Fishbone, Queenstown's longest-serving independently owned restaurant. Indeed, Fishbone has only had two owners, Mike Hill, who started the business and current owner and chef, Darren Lovell, who bought Fishbone in May 2006.
This longevity is a testament to Darren's passion for New Zealand seafood.
"The first time I dined at Fishbone before I went to work there as the head chef, I was blown away by how fresh the fish was," he says.
"Working there I could see why. This little seafood bistro, which at the time was a little run down, sourced the freshest fish straight off the boats in Bluff. What was landed in the morning was in the kitchen by the afternoon. It was amazing."
The fish is still this fresh, and when paired with Darren's other passion, growing food to eat, the alchemy of the two has led to awards, write-ups and magazine features.
"Mornings in the garden, growing tomatoes, lettuces and tomatoes, picking them in the afternoon and then making my way to the restaurant to cook with this beautiful fish and sharing with our guests the produce of Fishbone farm, just fills me with a contentment that I can't quite explain.
"It makes me happy."
So too does travel. And pre-Covid, the chef was on a mission to explore the world of seafood.
"During our shoulder season, I would travel to Europe or Mexico, South America, India and even southern Africa, always on the hunt for new ways of treating fish.
"My partner Kareem and I just want to create the perfect little seafood bistro, nothing too flash, just simple food done well that we hope everyone enjoys."
For bookings call Katy on (03) 4426768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org