Posted: October 5, 2012 in crayfish, Food, New Zealand, nin's bin, seafood, travel
Tags: , , , , ,


One of the true delicacies of New Zealand is their version of lobster they call crayfish. It’s similar in appearance to a Maine lobster, but it has no claws. And prices are very high. For example, a single crayfish that weighs about 1 1/2 pounds costs 54 New Zealand dollars. That’s about $38 US for what amounts to a 1/2 pound of actual meat.

On the South Island of New Zealand, on the Pacific (eastern) coast near the beach town of Kaikoura, there is a shack that has been serving up crayfish for years…and it’s earned a cult following among foodies that, like me, have traveled thousands of miles just to have a taste of this seafood delicacy.

The place is called Nins Bin, and it’s simply a little shack that sits on the rugged, windy coastline of the Pacific. You walk in, and a plastic container holds already-cooked crayfish, caught that day. The prices for each are marked right on the shell. You pick one, they cut it in half, and serve it with your choice of two sauces: one a sort of thousand island thing, and the other a garlic aioli. We took one of each, walked over to the only picnic table nearby, and quickly finished off this little treat, hungry seagulls buzzing all around us, waiting for any morsel we might accidentally drop. (Not a chance!)

The flesh of the crayfish was sweet…but not really sweet like Maine lobster can be. And although it was a beautiful white in color, its texture was almost meat-like, like chicken. But really good. We devoured the tail, sucked whatever meat we could out of the legs, and that was it…crayfish gone. Experience had. It totally lived up to the foodie hype I had read about.


We hung out around Nins Bin a little longer, taking in the atmosphere before we got back in the rental car and headed down the road to the town of Kaikoura, our next stop on our 3-week, 2000 mile journey through New Zealand.

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