Oyster-opener Noel Irwin, of Bluff (right), and Pier 19
head chef Michael Dabbs display some of the 100 dozen Bluff
oysters available at the Queenstown restaurant on Friday
night, the first day of the 2013 Bluff oyster season. Photo
by Tracey Roxburgh.
From ''delicious'' to ''divine'', one thing was clear at
Pier 19 on Friday night - the 2013 Bluff oysters did not
The restaurant hosted a special event with Cloudy Bay wines
to celebrate the opening day of the season, with ''all you
can eat oysters'' proving a drawcard.
However, those lucky enough to be passing by while
Norman Irwin, of Bluff, was hard at work were some of the
first people in Queenstown to taste this year's harvest.
Mr Irwin, who has been opening oysters for more than 35 years
and can open one dozen in 20 seconds, said 100 dozen had been
transported from Bluff on Friday morning for the special
event, and the standard of oysters this year was second to
''The last three years the fish have been getting better
''Three years ago I could open 100 dozen and probably get 20
rejects. Tonight I'd be surprised if I got five.''
Diners were offered raw oysters either straight from the
shell or with their choice of condiments. However, Mr Irwin
was quick to offer advice - ''you must chew them''.