The owners of Queenstown's newest restaurant say there is
nothing else like it in New Zealand.
Business partners Karen and Grant Hattaway welcomed more than
120 people to Blue Kanu's official opening on Saturday,
complete with a powhiri and blessing from local iwi.
It is the third restaurant the pair have set up in Queenstown
in the past 12 years.
They already operate Pier 19 and Captains restaurants, as
well as a hospitality consultancy and a catering firm, and
employ about 75 people in total.
Ms Hattaway said the pair had come up with a new term to
describe the concept behind Blue Kanu, ''Polynasia'', which
represented the Polynesian and Asian influences in its food
The restaurant was the first of its kind in New Zealand.
''The food is hard to describe because you won't find it
''I'm saying to people come along and try and see what you
She wanted its food to continue to develop with creativity in
the kitchen and responding to customer feedback.
The restaurant had been a labour of love, and was the result
of years of collecting ''thoughts, ideas, fabric, photos,
recipes and sayings''.
''About four years ago, I thought there was an opportunity to
do something that had a Polynesian feature.
''It's taken that time to put everything together, and we
waited for the right venue.''
The restaurant's 237sq m premises in Church St was a large
space by Queenstown standards.
''It's a lot of square metreage if you get it wrong.
''With the rents in Queenstown, it doesn't come cheaply -
it's not for the faint-hearted.''
Blue Kanu seats 75 inside, and 20 outdoors in the summer.