NZ: Nelson – Harbour Light Bistro

Restaurant view

Hello! We return to sunny, lovely, Nelson where on one of the evenings Annette and Terry took Alastair and I out to dinner.

This was our view during the night.

Oh Nelson, stop it.

We were at Harbour Lights Bistro, located on the waterfront (as you can probably tell from that photo) and it used to be a dairy (milkbar for the non-kiwis) before being converted into a restaurant. That view is wasted on a dairy, so I dare say it was a good change.


Terry and I were food twins that evening, ending up ordering the same starter and main. We are obviously similar in all the important ways: superior taste, good looks, intelligence (I could go on…).

Our starter was one of the specials that evening – a tomato gazpacho garnished with half a deep fried soft shell crab and a mozzarella cracker. I’m not normally a gazpacho lover (it was the soft shell crab that sold me) but I was very happy with my choice. The soup was refreshing with a punchy garlicky edge.


Alastair ordered the house smoked manuka ora king salmon, which came with a potato roesti, herb salad, mustard dressing and a poached egg ($19.50). This would be a great brunch dish.


Annette opted for something a bit lighter: a caprese salad made with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, milk drop mozzarella, and fig infused balsamic ($19.50).

Beef short rib

Not caring that it was a beautiful summer’s evening, Terry and I both had the most wintery dish for our main: slow cooked beef short rib with red wine sauce and persilade, sauteed kale and mashed potato ($33.50). And it was a good choice – the meat was very tender, with its richness slightly offset by the earthy kale.

Fish of the day

While Annette and Alastair both had the fish of the day ($34.50) – blue cod from memory. Here it is bathed in the light from the setting sun. Glorious.


We skipped dessert and feasted our eyes on the sky instead as we left. Lovely dinner, lovely spot, lovely night, loveliness all around.

Harbour Light Bistro
341 Wakefield Quay
Stepneyville 7010
New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 546 6685