8 May, 2011 - Mokoia Restaurant takes on wild Game Bird challenge

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Hunters crouched expectant in Maimais hoping to bag a few game birds can dream of mouth watering dishes to follow if they take them to Mokoia Restaurant at Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort which is involved in the 2011 Game Bird Food Festival for the first time.

The Festival which involves specially selected restaurants throughout New Zealand encourages hunters to deliver their harvested and dressed game birds 24 – 48 hours before they want to dine and the game birds will be presented as signature dishes.

This is the first time that Mokoia Restaurant has been involved and it is the only fine dining restaurant specialising in indigenous herbs and spices to be participating in New Zealand. As restaurants are not allowed, by law, to purchase or sell wild game birds the Festival is the only opportunity for New Zealanders to taste Game Birds by harvesting them themselves or joining a hunter who has before the end of the hunting season on July 3rd making it a rare treat for food lovers.

Mokoia Restaurant chief executive says the restaurant loves embracing the challenge providing the opportunity for hunters to have their game birds prepared by its award-winning chef Ervin Garde with wine matches also provided for each of the dishes by Esk Valley.

Eastern Region Fish and Game regional manager Rob Pitkethley says “it is great to have a local restaurant put the effort into creating specialty
game dishes for the hunters in our area. “It provides a fantastic opportunity for game bird hunters to show their friends and families how quality
game can be prepared and enjoyed by those that wouldn’t usually get so lucky”