The build up to opening day

Hook Wanaka Opening Soon

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re wondering what on earth is actually going on at this “salmon place” that you’ve heard is opening soon in Wanaka.

Simple answer is a lot is going on! The process to get this far has been long, complicated, exciting, and frankly – extremely hard work!

We’re planning to open this summer and the concept is ironically simple: come down to us in Albert Town, borrow one of our fishing rods, and catch your own salmon from one of our lakes. We’ll then prepare it for you (smoked, sashimi, or filleted), and you can either dine in our outdoor courtyard, or take it away with you.

We’ll be starting off slow so we can find our feet and do it right. If we get busy we will limit the number of fish that can be caught so we don’t put any pressure on the environment (or us for that matter). We won’t be offering catch and release, only catch what you can eat. It’s about experiencing the thrill of catching your own food and eating it fresh.

Our food won’t all be salmon based, and you don’t even have to fish. We’re starting off with a small café set in a heated outdoor courtyard serving a variety of tasting platters and woodfired pizzas. The emphasis is on exceptional taste and premium ingredients. Our coffee will be 5 star, and we will have a small hand-picked selection of wine and beer to match the food. The food and drink that we love is what we want to offer our visitors.

We think this is going to be a great asset for Wanaka, it’s a great way to get outdoors and have an adventure without having to get extreme. We’re a family-run business, aiming to give people a unique experience with a down to earth, small town, good old kiwi vibe.

In between meetings, paperwork, gardening, putting a new road in, and banging our heads against the wall, we’ll also be updating our Facebook and Instagram so you can see how we’re progressing. There is so much more in the pipeline, and we will have an open day for Wanaka locals, so keep an eye out for that!

Recipe: Truffled black mustard seed and soy dressing for salmon sashimi.

Salmon Sashimi

This decadent dressing is off the hook! It’s super simple to prepare the dressing. If you are preparing the sashimi yourself make sure you have a really sharp knife to slice the salmon into clean, thin strips. You can leave the truffle oil out if you like, but it makes the dressing so ridiculously indulgent and delicious it would kind of be a shame to do so.

Ingredients
1 rounded tsp black mustard seeds
50ml light soy sauce
2 tbsp salted yuzu juice*
40ml lime juice
40ml water
2 tbsp mirin
3 tsp high quality white truffle oil
Fresh, raw salmon sashimi
*Yuzu is a citrus fruit used in Asian cooking. It can be hard to find in NZ and can easily be substituted with grapefruit. Add a little salt to taste.

Method
Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat and add the mustard seeds. Gently toast the mustard seeds until they begin to pop and are aromatic. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy, yuzu, lime juice, water and mirin. Add the mustard seeds.
Whisk in the truffle oil just before serving.

To serve
Arrange the sashimi slices on a large platter, or divide between 6 small plates. Gently pour the sauce over the salmon. Go easy on the sauce so as to not overpower the fish – you can serve the remainder in a small side bowl. Serve immediately as the citrus juice will begin to ‘cook’ the raw fish if left for too long.

Recipe: The easiest smoked salmon pate you could ever imagine

Smoked salmon pate

This recipe is a great way to make that last bit of your smoked salmon go just a little bit further. It’s so simple, ideal for the kids or if you’re travelling. If you don’t have access to a food processor you can still make it by mashing and mixing with whatever you have – a spoon, a fork and your hands will all do the trick.

Ingredients

200 g cream cheese
200 g smoked salmon
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of capers
2 tablespoons of dill, roughly chopped
Ground pepper to taste

Method

Put everything into a food processer, blitz until combined and you’re done!!
You could also add some horseradish for a bit more of a bite.
Serve on crostini, crackers, toast or straight off the spoon.