Taking the ferry ride from Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour Village and visiting the Preserved Cafe to grab a bite were the two top things on our to-do list for the day.
After the walk to the jetty in Lyttelton, the 10 minute ferry ride , the stroll up the hill to the Diamond harbour Village and peeking in and around the historic Stoddart Cottage, we were so ready to have lunch .
The interior of the cafe has a heartwarming rustic charm with burlap and lace buntings, fairy lights and distressed wood industrial type seating. Carrying on the rustic theme, there is a lovely child friendly outdoor seating area on a deck, overlooking the lush green fields, hills and tall eucalyptus trees.
They had a variety of cabinet food and beverages with a fair amount of gluten free offerings to try . We decided to order three dishes from their to share menu when some of our choice dishes were not available. It was understandable considering their menu is tailored around locally produced seasonal ingredients.
We ordered the Parmesan Polenta Fries which came with inhouse made aioli sauce, the Pork Bites encrusted with seasame seeds came with a vegetable purée and were sprinkled with white snow drop flowers as a garnish and Mussels cooked with chilli and garlic which came with a lemon slice garnish.
The polenta fries were as crispy and cheesy as the name suggested and were lip smacking paired with aoli dipping sauce.The pork bites were soft and succulent with a nice crunch from the roasted sesame seeds. The vegetable puree was a nice touch and was yummy and the flower garnish was so pretty.
The mussels were done just right ! Juicy, tender, fresh mussels with the chilli, garlic and lemon giving the dish a nice kick and tangy zest. This was my favourite dish.
Prices are nominal and the atmosphere relaxing and friendly . The attentive staff dropped by our table twice to check if we were enjoying our dishes. The verdict between the two of us: we both loved the polenta chips and the mussels. I’m not a big pork fan and after the flavourful mussels I couldn’t appreciate the pork bites much. Louise, however, loved them and if you’re a fan of pork recommends you definitely try them.
All three dishes were gluten free.
If you are looking for a cozy ,out of the way fun place, Preserved Cafe provides the perfect spot.