Taste of Auckland at Victoria kicks off tomorrow and runs through until Sunday. Last year it coincided with the Rugby World Cup with an additional Taste at The Cloud event and was renamed Taste of New Zealand, but this year it is back to it’s original name.
I look forward to this every year because it’s just another excuse to be a glutton. Seriously though, the food at Taste is stunning to look at a even better to eat. It’s different to The Food Show as it is more fine dining and gourmet products. I think of The Food Show as the supermarket expo and Taste as the fine dining and gourmet expo.
There are various masterclasses: whiskey, coffee and cocktails as well as chef cooking demonstrations on stage. This year, 11 restaurants will be featuring 3 dishes each at about $8-12 a plate. Gourmet food, wine and booze producers will also be out in full force and Taste is always a great opportunity to taste new things and grab bargains.
The awesome thing about Taste is that you get to sample dishes from fine dining restaurants without spending upwards of $60 per person. I’m not much of a fine diner, but that’s not to say I don’t love delicious, well thought out dishes.
I recommend 3 to 4 dishes per person, depending on how many free samples you try. Take a foodie with similar tastes as you so you can share and double your tastings. The festival currency are Crowns which can be bought on site. 1 Crown = 1 dollar.
The most interesting thing on the menu this year is probably the Carrot Cake Snapper from new restaurant The Commons. Snapper, spiced beignets (a deep fried doughnut), carrot puree, cream cheese, baby carrots, ginger and lemon olive oil, The Commons only opened it’s doors in August this year so I’m sure they’re ready to make an impression.
Other dishes I’m looking forward to:
- Toto: Salmone Bellavista: Marinated salmon, banana prawns, russian salad, lemon asparagus, crafish sauce, salmon roe – 12 Crowns
- Molten: Slow roasted Savannah short rib with white anchovy, eggplant puree, new season peas, lemon and fior di latte 10 Crowns
- Kermedec Fine: Fare Game wild deer, earth baked kowiniwini, fern curd, blackberry and malt soil – 12 Crowns
- Clooney: Pecan crème brûlée with Pedro xeminez and earl grey – 10 Crowns
Here are this year’s published menus:
- Session times are 4 hours long. Get there on time and/or go during the day/week to avoid crowds.
- Look for show specials.
- Have a squiz at the menu early so you can plan your evening, but be flexible enough to change your mind if something else looks better.
- Sharing with a friend means you can taste even more dishes.
- Wear sensible shoes. It’s a park and Auckland weather can turn the grounds into a chocolate dessert. An umbrella would be wise too.
- Take a camera, bring a shopping bag and an appetite.
- Catch a bus or a taxi so you can enjoy the delicious tipple.
For tickets and more info, visit http://www.tasteofauckland.co.nz/