Taste of Auckland starts on this Thursday!
Running Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 November 2015, this will be their second year at the new location of Western Springs.
A haven for foodies, this festival is now in it’s 7th year. Consider it a walking, living, breathing, build-your-own degustation.
Tickets are available online or if you prefer to wait and see what the weather is doing, there are also door sales.
I haven’t missed a single Taste festival yet. Yup. You could say I’m a fan.
For the first time at Taste, there will be a gourmet hangi. Each session a different chef or restaurant team will be offering a gourmet take on the Māori hangi. Be in quick, portions are limited and on first in first serve basis.
I grew up in Rotorua where hangi feasts were fairly common but since moving to Auckland 20+ years ago, there’s been a distinct absence of hangi from my life. You can bet I’ll be trying as much gourmet hangi as I can!
The Gourmet Hangi will be manned by:
- Thursday 5.30pm: Dariush Lolaiy from Cazador
- Friday 12pm: Makoto Tokuyama from Coccoro
- Friday 5.30pm: The Tasting Shed
- Saturday 12pm: Tu Fearn from Harbourside
- Saturday 5.30pm: Ben Bayly from The Grove
- Sunday 12pm: Mark Southon from O’Connell Street Bistro
The restaurants range from fine dining to casual and there really is something for everyone. Dishes range from 6 crowns for an oyster shooter to 19 crowns for a whitebait icon dish. Expect to spend around $40-50 per person on food depending on appetite and types of dishes. Drinks are extra.
There are 8 Auckland restaurants with official menus: Bracu, Farina, Fish, Madito Mendez, Miss Clawdy, Miss Moonshine’s, Non Solo Pizza plus KOTO a guest restaurant all the way from Vietnam.
Depot’s raw bar will be back, shucking bivalves fresh to order. Always good for those of us that adore super fresh seafood.
Award-winning Japanese-influenced degustation restaurant Kazuya will be making a special appearance on Sunday only.
The full menu can be found here.
My top picks are:
- Non Solo Pizza Saveur duck breast, honey, lime, ginger, thyme served with a salad of carrots and coriander 14
- Farina Raviololone al Grancio, crab, mascarpone, fresh cheery tomato sauce 8
- Fish Island tarakiki ceviche, coconut, chillies, cucumber, onions, tomatoes 8
- Miss Moonshine’s Whole beast, Brooklyn pickle, BBQ sauce 14
- Bracu Yorkie stuffed with BBQ beef cheek, kimchi, horseradish chantilly, fried onions 12
- Miss Clawdy Southern fried jerk chicken with chipotle mayo 10
Canon Food Photography Studio
For those who are interested in food photography, there is the Canon Food Photography Studio run by Lottie Hedley (The Great New Zealand Cookbook, The Unbakery). There are 12 sessions over the the festival. To find out more details or to book a session visit the link here.
This year at The Social Kitchen Theatre by Fisher & Paykel, there is a strong healthy eating focus at the Good Taste Sessions. Healthy food experts and bloggers will be demonstrating their recipes and talking their signature flavours.
If you are enjoying the rising success of local breweries, then you must check out Brew Street. One marquee of craft breweries, there are up to 4 x 10 minute “meet the brewer” talks per session.
Kenwood Cookie Extreme with Moustache
I’m a big fan of Moustache Milk and & Cookie so I’m looking forward to seeing what this exhibit at Taste will bring.
Check out my other Taste of Auckland posts including festival reviews and loads more food porn here: https://bunnyeatsdesign.com/tag/taste-of-auckland/
House keeping basics
The festival currency is called a crown and 1 crown = 1 dollar. Festival currency can be loaded onto your Taste of Auckland card and these are used to make any purchases. You can get a full refund on any unused credit so don’t be shy about topping up.
The weather should be better than last year, though you never really know with Auckland. Pack an umbrella just in case.
Transport and parking aren’t as simple as their old venue at Victoria Park. I would recommend catching a taxi to avoid parking woes.
Tips for Taste of Auckland:
- Session times are 4-4.5 hours long. Get there on time and/or go during the day/week to avoid crowds.
- Eftpos cards or cash are accepted to buy crowns (festival currency).
- 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 (or they run out).
- Check out the gourmet hangi.
- 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 pudding. A small umbrella would be wise too. Ladies, it shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it’s not common sense: DO NOT WEAR HIGH HEELS. Gumboots were perfectly acceptable last year.
- Bring a coat for the evening sessions, it can get chilly.
- Take a camera, bring a shopping bag and an appetite.
- Catch a bus or a taxi so you can enjoy the delicious tipple.
- Drink responsibly.
Are you going to Taste? What are you most looking forward to?
Images are take by me from previous festivals and just an indication of the style of dishes you might expect.