All posts filed under: Dining out

25. Ironique

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Busy with unique decor to the Ironique theme. Lots of ambience. The small front opens up to a seating out back and even more seating outside. Come here for… Breakfast, brunch or lunch. All the usual suspects. They also serve dinner. The most interesting thing on the menu… Fried porridge Marinated squid salad Unexpectedly wonderful… Good coffee I would come back to try… Vegetarian big breakfast Catering to… Everyone. Gluten free and vegetarian options available. Eggs are free range. Expect to spend… $20-$30 per person. The service is… At the counter only. Avoid if… You want something a bit more unusual. Ironique Open 7 days http://ironique.freeiz.com/

24. Masu

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… A warm, honey interior with interesting architecture, several open kitchen areas and bar. Gets busy fast. There has been a lot of hype about Masu so understandably the place is humming. Come here for… 2014 Metro Magazine Restaurant of the Year Supreme Winner 2014 Metro Magazine Best New Restaurant 2014 Metro Magazine Best Smart Dining 2014 Metro Magazine Best Drinks List Finalist 2014 Metro Magazine Best Chef Finalist The most interesting thing on the menu… o-toro (fatty tuna) ise ebi no taco (crayfish, spicy miso taco) 100% japanese black wagyu beef sirloin – $100 per 150 grams Unexpectedly wonderful… Master stock baby back pork ribs, cashew nut, sancho salt. Tiger Tanaka – ginger-infused shochu, salted lychee and fresh ruby grapefruit, softened with sparkling sake. I would come back to try… More cocktails. Catering to… Japanese food lovers. Find diners. There is a dedicated gluten-free menu. Not many …

Street Eats 2014

Street Eats was today and there’s still half an hour to get yourself down to Shed 10 at Queen’s Wharf if you’re wondering what to do for dinner today. I went early when there were no lines for food, though it filled out quickly and by noon, there were long quick moving lines snaking their way around Shed 10. Reports from my sister a few minutes ago confirmed that many of the prized dishes were sold out. The ambience was delicious chaos and the music was surprisingly good. There were many delicious things to eat. So many happy people tucking in to really good food. I kind of wished I could have fit more in my belly. I really wanted to fit in the Wagu Burger and duck fat fries (The Grill) but it was not to be. My friends and I managed to get through a few dishes and I ended up spending $21 on food and $6 on a beer. I spent more than last year but only by a fraction. With free entry, this …

23. Lot23

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe.   The atmosphere is… Light and airy, though in a “hard to find, you’ll never find it if you didn’t know it was there” spot. A small covered outdoor area out front. Come here for… Amazing coffee and unusual cafe food. The most interesting thing on the menu… Island style raw fish with kumara crisps Unexpectedly wonderful… Mushroom Ragout I would come back to try… Island style raw fish with kumara crisps Catering to… Creatives mostly due to the other businesses in the building. Vegetarian options abound. Gluten free options might be available but not marked on menu. Expect to spend… $20-30 per person The service is… Friendly. At the counter. Avoid if… You need to be seen when you go out. Lot23 23 Minnie Street, Eden Terrace Open Monday to Saturday http://www.lot23.co.nz     

Behold! Mexico here you come!

Drawn by Random.org, the winner for the $50 Mexico voucher is….. **drum roll please*** Katie Wickes! Thanks to all who entered. There were almost 100 entries and I loved seeing what everyone’s favourite Mexican dishes were. I hope to have more giveaways soon so watch this space! Have a great weekend and don’t forget Street Eats tomorrow.

22. The Fridge

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… A busy neighbourhood cafe. Small in front, walk down the stairs, through their humming kitchen to more seating downstairs and outside. Come here for… Pies. Really good pies in a range of flavours. Some lovely cabinet food and sweet treats. The most interesting thing on the menu… Beef & Guinness pie Moroccan lamb pie Steak & mozzarella pie Unexpectedly wonderful… Pies of course! I am also addicted to their Chicken and bacon caesar wrap. The anchovy mayo is amazing. I would come back to try… All the pies. Catering to… Ominis and veges. Not much for gluten free diners but gluten free toast available on request. Expect to spend… $15-$30 per person The service is… At the counter, friendly and efficient. Kitchen and coffees a bit slow when they are busy. Best to stick to pies and cabinet food if you are hungry or in a hurry. Avoid if… …

21. Thirty Nine Cafe

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Front, typical cafe, out back in their outdoor area, it is bit more arty and funky. Could do with a reno though. Come here for… We have been coming here for a decade just for the bacon hash. I’ve tried a few other things on their menu but their bacon hash is just wonderful. When I go with friends, we order a table’s worth of bacon hash. The most interesting thing on the menu… The bacon hash. Unexpectedly wonderful… The bacon hash. I would come back to try… The bacon hash…again. Catering to… People who love honey bacon, roasted portabello mushrooms, a big hash brown, and shit-tons of hollandaise. Vegetarian options and gluten free options available. I dare you to swap the honey bacon for eggs to create a vege version of the bacon hash. Expect to spend… $20 per person The service is… At the counter. Friendly most …

20. Mamak Malaysian Restaurant

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Chancery Chic meets Malaysian street food. If you haven’t been to the Chancery, when it first opened, the cobble-stoned centre was very fancy. Now most of the stores have changed hands though the architecture remains. Very limited space inside so most of the seating is outdoors, they have heaters and big umbrellas for cold, wet nights. Come here for… Home made style Malaysian street food. A small selection of Malaysian main courses, drinks and appetisers. All at a food hall prices. Lots of tasty appetisers which are great for sharing. The most interesting thing on the menu… Nasi Lemak with ikan bilis (fried anchovies) Spicy soft shell crab Unexpectedly wonderful… Roti – made on site Beef Rendang Satay Chicken I would come back to try… Their laksa – These steaming bowls of spiced noodles are are huge and popular. I must see what the fuss is about. Catering to… Omni, …

19. DeBretts Kitchen

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… An expansive atrium that is brightly lit and surprisingly warm. A bit posh with bright coloured furniture and arty decor. What you might expect for an upmarket hotel restaurant. Come here for… Date night, special occasions, fine food and drink. The most interesting thing on the menu… Welsh rarebit souffle with quail egg, caramelised onion, rye Roasted hapuka, spiced pumpkin, wild rice, yoghurt Roasted quail with butter milk, baby beetroot, puff grain, sour cherry Unexpectedly wonderful… The artistic, thoughtful desserts Both pink breast and tender confit in their duck dish I would come back to try… The pre-show dinner ($45 for 2 courses and a glass of wine). The $35 lunch special which includes an entree, main and dessert served in one course and a glass of wine. Catering to… Limited menu catering to most appetites. No allergy info marked on menu.  Only one vegetarian starter and one …

18. Ima Cuisine

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Warm and cozy. Bookshelves full of books, a welcoming mural, beautifully patterned lit ceiling and low light make for lovely ambience. On the quiet end of Fort Street, once you are inside you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. The smallish dining area can feel a bit noisy and full though so be prepared if you’re looking for a quiet night out. Come here for… Middle Eastern, Israeli and North African inspired healthy and hearty food. Ima means mother in Hebrew and family-style dining is celebrated here. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The most interesting thing on the menu… Brik – North African delicacy. A crisp fried parcel with fresh tuna preserved lemon and a soft cooked egg The range of vegetarian sides Unexpectedly wonderful… Mezze – especially the spice roasted cauliflower Arab rice – lentil pine nuts almonds pistachios and caramelized onions I would come back to try… …

17. Cereal Killa

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Busy, airy and light but located in a crappy part of Dominion Road. Come here for… Not your average brunch. Eating on the way to/from weekend morning errands. The most interesting thing on the menu… Coconut porridge with pear, ginger and rhubarb. Unexpectedly wonderful… Their coffee. I would come back to try… Pancakes with bacon, banana, vanilla mascarpone & blueberry caramel Creamy herbed mushrooms on sour dough Catering to… Everyone. Plenty of vegetarian options and gluten free bread available on request. Kid friendly: there are 6 items on their kids menu. Expect to spend… $20-$30 per person The service is… Friendly and efficient. We had a few different servers but we were watered, coffees and fed in quick succession. Avoid if… You don’t like people experimenting with your breakfast. Cereal Killa 360 Dominion Road, Mt Eden Open 7 days http://www.cerealkilla.co.nz  

16. Crave

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… The neighbourly cafe you always wished for. A lofty space with lots of seating areas and local artwork. Edibles planted in front are a nice touch. Come here for… A well deserved brunch by a well-meaning bunch. The most interesting thing on the menu… Black rice risotto Unexpectedly wonderful… Crave’s community ethos and non-profit business practices. I would come back to try… Creamy herbed flat mushrooms on potato cakes Catering to… Everyone. Gluten free and vegetarian dishes clearly marked. Very kid friendly. Expect to spend… $20 per person. Please note, kids flufflies are free. The service is… A bit rushed during busy periods. At the counter only. Avoid if… You don’t like feel-good neighbourhood spots. Oscar the grouch can eat elsewhere. Crave 25 McDonald Street, Morningside Open 7 days http://www.cravecafe.co.nz

15. Fukuko

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… A surprisingly cozy space with clean lines, mood lighting, 6 tables and plenty of standing room. The jars and bottles of sochu may be decoration and/or ingredients for cocktails. We visited on a quiet weeknight but I can see this place filling up easily. Come here for… Very good Japanese fusion bar snacks. Their pork buns and tacos are divine. The softest, loveliest buns I’ve eaten in a long time. Their cocktail is extensive and very experimental. The most interesting thing on the menu… Spiced roast duck taco Unexpectedly wonderful… Steamed pork buns Sole tempura taco The temperature inside on a cold winter’s night I would come back to try… Braised miso short rib taco Japanese gimlet Catering to… Afterwork and lunch time drinkers and snackers. Not many vegetarian options. Gluten free options not marked on menu. Expect to spend… $20-$40 per person The service is… Great. Just …

14. Ramen Do

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… More like a cafe rather than a Japanese restaurant. They had a renovation but it’s still quite bare and utilitarian. Only a smattering of Japanese touches so there is not much ambience. Which is why people… Come here for… Ramen of course! A noodle shop first and foremost and most diners order ramen. The most interesting thing on the menu… Tuke Men – ramen noodles served with dipping sauce Unexpectedly wonderful… The beautifully cooked eggs. Boiled and marinated with runny yolks. I would come back to try… All of their ramen, add $1 egg (or extra meat if you prefer). Catering to… Omnis and vegetarians. No gluten free options, although you could order a rice dish and ask for no soy sauce. Vegetarian options available but limited. Expect to spend… $15-$20 per person. The service is… Functional. At the counter or table side. Up to you. Avoid if… …

Mexico Giveaway

Hey Aucklanders, do you like free food? In conjunction with review website Zomato.com, I’m giving away a $50 voucher to be used at Mexico. To enter, fill in the entry form at the end of this post. Mexico are well known for their tasty menu, great drinks, cool decor and sweet prices. Check out my quick-fire review for Mexico earlier in the month here. Auckland Restaurant Month special: $25 FOR TWO COURSES AND A MARGARITA Includes a BBQ pork in pibil achiote taco with picadillo of pineapple and ceviche with chicharron, chipotle, coriander and lime, served with a spiced apple and clove margarita. Mexico 23 Britomart Place, Britomart Open 7 days http://www.mexico.net.nz Competition stuff! Terms and conditions 1 entry per person. This competition is open to Auckland residents only. The winner will receive a $50 voucher for Mexico. It is the responsibility of the prize winner to redeem their prize. Prize may not be exchanged for cash and no change will be given. Entries close Thursday 21 August 2014. Winner will be drawn on Friday 22 August 2014 and contacted by email …

13. Faro

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Pretty classy for a Korean BBQ. Quite spacious with warm wooden decor and the barbecue facilities are well thought out. Come here for… Interactive dining. Cook your BBQ meat. Special occasions as this is expensive compared to other Korean BBQ. The most interesting thing on the menu… BBQ ox tongue Whole baked pumpkin (prior reservation essential) Unexpectedly wonderful… Bulgogi The myriad of Korean pickles I would come back to try… BBQ ox tongue Catering to… Omnis. Not much for vegetarians. No allergen info. Expect to spend… $30-$40 per person The service is… Average. Not as good as the prices and decor would suggestion. Staff was not very knowledgeable about the menu. Avoid if… You have food allergies, you don’t like cooking your own food or you just want to eat somewhere quick. Very easy to cross contaminate (shellfish etc). Auckland Restaurant Month special: $40 FOR TWO COURSE DINNER, …

Anticipating Wine AKL

In the last year, a new phase in my wine drinking has developed. I don’t drink as much, but every time I take my first sip of wine, I sigh aloud: “I loooooove wine”. I can’t help it. A glass of wine is classy, relaxing, social and delicious. It demands to be appreciated. I used to drink red or white, but these days I am a staunch red wine drinker. I’ll always pass on the white but I’ll drink any red. Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cab Sav, Syrah, Shiraz, Malbec. Oh yes. This weekend is Wine AKL. I’ve never been before but it looks a bit like Taste, except instead of a celebration of our loveliest restaurants, it is a celebration of our wine makers (and wine drinkers). As part of the Auckland Restaurant Month celebrations, the wine glitterati of NZ will be there talking all about wine. Over 60 of New Zealand’s wine makers will be represented. Entertainment provided by Base FM DJ Murry Sweetpants. Reasonably priced food provided by Euro’s pop-up restaurant. Pop Up Menu Can …

12. Kushi

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… A beautifully built wooden dining area with private booths and intimate tables. Come here for… Decent Japanese food right in the heart of the city. Izakaya style food, a little bit of fusion. They have a very well thought out drinks and snack combo menu worth trying. The most interesting thing on the menu… Takowasabi (raw marinated octopus in wasabi) Unagi (grilled eel) Unexpectedly wonderful… The chef’s choice of starters. A nice surprise and fun to discover and eat. I would come back to try… The drinks/snack menu such as 2 pints of Orion beer and a plate of karaage fried chicken. A $30.95 value for $19.30. Drumming performance at 7.30pm on Fridays. Catering to… Japanese food lovers, adventurous food lovers. Some vegetarian options, but most bento sets come with sashimi so check with your waiter. Special dietary requirements are not marked on menu. Expect to spend… $15 to …

11. Depot

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Heaving. A cosy but busy space for the average kiwi bloke in mind. Purposefully casual. A little bit of vintage. Very nostalgic. Come here for… For cheap cuts cooked well (mostly over charcoal or wood), fresh oysters and clams shucked to order, wine on tap. Honest (man) food designed to be shared. The most interesting thing on the menu… Fergus’ bone marrow (who is Fergus, and is he OK?) Southern fried skate wings Unexpectedly wonderful… Fish sliders Potato skins. I never thought I’d pay a man 10 bucks for potato skins. I would come back to try… Oysters and clams shucked to order Catering to… Boisterous and adventurous eaters. Meat and seafood lovers. Expect to spend… $30-$60 per person The service is… A bit cheeky, but good. Avoid if… You are a fussy eater or on a diet. Vegetarians need not apply most of their vegetable dishes include …