All posts tagged: Auckland

10 dishes I’m dying to try…

…at Taste of Auckland presented by Electrolux (PLUS A GIVEAWAY) Taste of Auckland  presented by Electrolux turns 10 this year and I have a double pass to give away. For entry details, scroll to the bottom of this post. So Taste. I am a long time fan girl. I’ve been to every Taste since they started way, way back pre-blog. Haven’t missed one yet. It’s my favourite food festival and the last few years, I’ve been going to multiple sessions so I can sample even more of the restaurant menu offerings. There will be cooking demonstrations, countless artisan and food stalls, bars and villages, live entertainment (including Holly Smith – Duo, Laughton Kora, Sola Rosa Sound System). If you’re interested, check out some of my previous festival review posts here, here and here. I adore Taste. It’s a casual, build your own walking feast. You mosey about and eat all the dishes that you like the sound of. Heaven. Bring a friend or two and double or triple your quota. Held over 6 sessions, this year Taste …

Where I really want to go for American Express Restaurant Month

Restaurant Month is just around the corner. August is going to be an eating extravaganza. There are over 150 participating restaurants are offering special menus.  There are three price brackets and you can browse by budget: $25, $40 and $55+. There have been a bunch of new openings since last year so it’s a great time to head to the central city restaurants you have been meaning to visit. Last August I enjoyed 9 menus. Cassia, Clooney, Culprit, Soul, O’Connell Street Bistro, Gusto, Odettes, Giraffe, and Le Chef which set me back just over $400. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if dining out 9 times in a month for $400 is a good deal or not. I know I have no regrets. We’re celebrating Matariki right now (Māori New Year) and I enjoyed two Matariki events last week. With that in mind, the menu I am most excited about for next month is the “Taste of New Zealand” menu at The Cut on Federal. It’s a hotel restaurant offering Māori potato gnocchi, …

Smokey Mezze Bagel (and a giveaway)

This post was made possible thanks to the folks at Lisa’s  and Abe’s Bagels, who know a thing or two about quick and easy meals. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter a delicious giveaway featuring both brands.   This post is for everyone who enjoys a good mezze platter. Traditionally served at the beginning of a meal – according to Wiki, mezze comes from the Persian word mazze meaning taste or snack – and as much social ritual as a meal. Grazing with friends is one of the more enjoyable ways to spend an afternoon. A great addition to any mezze platter is Lisa’s new Smokey Hummus. I love smoke and I love hummus but I’ve never tasted a smokey hummus before now. The smoke is subtle, not overpowering at all. The cream and lemon notes go beautifully with other mezze ingredients. I love the process of picking out the next morsel and combining items together. You curate every mouthful. Pick. Bite. Select. Down the hatch. Flavour, texture and colour go a …

Edible Paradise

My friend Rich Humphreys is often found behind a camera. We met (what feels like) a million years ago when he was living in Auckland. Over the years he has called a few places home including Wellington, Lyttelton and these days, Australia but we always seem to catch up every year or so, no matter where he is based. Creative, free-spirited and well traveled, his enthusiasm for story telling and community developed early on. I vividly remember viewing parties for his personal travel videos, featuring our friends. I don’t know if they ever saw the light of day but they were gold. Edible Paradise “A quiet revolution is growing in communities across Aotearoa-New Zealand, seeding long-term, multi-generational solutions for our food.” Edible Paradise captures the birth of the food forest movement in New Zealand that is about much more than sustainability. It is ‘he tangata’ – the people. Coming together to connect & share both this abundance and the intangible social benefits that are at the heart of community food development.     After almost 6 …

Perfect picnic food with Californian Medjool Dates

This post was made possible thanks to big and juicy Californian Medjool Dates. These whole fruit treats are a natural source of fibre and a wonderful to refined sugar. Available at Huckleberry stores and in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. Scroll down for giveaway details.   We have had a deliciously warm summer in Auckland. Great picnic weather, and typically for Auckland, some not so great picnic weather. To me, perfect picnic food works at ambient temperature and extra points if it can be eaten with hands. I’ve created these Moroccan chicken pies with Californian Medjool Dates to be enjoyed hot or cold. Chicken, dried apricots and Californian Medjool Dates pair beautifully with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices are warming but don’t pack any heat, making them excellent for a range of palates including little ones. The filling can be made ahead of time and the pies filled and baked before you head out. And if you plan on bringing these to your next picnic, place pies a tea …

Taste of Auckland 2017 – food, mostly.

This is not a sponsored post, however the folks at Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux have supplied me with entry tickets. I visited the festival twice and paid my own way inside the festival. Here are my thoughts… Last week I (and thousands of others) celebrated incredible local food at Taste of Auckland. Taste is a four day festival of food and beverage at Western Springs, Auckland. A line up of 10 restaurants, a gourmet hangi, live demonstrations, cooking and master classes, hundreds of food products and samples, it is a wonderland for food lovers of all levels.   This year I was invited to the media opening with refreshments and mingling just before gates opened. A who’s who of chefs, restauranteurs, media and influencers. Disclosure, I’ve recently started freelancing in social media and I wear many hats that often look the same. Regardless, I take photos, I eat, I make content. I only hope to do the food justice! I snapped a pic of my buddy Georgie with her hero, George Calombaris …

Taste of Auckland turns 9! 

I haven’t always been food obsessed. I “got into food” in my mid-twenties and Taste of Auckland was the first food festival I attended. A year before I started this (mostly) food blog, Mum and I bought tickets to the first ever Taste. We checked out a few cooking demonstrations and I tried beef tartare for the first time ever. I took photos for no real reason as I didn’t have social media or a blog. It was casual. Just something to do. Nine years later, as I mentally prepare myself for next week’s festivities, I realise I’m am a die-hard fan girl. I’ve attended 8 years of Taste and I’m going to Taste of Auckland this year too. Twice. It helps that it’s usually around my birthday making my birthday month a bit more wonderful. Well, basically Running four days from 16 to 19 November, the six sessions of Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux is essentially a build-your-own degustation with your choice of fine wine, beer, even cocktails. There are 10 restaurants …

The Food Show 2017

Fun fact: I carried about 6kg of meaty weight around with me today. Was I on an gruelling new exercise regime? Hell no. I was at The Food Show. The Food Show Auckland is on now until Sunday and today was the preview day. I visited The Food Show today with Bri DiMattina and Michelle from The Foodie Inc. We didn’t  have a plan of attack aside from a cooking class with Barilla, so we checked out a couple of hours of stalls before heading to the pasta class. Take your time, flock to what interests you. Don’t worry too much about the other stuff. We weaved in and out of stalls, trying and buying. There was plenty that took my fancy and once I started shopping it was hard to stop. After a sizeable bowl of pasta, I didn’t have room for much else, though I persevered and continued for a few more hours. When I was almost done and had said goodbye to my friends, I snuck back and bought a little bottle …

Auckland! Prepare your waistbands.

This is not a sponsored post. Sorry if I get gushy…I just get easily excited about food and I love a bargain. It’s almost August which means Auckland Restaurant Month starts next week. A great time to visit all the CBD restaurants you have been meaning to visit. There are special menus starting from $25 (some including wine!) there is something for all tastes and budgets. Below is my 10 picks for the month. I’ve curated this list from over 100 offerings. Some are set menus and others have options to choose from.Hopefully this helps you make some decisions or entices you to check out the other menus for the month. Full disclaimer, this list is purely self indulgent. They are all places that were already on my wish list or places I’ve wanted to get back to. I’m unlikely to get through them all but a girl can dream. Have a nosey and if you are hungry for more, check out the rest of the offerings here. IMPORTANT! Make sure you read the terms …

Fire smoke land and sea

Heading west on Friday afternoon, we drive into a brilliant lilac sunset. My “fork buddy” Aimee is at the wheel and our spirits are high. We’ve been looking forward to this for months. We are going to Hiakai and hiakai means hungry in Māori. However, the weather soon sours. By the time we arrive at Vineyard Cottages in the heart of Kumeu, it is dusk and both sky and earth are wet. Typical Auckland. A couple of fire pits and glowing tents are beacons in the dark, confirming our destination. One bell tent with a warming wood stove burner is to be our dining room and the other canvas tent to serve as the camp kitchen and kitchen pass. I first cottoned on to chef Monique Fiso on the recommendation of fellow blogger Bri DiMattina. @momofiso’s brand of honest, humble humour track her explorations and experiments into a new standard of fiercely Māori cuisine. Having spent 7 years working in some of New York’s best kitchens, Wellington-born, Māori-Samoan chef Fiso returned to New Zealand in 2016 …

Thai coconut mussel and kumara chowder

This post was made possible thanks to Trident. To win a year’s supply of Trident products including their popular chilli sauces, noodles, coconut cream and milk, upload a photo of your own sweet chilli creation to their Facebook page here. Need a recipe to inspire you? Read on… Back when I was a poor uni student, I indulged in mussels as a culinary upgrade from instant noodles. I would steam a kilo of mussels in a pot, add a little sweet chill sauce and coconut cream and serve with bread to mop up the juices. It was a treat. Delicious. Affordable. Minimal effort. Sweet chilli sauce goes so well with mussels and ever since, I’ve kept sweet chilli sauce on hand as a pantry staple. NZ green-lipped mussels are giant compared to other mussels. Some are as large as my hand…though I admit, I have quite small hands. Because they are so big, they have enough strength to hold tightly to their beards making them hard to pull out. My hack is to remove the …

Bao Chicken Bao Bao

This post was made possible thanks to the Best Burger Truck which is trucking through the North Island giving away Beef & Cheese Sliders and Thai Chicken Sliders made with Best Foods Mayo. I have been enjoying Best Foods Mayo since I was a teenager because it is the creamiest, tastiest mayo. I distinctly remember me and my friends being obsessed with this mayo in high school and I have bought it ever since. One thing I was pleased to learn is Best Foods use 100% cage-free eggs in all their products. Winning! The Best Burger Truck recipes have been created by brand ambassador Jo Wilcox, who has worn many different hats including Chef, Food Editor and Food Stylist. To tuck into on these complimentary sliders, simply turn up at the locations in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington listed below. If you can’t make it to one of these events, make your own sliders at home by following the 5 recipes found here. Best Burger Truck will be in… Auckland Friday 28 April, 5pm-8pm at Basement …

Way of the Tao

This is not a sponsored post; however, my dining companions and I dined as guests of First Table. Opinions are and will always be my own (I also gleaned thoughts from my fellow fork buddies). First Table is a booking website with 45 Auckland eateries listed and is available in locations across NZ. First Table bookings give the first table of diners a generous 50% off their food bill. Bookings are $10 and can be made up to 6 days prior. If you enjoy dining early and trying new restaurants, sign up using promo code BUNNYEATS to receive $5 off your first booking. I personally enjoy dining early, usually it means the food comes quickly and because it’s usually quieter than the dinner rush, I don’t bother other tables with my camera. It may suit you too for other reasons, say you grab dinner right after work and don’t have to go home or hang around in town before dinner. First table is also perfect for pre-theatre dining. Last week we enjoyed a visit to Tao. Tucked away …

Cocktails and dumplings

This week I tried First Table, a booking website which gives users an early-bird special. Each booking gives the first table of diners (groups of two to four) a generous 50% off their food bill. Food includes dessert and there is no maximum spend. That’s right, no maximum spend. Whether you order $50 or $500 worth of food, you pay half price. While drinks are not included in the special, it’s good to note that your visit may happen to coincide with happy hour at some establishments. First Table currently have about 40 Auckland restaurants to choose from (including The Commons, Pilkingtons, Everybody’s) and covers 16 other regions in New Zealand. The website is easy to use and bookings cost $10 each and can be made up to 6 days prior. Spaces are very limited as there is only 1 first table per day, per restaurant. If you are flexible with dining times or like to eat early and love a great deal, then First Table is perfect for you. After browsing their list of Auckland restaurants, …

Poké face

Poké (pronounced “po–kay”) landed in Auckland last September in the tired underground IMAX food court on Queen Street. My fork buddy and I hit up Poke Time on opening day: bright and little tacky, as Hawaiian-themed things can be, the experience has a Subway vibe and is essentially a build-your-own raw fish salad bowl. You pick whatever you want, although it can be too many decisions for the uninitiated. If you’ve never tried poké before, it can be overwhelming but if you know what you are doing, Poke Time is great value. With heaps of options including salmon, two types of tuna, and trevally, they also have token vegetarian options, but that’s probably not what most will come here for. Tip: go for the seasoned fish, the non-marinated options are essentially sashimi bowls, rather than poké bowls. Poké means “chop” and is a Hawaiian dish influenced by Japanese cuisine. Poké is raw fish (such as tuna, salmon or octopus) is cubed and seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, seaweed. Poké is often served served with fresh vegetables and rice …