All posts tagged: Auckland

Te Matuku Oyster Festival and a deep fried oyster recipe

The Koala and I had the pleasure of attending the Te Matuku Oysters on Waiheke on Saturday thanks to Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters. Our first festival of any kind since last summer, the weather held up – aside from a couple of light showers, it felt like summer. Waiheke is an island just a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland with loads of pristine beaches, a warm Mediterranean micro-climate and a focus on growing quality food and wine. We started with a delightful pilsner from Albi Brewing Company and a complimentary 3 oysters each. We were in oyster heaven and gobbled up more than our share and at festival special prices, it didn’t hurt the wallet one bit. If you love oysters the festival is time to gorge yourself on fresh, plump oysters. If your preference is natural with a squeeze of lemon (or Worcestershire sauce or vinaigrette), then shucked oysters are just $20 per dozen. To give you an idea of market price, a local restaurant sells the same oysters at $48 per dozen. …

Learning to shuck oysters and a recipe for Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick

From my father, I inherited a fierce love for fresh oysters. If there was ever a moment I didn’t love raw oysters, I don’t remember it. As a kid, I ate my weight in oysters and any buffet worth visiting had fresh oysters in it’s offerings. Those in our family who loved them would eat a plate piled high. As a young adult, I once (or twice) turned up to family gatherings armed with several dozen shucked oysters on a polystyrene box, knowing they would go down a treat. Oysters are cheaper and fresher if you shuck them yourself but I’d never shucked oysters before. I vaguely remember my uncle wrestling with oysters but that didn’t interest me as a kid – I just wanted to eat them. In anticipation of the Te Matuku Oyster Festival on Waiheke this Saturday, I had the opportunity to shuck and cook up some plump Waiheke oysters. I’m no pro yet, so I won’t be sharing any shucking tips but I watched a bunch of Youtube videos (including this …

Taste of Auckland – Winners announcement

Happy Friday everyone! With a big thank you to Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux, I am pleased to announce the three winners to my Taste of Auckland double pass giveaway. The winners are… *drumroll please* Alice Chan, Mira Bi and Kiely Evans! Congratulations! I hope you and your friends enjoy your time at Taste of Auckland. Thanks to all who entered and if you missed out, don’t be sad,  I’m also giving away a $150 voucher for New World over here. Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux is back for the eighth year in a row. Running from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016 and once again at Western Springs, Taste of Auckland will be settling in for 6 sessions over 4 days of al fresco dining with wine and cocktails. Check out my write up about last year’s event and the year before last if you’re feeling eager and if you missed it, check out my intro post for this year’s event here. Advance tickets General admission $25, Premium $60 (includes 40 crowns), VIP $110. Concessions available. …

Taste of Auckland 2016 is coming and a giveaway

Happy Friday everyone! We’re about halfway through October already and I am loving day light savings time. Longer evenings and we’re actually getting more sunny days than rainy days. November is my favourite month and not just because it’s my birthday (although that certainly helps). November means that my favourite festival of delicious proportions, Taste of Auckland is back for the eighth year in a row. Thanks to Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux, I have three double passes to give away to three lucky readers (Total value $150). To enter, fill in the entry form at the bottom of this post including a skill question: Adriano Zumbo will be demonstrating at Electrolux Taste Theatre on which 2 days? The answer can be found here. Running from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016 and once again at Western Springs, Taste of Auckland will be settling in for 6 sessions over 4 days of al fresco dining with wine and cocktails. If I gush a bit in this post, please understand I am a Taste fan girl. I …

Burrata for NZ Cheese Month

Happy NZ Cheese Month! I was over the moon last month when I joined a bunch of cheese-loving media on a NZ Cheese road trip. We visited some great local cheese makers, tasted some amazing and some polarising cheese and even met a lovely herd of water buffalo north of Auckland in Whangaripo. One of our stops was at Il Casaro, located in Glenfield in an unexpectedly industrial area proving that cheese needn’t be made out in the countryside to be good. Here we witnessed Italian cheese maker and co-founder Massimiliano make mozzarella by hand as he explained the process and treated us to freshly made cheese. New Zealand cheese is nothing short of phenomenal. The quality and creativity of our cheese is absolutely good enough for the world market, but many small producers can only meet the demand of our local appetites. This means that our very best cheese actually stays in the country. A win for us. In honour of NZ Cheese Month this month, I had the pleasure of trying this organic …

Tofu Tuesday: Local elections

It’s local election time and reading through this year’s candidate booklet, I’m reminded why I have never voted in local elections. I can’t summon any enthusiasm for the candidates. Voting is important and I have voted in every general election since I turned 18, but local elections…? Not once. The voting booklet is peppered with a huge variety of candidates from serious runners to society’s extremists. The terrible writing makes me wonder if the whole thing is a joke or just a soapbox for crazies to mount every few years. Tell me who to vote for. Please. Click here to see more editions of Tofu Tuesday.

Pinot Pinball at Pinot Palooza

My friend Miss A and I attended the first Auckland Pinot Palooza on Saturday at Shed 10. This celebration of pinot noir is aimed specifically at wine drinkers rather than wine snobs. There was very little else aside from pinot noir so it was eye-opening to try pinot noir from different climates and vintages all one after the other. Pinot Palooza has been running in Australia for 5 years and has a cult following of feel good wine drinking over there. With over 60 pinot noir producers on site, each offering an average of 3 bottles each, there was no way we would get through them all. Not even close and especially since we weren’t spitting. Sauvignon Blanc are the number one planting in our vineyards taking a massive 72% of our production but Pinot Noir is (a very distant but growing) second with 8% of NZ wine production (Source: NZ Wine). After starting with a couple of wines from Wine Australia followed by Framingham in Marlborough, we quickly devised our plan of action which …

Pies and wine

I had the BEST foodie day in Britomart last Friday. A couple of hours work in the morning and then lunch at Ortolana with fellow bloggers Ari Eats and Miss Charlotte Cake, followed by a gourmet pie masterclass, followed by coffee at Oaken (one of my favourite spots), followed by a food and wine matching class by Ostro, followed by dinner at Indochine with my bestie (and more wine).   Social Kitchen I was invited as a guest to a couple of masterclasses at Fisher and Paykel’s Social Kitchen in Britomart, set up as part of Auckland Restaurant Month. With a covered seating area, stage and demonstration kitchen, these were presented by Kelly Gibney of Bonnie Delicious blog. Chefs, restaurants and food personalities represented included Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiobo), Kyle Street (Depot, Federal), Gareth Stewart (Euro, The Culpepper), Michael Dearth (The Grove) Jordon Rondel (The Caker), Giapo Grazioli (Giapo) and more. Each class was starkly different and there really was something for every level of foodie. The weather was glorious so it was nice to see beanbags out …

Did someone say Palooza?

I consider Pinot Noir the “gateway red” and next Saturday on September 3rd, Pinot Palooza, a celebration of Pinot Noir is coming to Auckland. Auckland’s first Pinot Palooza features unlimited tastings of 150 wines, 60 producers from New Zealand and Australia. Regions represented are Central Otago, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, Wairarapa, Waipara Valley, North Canterbury and Nelson. You may recognise some of the producers such as: Pegasus Bay  Neudorf Sileni Estates Giesen Wines Villa Maria Though there are many more, check out the full list here: http://pinotpalooza.com.au/auckland-your-wine-list/ If you’ve been to any other Bottle Shop Concepts events such as Game of Rhones, then you can expect the same token-free experience. That’s right no tokens meaning you can taste wines to your heart’s content without worrying how many pieces of silver you have left in your pocket. There will be music, there might even be dancing. Who knows? Tickets are $60pp which includes an EPIC crystal Plumm RedB Glass (value $35) or VIP tickets which includes early access, a food voucher, a curated tour and a special …

Winner of ETA UpperCuts $100 Cassia voucher

With special thanks to ETA UpperCuts #OpenUpInteresting I am pleased to announce the winner for the Cassia $100 voucher giveaway. Cassia won Metro’s Best Restaurant 2016 and Chef Sid Sahrawat is considered one of our most innovative and inspiring chefs, recently taking the title of Cuisine’s Chef of the Year. Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Jason Alipao Congratulations Jason! I loved picking out this prize and I hope you enjoy your visit to Cassia. To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.  

Tofu Tuesday: Semi Permanent swag

I’ve had a creative supercharge after 2 days at Semi Permanent, a creative conference here in Auckland. with 20 speakers over 2 days, it certainly gave my brain a work out. It’s been a good few years since my last Semi Permanent, I started attending  in 2004 when I was a bright-eyed third-year graphic design student. Now that I’m a freelancer and own my own business, the conference has a different meaning to me. The speakers this year included various entrepreneurs, creative directors, an architect, a poet, UX designers, social media and business people. I was a little gutted there were any illustrators, photographers or typographers represented as these are things that are close to my heart. There were 2 speakers that had food backgrounds though which pleased me. This year felt much more business, technology and philosophy orientated. While I am a business owner, I find business conversations pretty boring. My favourite speaker would be Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr fame. If you love food with a healthy dose of wonder and magic, I suggest you look them …

Curious chips for seasoned foodies and a hot giveaway

Being a curious foodie can be a double-edged sword. I love trying new things, but am never satisfied with the same old flavours. Food tastes and food culture are constantly evolving and finding the next big flavour can be a constant pursuit. I often find inspiration from new foods, cuisines, chefs, and restaurants so I was delighted to learn that Eta have done the same by exploring dozens of ingredient, flavour combos and food trends around the world for the release of four interesting new Eta Uppercuts flavours. I’m excited to share with you two of the new flavours: Sriracha Chilli Corn Tapas, and Cheddar with Black Pepper Deli Cut along with the dips I have created to match. These recipes make generous portions of dip, good for 2-3 bags of chips each. Great as a snack or as a party food, I’ve tested these combinations with my enthusiastic band of guinea pigs friends and I’m pleased to say that both chips and dips were reduced to nothing. A tasty dip can elevate a great …

Street Eats 2016 – Eats

Some of the most delicious things happen by pure chance. On Saturday morning, while eating a whitebait fritter on slice of bread, AND a bag of crunchy deep fried chicken skins (both uncommon in my life), I realised I could combine the two. The result was better than either food on its own. Soft, fish, lemon, crunch, salt, chicken-y. It was so good. I should start my own stall. Ha. My friend and I set upon Street Eats at Shed 10 on Auckland’s Queens Wharf ready to eat and ready to be wowed. This year, Street Eats spanned two levels of Shed 10 giving more room for visitors to move about and there was plenty of seating available. A family friendly affair, there was plenty of activities to keep kids occupied which is great even if you don’t have kids…If you know what I mean. We ate, we drank, we enjoyed atmosphere as guests of AirAsia. We arrived early at 10.30am and didn’t come across any queues, though we did hustle through to avoid crowds. I …

The Food Show Auckland 2016 – review and packaging porn

I went solo to The Food Show today. If you’ve never been on your own before (this was my first time solo), it’s totally awesome. You can zip around quickly, miss the things you’re not into and spend longer chatting about food and to exhibitors generally being a big food NERD. Also, you can take photos of pretty packaging for as long as you like without anyone thinking, “Come ON, let’s GO (you weirdo)”.  The Food Show is huge. Like, MEGA. You could conceivably visit every day for 4 days and still find new things you missed before. I recommend allowing 3 hours, any longer can be a bit overwhelming and it’s easy to get lost. If you do, don’t panic. Eat something and just enjoy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, The Food Show is packaging and food design HEAVEN. If you’re a budding graphic designer looking for food-related inspiration or even someone looking to get into making and packaging their own product. Go to The Food Show. I even saw creatives walking …

Street Eats giveaway winner

With special thanks to Auckland Restaurant Month I am pleased to announce the winner for the Street Eats prize pack. Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Element DP / Jason Faircloth Congratulations Jason! I hope you and your friend enjoy Street Eats the entry for two, two food items and two drinks to be redeemed on Saturday 6 August 2016 at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. I loved reading all your answers to my skill question on your favourite places to eat in Auckland. Lots of great suggestions! To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.

The Food Show Auckland – Double pass winner

With special thanks to The Food Show I am pleased to announce the winner for the double pass to The Food Show Auckland. Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Alex Johnson Congratulations! I hope you and your friend enjoy the event and eat and drink your weight in goodies 🙂 Tips for The Food Show: Avoid the queues and buy your ticket online Bring cash, including coins (parking is $10 and cash only) Bring an appetite Keep hydrated with a bottle of water Bring a sturdy bag and sensible shoes Leave your jacket in the car (it gets very warm inside) Bring a friend or go alone. This is not a place for large groups. Check out the timetable for Whirlpool Cooking Theatre and plan your day accordingly. To find out more info including exhibitors and demonstrations and to buy tickets visit www.foodshow.co.nz Don’t forget to enter my other giveaways. Including a Street Eats Prize Pack and a gorgeous dinnerware and cutlery set. To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.  

Auckland Restaurant Month and a Street Eats giveaway

August is Auckland Restaurant Month and this year, Street Eats on the first Saturday of the month (Saturday 6 Aug 2016). Huzzah! I love Street Eats which I view as a walking, build-your-own degustation. Browse, graze, have a drink, and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be over 80 dishes, usually priced between $5 to $12, covering many different cuisines from restaurants, cafes and food trucks around Auckland. With games for kids, a bar for grown ups and live music for everyone, there will be plenty to keep you amused. Entry is $5 for adults and free for supervised kids. Gates open 10.30am and close 8pm, though I highly recommend an early visit as many of the best dishes sell out. Check out the menus here if you’re like me and like to have a browse before the event. Here’s a few pics I’ve snapped of past Street Eats to get your appetite going…   There are lots of other foodie events on this month, with serious and novel themes. Events include Dinner in the Dark (sold out), Dessert Degustation Walking Tour …

The Food Show Auckland is coming – double pass giveaway

The Food Show is coming back to Auckland from Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 July, from 10am to 6pm at ASB Showgrounds. A great place to sample new products, buy show specials and explore new food trends. The ever popular Whirlpool Cooking Theatre will be showing 5 demonstrations each day with headlong NZ food personalities including Chelsea Winter, Josh Emett, Ray McVinnie, Sachie Nomura (Sachie’s Kitchen), Simon Gault, Megan May (Little Bird) and Kyle Street (Depot). Also for the first time, there will be demonstrations by food blogger Emma Galloway from My Darling Lemon Thyme. It’s so cool to see food bloggers at events like this. My Darling Lemon Thyme blog has been around for years, even longer than this blog. Emma and her family have been in living in Perth for 5 years but recently moved back to NZ meaning she can do cool stuff here like The Food Show. I count Emma as a blog role model so I look forward to seeing her demonstration. The full schedule for Whirlpool Cooking Theatre can be viewed online here. This year, …

Hiakai means “hungry”

Māori cuisine is curiously uncommon in our culinary landscape. Growing up in the Māori wonderland of Rotorua, I enjoyed many hangi as a kid. I just didn’t appreciate or understand how special it was until we moved to Auckland and there were no more hangi. For those not from around here, hangi is a traditional Māori technique of cooking food underground, using heated rocks and covered baskets. It involves a lot of digging and a lot of time and is thus reserved for special occasions on marae (Māori meeting houses) such as weddings and funerals. For most New Zealanders, Māori cuisine is not an everyday occurrence and even tourists visiting our country will struggle to find Māori cuisine. Searching “hangi” on Zomato comes up with one result and both “boil up” and “Māori” yield no results. None. I know of one cafe in Auckland serving Rewena bread as part of their menu, but it’s not like I can just go out and enjoy Māori food whenever I want. The industry just doesn’t look like that. Yet. In contrast, searching “sushi”, “butter …

Game of Rhones AK16

I made the most of a precious work-free weekend and had a BLAST at Game of Rhones. Being it’s second year here in Auckland, Game of Rhones is gathering momentum. Game of Rhones is different to other wine festivals and your $60 ticket gets you a quality PLUMM REDa wine glass (value $30) and all your tastings. That’s right, no tokens are required for wine tastings. It’s all included in your ticket price. Taste to your hearts content. Visitors are encouraged to dress up GoT style and I this year my fur and leather combo channeled GoT Nights Watch, Wildlings and the Iron Islands. Sitting on the bus in costume, no one even looked twice, which made me feel at ease. While I was quite warm, I felt more comfortable in this costume than the gown and cape I wore last year (not really my style). There were more attendees in costume this year and I feel that it will only get better with each year. Kiwis are naturally a little shy when it comes …