All posts tagged: dining out

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, …

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 …

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, …

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 …

Zomato Bloggers Meet Up: Le Chef

The premise It’s been over a year since my last Zomato Meet Up and this week, I attended my first Zomato Blogger’s Meet Up at Le Chef on Vulcan Lane. We dined as guests of Zomato and Le Chef though all opinions are my own. The setting was romantic, the company was delightful, and other bloggers present were: Carli from The Enthusiastic Cook, Laura from Laura Laura, Maddy from Madicattt, and Georgie from Georgieats – all of who I’ve eaten with several times. I interviewed Le Chef owner Edouard Le Goff for my Auckland Restaurant Month series last year when they had their other branch (you can read it here) and it was great to put a name to a face (and a food to a belly). Edouard was exactly as I imagined, very French, very enthusiastic and answered all our questions with ease. The restaurant Le Chef is located in quiet spot on a charming, cobbled pedestrian-only lane in the city. Tucked away from the bustle of Queen Street, Le Chef channels rustic and romantic French charm. I’ve never been to France but it’s on …

Auckland Seafood Festival 2016

If you enjoy sensational, succulent seafood, then make sure you visit Auckland Seafood Festival this long weekend. My sister and I hit Auckland Seafood Festival on opening night and we had a truly delightful time.  We both love seafood so we shared a bunch of things we both enjoy. Arriving shortly after opening, there were no queues so we didn’t have to apply any strategy based on length of the queues. Last year I gave crayfish a miss because the lines were horrendous. Nothing like that this time around. We started with oysters and the Bluff farmed oysters at Sanford Oysters looked good to us. These were freshly shucked and served with malt vinegar and lemon (6 for $22). We had a little browse and then hit up Besos Latinos for some Peruvian ceviche ($14) and seafood empanadas ($10). The ceviche really hit the spot and the empanada (fried fresh to order) reminded us of a seafood pie.   Always popular at Auckland Seafood Festival are Auckland Fish Markets’ crayfish tails. This year they had grilled half cray tails …

Tasty questions with Ultimate OmNoms

Ultimate OmNoms is a prolific Auckland restaurant review blog with stunning photography. I’ve met both Cecilia and Rayshur and had the pleasure of eating with them at events such as the grand opening of Ma Cherie and Graze and Feast. Cecilia Wong is the main belly behind Ultimate OmNoms and below are her answers to the tasty questions I cooked up for your enjoyment. Describe your blog: Nommy || Sunny side up || Off the cuff. What is the most popular post on your blog? Baduzzi dessert post -> ultimateomnoms.com/baduzzi/ Name your favourite comfort food: Dumplings! There’s something soothing about the process of making them, seeing them all sitting quietly in their curved forms…then sending them away to be pan fried or steamed. Love adding chilli oil to serve. What did you have for breakfast? Avocado on toast. That’s been on repeat for almost the whole year now..A world without avocados is a bleak one.. What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten this week? Crepes at Odettes Eatery – both their savory and sweet crepes are amazing! What is an underrated …

Ten delicious ways to spend $60 during Restaurant Month

Restaurant Month is almost upon us. There are some amazing events at Auckland’s finest restaurants with tickets over $200pp. But for those who only dream of $200 dinners, I’ve picked out specials under the $60 mark. There are some pretty amazing restaurants on this list with big reputations so this is a great opportunity to dine out at some of these places for a fraction of the normal cost. There are so many options that I suggest you check out the master list over here. For the sake of quality, I have only included restaurants that have a Zomato rating of 3.9 or higher. If you are new to Zomato, make sure you check out my reviews complete with drool-worthy photos here. Ten delicious ways to spend $60 during Restaurant Month Besos Latinos, Elliot Stables $55 FOR A THREE COURSE DINNER Including a trio of Mexican dips, ham and cheese empanadas, quesadilla and char-grilled marinated steak. Industry Zen, Viaduct $55 FOR A FIVE COURSE DINNER Including wasabi-marinated seafood, sashimi selection, teppan hot plate, teriyaki chicken and beef and …

Ten delicious ways to spend $40 during Restaurant Month

Here are some $40 options for Restaurant Month. I had a hard time compiling this list as it was a the biggest category. There are so many options that I suggest you check out the master list over here. For the sake of quality, I have only included restaurants that have a Zomato rating of 3.9 or higher. If you are new to Zomato, make sure you check out my reviews complete with drool-worthy photos here. These represent the best deals and are places I’ve either eaten at or are on my wishlist. Two or three courses and some of these even include a glass of wine. Ten delicious ways to spend $40 during Restaurant Month Scarecrow, Victoria Street East $40 FOR A THREE COURSE DINNER OR LUNCH Options include scorched sashimi with citrus and macadamia oil, North African spiced fish with roast romanesco and pear and ginger tart with vanilla ice cream. Tourquet, O’Connell Street $40 FOR A TWO COURSE LUNCH OR DINNER WITH WINE Including veal blanquette with glazed carrot and caramelised onion matched with …

Five delicious ways to spend $25 during Restaurant Month

Restaurant Month is upon us. There are some amazing events at Auckland’s finest restaurants with tickets over $200pp. But for those who only dream of $200 dinners, I’ve picked out some $25 specials. These represent the best deals, two or three courses and one even includes a glass of wine! Yes, that’s right, a 3 course meal with wine for $25. Nuts! There are so many options that I suggest you check out the master list over here. For the sake of quality, I have only included restaurants that have a Zomato rating of 3.9 or higher. If you are new to Zomato, make sure you check out my reviews complete with drool-worthy photos here. I have eaten at all these places, these are very good deals! Five delicious ways to spend $25 during Restaurant Month Daikoku on Victoria, Victoria Street West $25 FOR A TWO COURSE DINNER OR LUNCH Including sashimi, tempura and miso soup and a choice of teriyaki chicken, salmon or beef served with rice and a side dish. Depot, Federal Street $25 FOR …

Auckland Restaurant Month 2015 – Events

Auckland Restaurant Month starts this weekend! I’ve picked out a few budget-friendly events for those foodies who can’t quite make the $200 pp events that are happening across Auckland (as much as we’d love to). Check back over the next few days as I share restaurant promotions in different price brackets ($25, $40 and $60) as well as Q&A with chefs, owners, food writers and food bloggers throughout the month. Foodie Films If you missed the two food documentaries at the recent Documentary Edge festival, here’s your chance to see both of them for free. Deli Man is playing this Saturday and For Grace next Saturday. Seating is on a “first in” basis. Deli Man Saturday 1 August, 12pm Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium (FREE) For Grace Saturday 8 August, 5pm Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium (FREE) More info here: http://www.documentaryedge.org.nz Street Eats Saturday 29 August, 10.30am – 8pm Shed 10, Queens Wharf $5 entry (Free entry for supervised children) Immensely popular gourmet market with street food from central city restaurants. Beer, wine, kids’ entertainment and live music. …

NZIFF 2015 – dinner and a movie

New Zealand International Film Festival 2015 is fast approaching! The dates for each region are (in order of start date): Auckland 16 July – 2 August, Wellington 24 July – 9 August, Dunedin 30 July – 16 August, Nelson 6 – 23 August, Christchurch 7 – 23 August, Timaru 13 – 23 August, Gore 19 – 30 August, Hamilton 19 August – 13 September, Palmerston North 20 August – 6 September, Tauranga 20 August – 13 September, Masterton 2 – 16 September, New Plymouth 3 – 20 September, Hawke’s Bay 3 – 20 September For more information on the festival, films and screening times, visit www.nziff.co.nz As you probably know, I love movies and I love food. Movies and food? Oh yaaaassss. Last year, I picked out a some NZIFF movies and paired them dishes and restaurants and you can check them out here. Here are my top movie picks for NZIFF 2015 and their matching dinner recommendations…Please note, not all of these are foodie movies but most have food, eating or hunger themes. City of Gold, 2015 Directed by Laura Gabbert Starring Jonathan Gold (as himself) Portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning LA …

Spices for the eyes, heart and belly

Last Saturday, my friend Coco and I saw the foodporn movie The Hundred-Foot Journey courtesy of Zomato.com. If you like foodporn (also known as gastroporn) and feel-good comedy dramas, then I highly recommend The Hundred-Foot Journey. Also good for date night or a catchup up with foodie friends, just make sure you don’t watch this on an empty stomach and plan a dinner somewhere wonderful afterwards (Indian, French or both).

31. Welcome Eatery

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 big space with business customers and very cheery staff. Their mantra is “Fast, Fresh & Friendly”. Some nice graphic elements (hand painted lettering) if you are into that sort of thing (I am). Come here for… Big smiles and a big feed. A good place to take clients to for a bite, coffee and a little work. The most interesting thing on the menu… Polenta with bean ragu and goats cheese Unexpectedly wonderful… Braised beef cheek sandwich, juicy and tender. I would come back to try… Some of the nice looking cabinet food. Client meetings with good food. Catering to… Breakfast and lunch office workers. The menu is short but evolving. Healthy and raw options. Heaps of cabinet food. Plenty of vegetarian options. Expect to spend… $10-$20 per person The service is… Overwhelmingly friendly. Very attentive. Avoid if… Friendly strangers frighten you. Welcome Eatery Orion Building, 181 Grafton …