All posts tagged: dining out

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 …

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     

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 …

Anticipating Street Eats 2014

A highlight of Auckland Restaurant Month is Street Eats this Saturday. Once again in the covered Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, this is a free, family-friendly event. See my review of the first Street Eats last year here. Last year, my friend Coco and I sampled five different $5 dishes between us for $25 plus a $6 beer each making it less than $20 per person. Staying pretty true to street food, we ate deep fried food, food on sticks and pizza. This year I might splash out with $30 or $40 so I can try a few more dishes and perhaps another tipple. I hope they have the deep fried milk again (pictured top row, middle). It’s been a year since I had it and I’m hoping I can eat it again. If you have never tried deep fried milk, you are missing out. It’s like eating the silkiest deep fried custard. It’s magic. Worth burning your mouth for. Tips for Street Eats Bring an appetite Bring a friend to share dishes with Bring cash (the EFTPOS line …

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  

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… …

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 …

Devouring the beast

  Last Saturday, my friends Coco, Miss A and The Koala and I enjoyed a day of activities related to the beast. Observing the beast First, the girls and I joined up mid-day and went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Auckland Museum. 100 photos from both professionals and amateurs wielding professional cameras amazed and inspired us. Devouring the beast Later that day, we joined up again, this time with The Koala in tow and feasted on beasts at Cazador – Auckland’s only game meat restaurant. I’d been dreaming of this animalistic day for a while. Looking at photos of beautiful birds and beasts and eating birds and beasts later. It’s a macabre pairing so I’m glad we let a good 6 hours pass between the two activities. Cazador comes highly recommended by anyone that visits and was a wonderful experience. The food is cooked simply, letting the unusual ingredients shine. More on Cazador in my dedicated quick-fire review later today. Like any good food blogger, I had studied Cazador’s latest menu prior to our visit. Their …

Fig and Gorgonzola Rounds

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Phuong from My Kitchen of Love is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join.   Orleans I’ve been obsessed with New Orleans since I was an angsty teenager. Long, long before I had any interest in food, I fell in love with the people, the French influence, the mystery  and the vampires. I blame Anne Rice novels. I’ve yet to visit New Orleans but it is number 100 on my bucket list. When I “grew up” and my interest for food developed, my obsession with New Orleans deepened. At the start of March, on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras celebration day in New Orleans) my friends and I converged on the newish Auckland restaurant, bar, speakeasy, smoky blues and jazz club called Orleans, in Britomart. Traditionally the day of debauchery before Lent starts, Fat Tuesday is all about living large with …

The Last Summer Barbecue

I have been meaning to share this post for a while. When I was first diagnosed with Graves’ Disease at the end of summer, I did a lot of reading about what to eat. Being able to take control of something, even if it’s just diet made me feel less helpless about my health issues. Eating whole foods has been one positive change I’ve been making, dining out I usually make an exception but at festivals, where things like hot dog on a stick and greasy chips rule, it can be difficult to find something suitable to eat. A bunch of friends and I went to see The Opensouls reunion show mid-March at Phoenix Fest at Nixon Park, Kingsland. Back in 2007 and 2008, Phoenix Fest was just around the corner from our flat and a group of us would shake our asses off at the park and return home for further festivities. Phoenix Fest was on hiatus for 6 or so years and came back this year with a reunion show. How fitting! A …

Tofu Tuesday: The Zomato Easter Egg hunt!

In conjunction with restaurant review website Zomato and Tofu the Easter bunny, we are running an Easter Egg hunt on Zomato with a prize of $100 in restaurant vouchers. Zomato has a powerful search engine which you can use to search specific ingredients, dishes or even ambience notes. To enter this competition, visit Zomato.com and have a nosey in the Auckland category. Search for the keywords “boiled egg” and view all the restaurants that have a boiled egg mentioned in their reviews. Name 4 of these restaurants in the contact form below to be in to win. Entries close Wednesday 23 April 2014 and winner will be drawn by Zomato, contacted by email and announced here and on social networks. Terms and conditions 1 entry per person. Only correct entries will be accepted to the draw. This competition is open to Auckland residents only. The winner will receive $100 in restaurant vouchers: $50 Tatsumi, $30 Nickie’s Thai, $20 Mission Bay Cafe. Prizes may not be exchanged for cash and no change will be given. Entries close Wednesday …

9 items

The Food I thought I would do a separate post for the meal I enjoyed with ten other bloggers at The Paddington, Parnell. There were 9 dishes (10 if you include the fries) and I ate every single one of them. I started with a glass of Rabbit Ranch (of course) pinot noir and stuck with the reds for the evening. Even though it was pretty much an open bar, everyone was on their best behavior. It was a school night afterall. From The Paddington’s Finger Food Menu Hoegaarden cured salmon in cucumber ribbons Confit vine tomato bruschetta From The Paddington’s Appetisers Menu Homemade mushroom wontons with chili dipping sauce Honey soy beef skewers with a chili lime dressing The Paddington’s Signature Dishes Mini portions of Seafood chowder Caesar salad to share with options, chicken and calamari to taste From The Paddington’s Mains Menu Slice of Pizza: Salami chicken and caramelised red onion with bbq sauce Sliders: Pork Belly Burger with Japanese mayonnaise slaw and fries From The Paddington’s Functions Menu Guinness & Baileys Cheesecake …

The most photographed wontons in the world

Last night, tucked away in a pub in Parnell, ten Auckland bloggers gathered and feasted upon a nine dish tasting menu. Hosted by restaurant review website Zomato and The Paddington, this was an opportunity to show off the venue and a new menu. Zomato Zomato (rhymes with tomoto) launched here mid 2013 and is the newest review website in New Zealand. Zomato are gaining a good market share of reviews with their easy to navigate, clean design. As a graphic designer, I love a sleek website and I’m sure you do too. Their data collecting technique is mind boggling. Their data collectors have included over 3000 Auckland restaurants with more added weekly. I signed up to Zomato earlier this year and use it to get a feel for unfamiliar restaurants. With a tiered points system, reviewers on Zomato gain social status based on their activity. Almost any activity on Zomato will gain points and you can choose to follow reviewers with similar tastes. For those that love sharing and looking at food porn, you upload photos to restaurant listings and …

Auckland Restaurant Month on a budget

I enjoy eating out just as much as I enjoy cooking and in a few days it will be Auckland Restaurant Month. Testing out the promotional menus is a great way to get out of a winter hibernation funk. With over 20 foodie events and 120 restaurants participating, get into Auckland and eat something new this month. More info can be found at: www.biglittlecity.co.nz/auckland-restaurant-month/ Street Eats at Shed 10 The number one foodie event I’m looking forward to during next month is Street Eats at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. Entry is free and you can expect a feast from 10.30am to 7.00pm on Saturday 10 August 2013. “Taking place at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, Street Eats is a family friendly event with our favourite chefs serving up their most beloved street food.” I am hoping Street like the restaurant section of my favourite food festivals but without the entry fee. The lineup for Street Eats includes: Besos Latinos Atico Cocina Ima Cuisine Mecca Cafe Toto Merchants of Venice Monsoon Poon Faro Korean Restaurant Thai Street …

Tequila Joe’s

Tequila Joe’s had only been open for a couple of days when we happened upon it. They don’t get heaps of foot traffic over on Vivian Street, but we passed this place twice a day on our walk in and out of town. The Koala has had a yearning to open a tequila bar in Auckland for the last little while. No such thing exists in Auckland (yet) so when we saw this tequila spot we had to try it out. Come here for… California-style Mexican food and top shelf tequilas. Unexpectedly wonderful… Caramba Pink Reposado sipped with a sangrita. A delcious tequila with caramel flavours. If you have ever had tequila treat you bad, this is the one to make you fall in love all over again. The most interesting thing on the menu… Churros and the Mexican hot chocolate. I would come back to try… The snacks and a cocktail or two. The atmosphere is… Still working itself out. It’s in a funny part of town and the word hasn’t got around yet. …