All posts tagged: dining

Auckland Restaurant Month 2014 – top picks

August is Auckland Restaurant Month and the menus for the 100 participating restaurants have been posted already. I know it’s a whole month away, but a month is good time to make dates with friends and tick off a few restaurants on the way. There are some fabulous specials and this is a great way to try out some of Auckland’s best restaurants on a range of budgets. It was hard (and hungry) work, but I’ve picked out 10 of my favourite specials which  range from $25 to $100 per person. Auckland Restaurant Month top 10 picks: (In order of budget) 1. Fukuko Britomart, Cocktail bar $25 for 2 snack courses and a shochu cocktail of your choice. Includes a steamed pork bun and 2 tacos (your choice of braised miso short rib, sticky pulled pork, spiced roast duck, sole tempura). http://www.fukuko.co.nz   2. Besos Latinos Elliot Stables, Latin American gourmet $25 for cornchips, your choice of taco and a classic margarita. Taco options: Pork, beef, chicken, vegetarian or fish. http://www.besoslatinos.com   3. Kushi Durham St West, Japanese …

Swoon-worthy Dinnerware

I swear drinking water or orange juice from a goblet tastes different than drinking out of tumbler. I’ve always noticed that the right bowl or plate makes a meal taste better. Even if it’s all in your mind, it’s there. When you’re eating a rustic meal in the country side of an exotic location, a banana leaf plate makes the experience authentic and delicious. When you’re eating at home, the right plate or bowl for the job makes all the difference. Since as long as I started dreaming about my own kitchen and dinner parties, I’ve wanted a slightly off centre dinner set. Something that is not too ornate or stuffy and has an earthy character. My ideal dinner set would frame a rustic and hearty feast. It would not suggest fine dining and it’s also not so busy that it competes with the food. Flatmates always leave kitchen items behind when they move out so whenever we cleaned out of a flat, we also moved the flat kitchen stuff that had been left behind …

A Bargain To Eat Upon

As much as I love eating outside, we’ve never really owned an outdoor table. We either sit on the edge of the deck with plates perched on laps, or if we’re feeling really fancy, we drag the dining table out. We don’t often bother as it doesn’t really fit through the door and takes a bit of shoe-horning and coaxing to get it in and out. Then, I found this sturdy table on Trademe for $20. It looked a bit rough, but had potential. Brought it home, sanded it and gave it a few coats of paint. We already had sandpaper, a bucket of paint and a sponge paintbrush leftover from other projects, so this really cost $20. Perfect for alfresco dining over summer. I’m dreaming of BBQs and cocktails in the backyard. Now all we need are outdoor chairs or benches. But for now, our dining chairs will do just fine.

The Secret World of Private Kitchens in Hong Kong

Before our super epic trip, I’d mentioned to my cousin Charing that I wanted to dine at a private kitchen. From Wiki: Speakeasy, also termed private kitchen in Hong Kong (Chinese: 私房菜), is a term in modern Hong Kong referring to an unlicensed, restaurant-like establishment for eating. Some of the perceived problems with running a restaurant in Hong Kong—high rents and the common practice of landlords extracting profits from restaurants through clauses in tenancy agreements—have led to the establishment of this type of eatery. Owners also have the additional benefit that many government regulations concerning restaurants can be avoided. A typical speakeasy will be based in an ordinary apartment in a block of flats. Customers gain access by ringing the bell before the door is opened from the inside. Inside, the flat will be set out as a simple restaurant. Usually, it provides not only quality home-made food and drink, but a sense of being at home. Advertising is usually by word of mouth—it’s often not possible to have prominent signs outside to advertise the business’ presence, as with a normal commercial establishment. She knew …

Birthday Dinner on the Tramway Restaurant

Surprise birthday gift from parents-in-law: A 4-course dinner for on the Tramway Restaurant. Yes, I know! Spoilt! Tablecloths, linen napkin, lots of cutlery, air conditioning, smooth music in a colonial style dining tram – this was the works! The menu is short and sweet. Perfect for a chef on a tram. The tram seats about 35 diners and there is a tiny kitchen in the centre of the tram. There are no doors so both dining areas can see into the kitchen space. 35 diners with 4 courses in a tiny kitchen over 3 hours. The chef is a genius! We shared bread and dips, I had a lamb entree, salmon main, brownie with compote for dessert. I wasn’t expecting salmon to appear on their limited menu. This was local salmon and beautifully cooked. I even ate all my asparagus. The others had a vegetable tart, porterhouse steak, cajan chicken breast, coconut creme brulee and a cheeseboard. Everything was delicious. We shared 2 bottles of Church Road Merlot and were tipsy and pleasantly full by the …