All posts tagged: review

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  

16. Crave

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… The neighbourly cafe you always wished for. A lofty space with lots of seating areas and local artwork. Edibles planted in front are a nice touch. Come here for… A well deserved brunch by a well-meaning bunch. The most interesting thing on the menu… Black rice risotto Unexpectedly wonderful… Crave’s community ethos and non-profit business practices. I would come back to try… Creamy herbed flat mushrooms on potato cakes Catering to… Everyone. Gluten free and vegetarian dishes clearly marked. Very kid friendly. Expect to spend… $20 per person. Please note, kids flufflies are free. The service is… A bit rushed during busy periods. At the counter only. Avoid if… You don’t like feel-good neighbourhood spots. Oscar the grouch can eat elsewhere. Crave 25 McDonald Street, Morningside Open 7 days http://www.cravecafe.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… …

13. Faro

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… Pretty classy for a Korean BBQ. Quite spacious with warm wooden decor and the barbecue facilities are well thought out. Come here for… Interactive dining. Cook your BBQ meat. Special occasions as this is expensive compared to other Korean BBQ. The most interesting thing on the menu… BBQ ox tongue Whole baked pumpkin (prior reservation essential) Unexpectedly wonderful… Bulgogi The myriad of Korean pickles I would come back to try… BBQ ox tongue Catering to… Omnis. Not much for vegetarians. No allergen info. Expect to spend… $30-$40 per person The service is… Average. Not as good as the prices and decor would suggestion. Staff was not very knowledgeable about the menu. Avoid if… You have food allergies, you don’t like cooking your own food or you just want to eat somewhere quick. Very easy to cross contaminate (shellfish etc). Auckland Restaurant Month special: $40 FOR TWO COURSE DINNER, …

12. Kushi

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 beautifully built wooden dining area with private booths and intimate tables. Come here for… Decent Japanese food right in the heart of the city. Izakaya style food, a little bit of fusion. They have a very well thought out drinks and snack combo menu worth trying. The most interesting thing on the menu… Takowasabi (raw marinated octopus in wasabi) Unagi (grilled eel) Unexpectedly wonderful… The chef’s choice of starters. A nice surprise and fun to discover and eat. I would come back to try… The drinks/snack menu such as 2 pints of Orion beer and a plate of karaage fried chicken. A $30.95 value for $19.30. Drumming performance at 7.30pm on Fridays. Catering to… Japanese food lovers, adventurous food lovers. Some vegetarian options, but most bento sets come with sashimi so check with your waiter. Special dietary requirements are not marked on menu. Expect to spend… $15 to …

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 …

10. Star Thai

Hey Aucklanders, do you like free food? In conjunction with review website Zomato.com, I’m giving away a $20 voucher to be used at Star Thai. To enter, fill in the entry form at the end of this post. 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… The glitzy Hollywood decorations could be over the top but thankfully they have kept the decorations to the walls only. The rest of the layout is understated and classy. The night we went, it was very quiet. Come here for… Delicious Thai curry. Mild and sweet which was perfect for our tastes, though I’m sure you can request “HOT” if you prefer. The most interesting thing on the menu… BBQ duck Unexpectedly wonderful… Baeng Bped Yang (BBQ duck red curry) I would come back to try… Larb Pla (chopped fish salad) Catering to… All diets. The vegetarian dishes are clearly marked. Gluten free available on request. Expect to spend… $25-$35 per person The …

9. Bolaven

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… Simple, light, warm, inviting with Laotian inspired touches. Love the floor to ceiling display of dried ingredients. Come here for… Laos food and regular cafe food by day. Laos food only by night. The most interesting thing on the menu… Sticky rice with fried egg and Jeow Mak Len (Laotian style salsa) Unexpectedly wonderful… Their hand drawn, hand written menu (swoon) Sticky rice in baskets (just like in Laos) Eclairs I would come back to try… Pho with all the trimmings Pork belly with sticky caramel, anise, braised egg, crackling & watercress Catering to… South East Asian food lovers, but also a couple of regular cafe dishes and plenty of pastries and baked goodies at the counter. A couple of options for vegetarians and gluten free, marked on menu. Expect to spend… $20-$30 per person The service is… Friendly and warm. Avoid if… You are in a tight …

8. Tom Tom Bar and 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… Quiet on the night we visited but the space has many areas and is well set up for groups. A bit flasher than your average pub. Come here for… A range of all purpose pub meals to please most picky eaters. Great for groups. The most interesting thing on the menu… Crispy eggplant with massaman dip Unexpectedly wonderful… Chocolate velvet molten lava pudding The unisex toilets with area for stylist on Fridays. Yes, ladies, get your hair done by a professional with a glass of Moet in hand. I would come back to try… Their weekly specials such as the $20 paella and a beer on Wednesday nights. Catering to… Lactose free, gluten free and vegetarian menu items clearly marked. Expect to spend… $20-30 per person The service is… Knowledgable. Avoid if… You can’t eat in front of a TV. Auckland Restaurant Month special: $55 FOR THREE COURSE DINNER …

7. Mexico

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… Very cool. A dimly lit treasure trove of eclectic Mexican and Day of the Dead trinkets and artworks. Come here for… Tasty Mexican food, cocktails for reasonable prices. The menu changes regularly so be warned that your favourites, might disappear. The most interesting thing on the menu… Hard to pick the one. Their snacks menu is pretty interesting: Queso fundido A dedicated tequila menu with over 70 premium tequilas They also have a cute kids menu Unexpectedly wonderful… Ceviche (past menu item) Fried chicken (permanent menu item) Grilled squid (current menu item) I would come back to try… Their regularly updated menu. They also have Caramba Pink Reposado here which I first fell in love with at a Tequila bar in Wellington…haven’t seen it since. Catering to… Everyone. Gluten free and other food intolerances. Plenty of vegetarian options. Expect to spend… $25-$40 per person The service is… Mostly …

6. Cazador

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 charming kitschy restaurant complete with round archways, plastered walls and more taxidermied beast and fowl than some diners will feel comfortable with. The bar area was packed and boisterous at 6pm when we arrived, the dining area quietly well behaved. Come here for… Game meat (and vegetable) dishes served in an unfussy style. Simple clean flavours using unusual ingredients. The menu of about 5 starters and 5 mains changes frequently with daily specials to entice. The most interesting thing on the menu… Crumbed lamb’s brains with sauce gribiche (current menu) Poussin hearts with pancetta and parsley (daily special) Unexpectedly wonderful… Braised ox tail Crumbed lamb’s brains with sauce gribiche I would come back to try… Everything. They menu is updated every 2-3 weeks to keep things interesting, though favourites will re-appear in various forms. Catering to… Omnivores and adventurous meat eaters. Free range, ethically sourced meat eaters. …

5. Tanuki Sushi and Sake Bar

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. Tofu Tuesday is on hiatus this month but in its place I present this delicious Tofu Steak! The atmosphere is… Alive and well. Cosy wooden dining room with plenty of cute Japanese decorations. A tanuki is native Japanese racoon dog that is popular in Japanese folklore. The fellow is well known for his rather large family jewels. Spot them on the various tanuki idols around the restaurant. Most people might not notice, but well, I did! Come here for… Japanese plates to share, Japanese beer and/or sake. Basically Japanese tapas (food to eat with drinks). The most interesting thing on the menu… Deep fried cheese sticks – with fresh pineapple and sesame sauce Takowasa – raw octopus with wasabi Unexpectedly wonderful… Broccoli – in sesame and mayo sauce Tofu steak I would come back to try… Sake Soft shell crab Catering to… Omnis and Vegetarians. Some of their best dishes are vegetarian. Gluten …

4. Mondays

 In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, throughout August I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Sweet, light filled, like a well executed home reno. Come here for… Organic, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and whole foods. The most interesting thing on the menu… Kombucha Unexpectedly wonderful… Their darling little leafy courtyard Beetroot cheesecake (especially the gingery base) I would come back to try… Some cake…nothing too substantial. Catering to… Vegetarians, vegans, allergen and intolerance diets, tiny appetites. Expect to spend… $20-$30 per person The service is… At the counter. Efficient. A little shy. Avoid if… Portions are small so avoid if you are hungry or don’t want to pay premium for whole food. This place is tiny so avoid if you really want a seat or don’t want to wait for one. Mondays 503B New North Road, Kingsland Open til 4pm every day but Wednesday http://www.mondayswholefoods.com

3. Miss Clawdy

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, throughout August I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Casual, busy, well decorated, a little girly and comforting. Come here for… Southern food, cocktails and desserts. The most interesting thing on the menu… Green eggs Oyster po boys Unexpectedly wonderful… Chargrilled baby kumara Key lime pie and torched meringue Coconut fried banana I would come back to try… Oyster po boys Catering to… Mostly Omnis. All pork and chicken is free range. Gluten free options. A few vegetarian dishes. Expect to spend… $20-40 per person The service is… Wonderful. We were kept well watered (and liquored) and our waiters remembered exactly who ordered which drinks. Avoid if… You don’t like bold flavours or sharing. Avoid if you are on a diet. Auckland Restaurant Month special: $25 FOR TWO COURSES, AVAILABLE FOR LUNCH OR DINNER Courses include beef & goats cheese empanadas with a green Mexican pesto, a side of sautéed okra with chili, garlic, …

2. Orleans

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, throughout August I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Rambunctious, smoky and seedy like a New Orleans jazz club on Bourbon Street. Come here for… Live music, cocktails and sharing many small tasty plates with friends. The most interesting thing on the menu… Chicken and waffles Roasted bone marrow Unexpectedly wonderful… Seasonal dish: Fig and blue cheese on toast. So good I was inspired to recreate it. Curly fries Desserts – all of them I would come back to try… Grilled salmon collar Roasted bone marrow Catering to… Omnis mostly. Not many vegetarian options, but if you are vegetarian, you could probably find 1 or 2 from each category and then go hard on dessert. Gluten free and gluten free on request menu items clearly marked as well as full intolerances list on request. Expect to spend… $30 to $40 per person The service is… A bit snobby and elitist, but gets the job …

1. Al’s Deli

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, throughout August I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Vintage industrial diner chic. Probably awesome when they are busy. Come here for… Montreal slanted bagels, grill and diner food. First dates and good company. The most interesting thing on the menu… Moose ears – wholemeal Canadian flat doughnut Poutine – Fries topped with homemade cheese curds and gravy (vegetarian option available) Unexpectedly wonderful… A range of gluten free bagels (not just plain). I would come back to try… Ribs, poutine, burgers, hard shakes. I like the sound of Caramel Bourbon, or Nutella Irish Cream hard shakes. Catering to… Red blooded omnivores. Not many vegetarian options here, though vegetarian poutine is available. A range of Gluten free bagels. Expect to spend… $20-$30 per person The service is… At the counter, friendly and efficient. Avoid if… You are on a carb-free, dairy-free diet. Al’s Deli 1/492 Queen Street, Auckland CBD (entrance on City Road) Open 7 days …

Deep Fried Duck and wanky dumplings

Please excuse me. I am fresh from an evening of fine booze and delicious, oh so delicious food. Quote of the night: When did we become so wanky?  Seriously. Between the “That’s not jam, that’s couli.” or trying to identify the six flavours of the Fisher & Paykel experience — which by the way, I tasted barley, marjoram, maple syrup, black garlic, coriander and black olive — it was sure as hell wanky but so much fun. I saw a few “World famous in New Zealand” food bloggers and food personalities walking about too. Taste of Auckland is like Disneyland for foodies. My friends Coco and Livvy, two fine foodies came with me on opening night (again) and we shared a bunch of dishes (again). I could visit Taste of Auckland every day (mentally, not economically). I’d go back or seconds, thirds even. The weather was divine, sunny, even warm at times and the 5.30pm to 9.30pm session a good amount of time to eat and drink your way through various restaurants, vineyards, liqueurs and food producers. …

Bastille Day Wine Tasting

Our Bastille Day Cheese and Wine Tasting was a barrel of laughs. Tasting different wines side by side was awesome. You taste a little of each and then go back for more until it’s all gone. The wines changed as we drank them and some that I didn’t like at the start were delicious at the end. I suspect a combination of booze and air affected the taste. At our wine tasting, there were ten wine tasters and six bottles of red wine. There were three French wines in honour of Bastille Day, two Australian wines and one New Zealand wine. A good mix. I asked each guest to bring either  cheese or a red wine that they hadn’t tried before, with a price limit of $20. Loose lips and dutch rudders Being the slightly crazy foodie that I am, everyone was encouraged to take notes on the wines based on some key points. Strong opinions and poetic license were held in high regard. Our rating system from 0 to 10: 0 = yuck 5 = …

Bastille Day Cheese Tasting

At our Bastille Day Cheese and Wine Tasting, there were ten cheese enthusiasts and six cheeses. Coincidentally, there were three French cheeses in honour of Bastille Day and three New Zealand cheese. I did a cheese and wine tasting back in 2011 which was a lot of fun. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years already. It’s a delicious, fun and good value entertainment. I asked each guest to bring either  cheese or a red wine that they hadn’t tried before, with a price limit of $20. Political discussions and strong opinions on gardening Being the slightly crazy foodie that I am, everyone was encouraged to take notes on the wines based on some key points. Strong opinions and poetic license were held in high regard. Our rating system from 0 to 10: 0 = yuck 5 = yeah-nah 10 = yum The scores have been averaged out and presented at the end of each set of notes below. Check back tomorrow for some entertaining reading on the wines we consumed. IMPORTANT: These tasting notes …