Last night, I attended my third Taste of Auckland, an event I look forward to every year. Taste is perfect for those that love food, cooking and everything in between! Like the Auckland Food Show (one of my other favourite festivals), it is ultimate foodie heaven.
Held at Western Springs over four days (Thursday to Sunday), Taste showcases some of Auckland’s best restaurants, all in pop up style at the festival. Each restaurant offers 2-4 dishes for you to try, costing between $8-$12 each. This year, I was excited to see some festival favourites, like Depot, Farina and Fish, and also some new restaurants, like Ima Cuisine, Tok Tok and Paris Butter.
Ticket entry to Taste also includes:
– Sampling artisan products and at the TSB Bank Producers Market;
– Watching all your favourite chefs cooking in action, as part of the Electrolux Taste Theatre;
– Trying new and existing food products from all over New Zealand; and
– Decorating your own cupcake at the Food Television stand.
Check out my list below for my highlights of my night at Taste of Auckland, including my favourite dishes and food stands, along with a string of photos! If you have any questions about the products, feel free to ask! If you are heading to the festival this weekend, have a fabulous time!
We tried dishes from Depot, Tok Tok, Paris Butter and Ima Cuisine.
One of my favourite eateries in Auckland, and run by one of New Zealand’s top chefs and restaurateurs, Al Brown. I love visiting their stand, mainly because of their oysters, which are freshly shucked to order! Last year, Al Brown was doing the shucking, which literally made my week!
Favourite dish: Freshly shucked oysters
A new restaurant at Taste of Auckland this year, serving up South East Asian dishes. I haven’t been to their branch in Takapuna yet, but if you would like more of an idea, check out one of my favourite blogger’s review here.
Favourite dish: Prawn and Pork Belly Summer Rolls with papaya, nuoc cham and peanuts
Located on Fort Street in Auckland CBD’s, Ima serves traditional Israeli/Mediterranean cuisine, with wonderful flavours. To me, Ima is one of a kind, because it was one of the first Middle Eastern restaurants around the city (now there are several).
Our favourite dishes: Chicken Mesachan, a tangy and fragrant wrap with Middle Eastern Slaw (featured picture and below) and the Vegetarian Moroccan Stew, on Ima’s handmade fresh couscous. Both dishes were lovely, especially the Moroccan Stew – the couscous was next level goodness!
If you love French fare, then you will love Paris Butter, owned by Nick Honeyman (who is also the head chef), which opened in Auckland less than six months’ ago. I have not been to Paris Butter yet, so I was excited to try one of their dishes.
Favourite dish: Duck Cassoulet – confit duck leg, with saffron rouille, lentils and raspberry vinaigrette (the fanciest dish of the night… however not the most attractive…!)
I love cocktails. And rum. And cocktails with rum. So, naturally, I made a beeline for the Sailor Jerry tent. Pictured below is their Dark and Stormy cocktail with Sailor Jerry, ginger beer and bitters. Next time, I will be definitely trying their ‘Hot Buttered Rum’!
Electrolux Taste Theatre
I have never had the opportunity to experience the Electrolux Taste Theatre, mainly because I have been too busy eating my way around the event! This part of Taste showcases cooking demonstrations from some of New Zealand’s top chefs, like Peter Gordon (Sugar Club), Megan May (Little Bird Unbakery), Nick Honeyman (Paris Butter) and Nadia Lim and Anton Leyland (My Food Bag).
But this year, the major drawcard for me was getting to see Adriano Zumbo live in action. Adriano Zumbo is Australasia’s most celebrated dessert chef, and also one of my idols!
Adriano Zumbo will also be doing a cooking demonstration this afternoon from 2pm to 2.30pm. Check out the rest of the timetable here.
TSB Bank Producers Market
Here, you will find artisan products and fresh New Zealand produce, like olive oils, macarons, baking goodies, chutneys, and honey. This year, I loved the chocolate and raspberry brownie from Made That Way, the wild apple yoghurt from BioFarm, Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney (we always have a jar of this on hand in our house) and the salted caramel macaron from macarons.co.nz.
Another great reason to visit Taste of Auckland is getting the opportunity to try and buy new and existing products, meeting the owners behind all your favourite brands, and sample, sample, sample! Definitely recommend having a light breakfast…! Below is a list of all my favourite products from last night:
– Duncan New Zealand Venison – our favourite stand of the night. The Duncan family produces quality lean venison, and it is quite possibly the best meat I have ever eaten. The whole team were extremely friendly and very passionate about their product, which I loved!
– Dr Feelgood Frozen Pops – one of my favourite ice cream brands, plus their frozen pops are all natural, and use no refined sugar whatsoever. I highly recommend their new Jellytop with chocolate and raspberry – it is seriously good!!!
Also a HUGE thank you to Dr Feelgood for my tickets to Taste of Auckland tonight!!!
– Bloom Cupcakes, showcasing their mouthwatering cupcakes – loved the s’mores one! You can also try three of their cupcake frostings – doughnut, strawberry sundae and s’mores.
– Beekist – you will have probably recognised the Beekist brand at your local supermarket, who produce the stunning tomatoes. I love their yelo tomatoes! They also have a great festival special: $4 for one punnet of tomatoes, $10 for 3 punnets.
– Culley’s Hot Sauces – my favourite hot sauce in Auckland. They also make delicious gluten free corn chips, and most recently, Mexican street food spice mixes!
– Little Bird Unbakery, selling their cold pressed juices, raw desserts, beautiful salads, kale chips and food products. Plus, don’t leave without trying their new coffee macaroons – lovely!
Finally, a sweet way to end the night – decorating your own cupcake at the Food Television stand. It was super fun, and the best part? Great for kids and adults!!!
Taste of Auckland 2016
Details: Taste of Auckland runs tomorrow and Sunday.
Session times: Saturday, 12pm to 4pm and 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Sunday, 12pm to 5pm
Tickets: Purchase here.