2016 was a great foodie year!
I tried new dishes (at Tiger Burger and Judge Bao), I tried a new food truck (Temaki Truck), there were many foodie events (Auckland Food Show, Taste of Auckland, Seafood Festival, Food Space, streetARTdego and Auckland Night Noodle Markets to name a few), my favourite dessert bar (Miann) opened a second branch and I travelled to many wonderful places (Sydney, Fiji, all around Spain, London, Dublin and Edinburgh).
Check out my list below for my 16 favourite foodie highlights of the year. Click the links after each to find out more. Enjoy!
From left to right (main image above):
This year, Miann opened their second store (YAY) and in my favourite area – Britomart! Just like their Fort Street store, they are selling their beautifully presented gateaux, gelato sticks, macarons and handcrafted bonbons. The point of difference is the larger, brighter and airier space. My favourites so far include their Bombe Alaska dessert, the 55% Itakuja gateaux with dark chocolate, passionfruit, coconut and lime (pictured above) and the peanut butter bonbon.
Blog Post / Miann’s Instagram
Burger and fries heaven… but with a twist! Introducing Tiger Burger, who make Korean-style burgers… delicious! Although Tiger Burger has been open for a while, my sister and I only went earlier this year, and we loved it! Highlights included their kimcheese burger with beef – juicy, messy and oozing cheese, their vegetarian burger with its crispy shitake and kumara patty, and of course, their kimcheese fries (pictured above) – officially my favourite fries in Auckland!
Grounds of Alexandria, Sydney
In February of this year, I visited Sydney to see my sister off to London. It is one of my favourite cities, with so much to see, eat and do. This time, we visited the Grounds of Alexandria, and it was wonderful. It is a mix between Ponsonby Central, La Cigale French Market and the gardens at the Auckland Domain🌷 You’ll find freshly brewed hot coffee, delectable pastries and desserts (pictured above), homemade lemonade, chocolates and doughnuts, and a cafe serving delicious meals, all set in beautiful garden surrounds. They also have farm animals including lambs and a pig called Kevin Bacon – so cute!
Pancakes at the Westin Denarau, Fiji
Pictured above are the BEST pancakes I have had to date – light, fluffy and melt in your mouth! They are one of the many dishes on the buffet breakfast menu at the Westin Denarau Hotel in Fiji. We stayed here in May of this year to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. I literally ate five of these pancakes every day, with maple syrup and the freshest fruit – watermelon, lychee and pineapple – definitely a breakfast to remember!
I have been following Judge Bao from the beginning and this year, I particularly enjoyed their ‘Hatchling Bao’ with hand rolled bao, fuyu fried free range chicken, black garlic mayo, daikon pickle, sriracha, shiso and pea (pictured above) at Auckland ArtWeek’s streetARTdego – the bao was delicious as always and it is definitely my favourite bao combination to date!
Minty B Ice Creamery at Auckland Food Show
Minty B Ice Creamery was one of my favourite discoveries at this year’s Auckland Food Show. Pictured above is their vanilla coconut soft serve swirled with black doris plum sorbet and topped with chocolate sauce, cacao nibs AND a slab of their homemade raw homemade chocolate caramel slice. How good does this sound?!?!
Another new and exciting discovery this year was Temaki Truck – a food truck serving hand rolled sushi… but in a cone shape! Thanks to Auckland ArtWeek’s streetARTdego and Food Space events, I finally got to try Temaki Truck this year. I loved their sushi cone with spicy salmon (wow, wow, wow) and their kimchi pork and karaage chicken cone (pictured above) – it was seriously good!
Brunch & Cake by the Sea, Barcelona
If you happen to be in Barcelona, Spain and are looking for an EPIC brunch place, then look no further than Brunch & Cake. I was in Barcelona mid-August on a Contiki and this was the first place that came to mind after a big night out! My Contiki buddy and I tried out their new branch by Barceloneta Beach, namely Brunch & Cake by the Sea. We enjoyed their fresh juices, iced coffee, dragonfruit acai bowl, banana bread, and green eggs benedict (pictured above). All of their dishes come in huge portions, are well presented and are great for that one EPIC photo (check out their Instagram below!)
Haggis Delights at Broadway Market
In September, I spent two weeks in London with my older sister. We visited many touristy sites, cafes and markets, but one place stood out – Broadway Market. We tried quite a few different things, but our favourites were the Haggis scotch eggs, served with mustard and homemade chutney from Finest Fayre and the Haggis toasted sandwich with cheddar, caramelised onions, mustard and rocket from Deeny’s – ultimate foodie heaven!
Continuing with my love for bao (see Judge Bao above), while I was in London this year, I made a beeline for BAO, an upmarket Taiwanese eatery located in the Soho area. You always have to wait in line, they don’t take bookings, but waiting for their bao is worth it. While I loved their Classic Pork Bao and Taiwanese fried chicken, the stand out dish was their Fried Horlicks Ice Cream Bao (pictured above) – definitely something I haven’t seen on an Auckland menu yet! I can’t wait to go back to London, just so I can try more of BAO’s creations!
Back in September, I went to burger and sweet heaven. Burger Burger ran a competition where you could design and create your own burger. I loved all of the entries, but my favourite creation was the S’mores dessert burger (pictured above) by Jiani Xu. It consisted of a chocolate bun (OMG), filled with toasted marshmallows, peanut butter and Nutella sauce, biscuit and almond crumble and Kohu Road vanilla ice cream. It was seriously amazing. I really hope Burger Burger puts this on their menu next year!!!
Taste of Auckland 16
Taste of Auckland is one of my favourite foodie events of the year, and I have to say, that this year was amazing! Highlights included: the Chicken Mescachan wrap with Middle Eastern slaw from Ima Cuisine (pictured above), the heavenly oysters at Depot, Duncan venison, Sailor Jerry spiced rum, the Crispy Hapuka Red Curry dish from TokTok, the Jellytop Chocolate and Raspberry ice cream from Dr Feelgood, seeing Adriano Zumbo live in action and decorating my own cupcake at the Food TV stand. I can’t wait for next year!!!
I often post pictures of &Sushi on Instagram and Facebook, mainly because it is my favourite eatery in Auckland! The most memorable dish I had this year was their Salmon and Tuna Sashimi Salad with avocado, salad, flying fish roe, seaweed and sushi rice (pictured above) – fresh, healthy and delicious! They have two locations now: Teed St, Newmarket (original) and City Works Depot (opened this year). If you haven’t been to &Sushi yet, then you better get there quick, because it’s by far the best sushi in Auckland!
House of Dumplings
I love dumplings. My favourites are by House of Dumplings. I first tried House of Dumplings at the Auckland Seafood Festival last year and then at the Auckland Food Show and Auckland Night Noodle Markets this year. Originating from Wellington, their dumplings are all handmade from scratch and they use fresh and local ingredients. Their dumplings also come in many different varieties – my favourites being the Korean Sesame Beef Sprouts and Nepalese Spiced Lamb (pictured above). You can now also buy boxes of their dumplings (frozen) at selected supermarkets and specialty food stores – I found some last week at Countdown Newmarket – can’t wait to devour them at home!
Birthday Cake by Melie’s Kitchen
So… I turned 25 this year! I have dreamt of having a Mexican Fiesta birthday party for a long time and it finally came true… woo! Although I was thinking of making a Mexican-style cake, my Mum insisted that she wanted to make a cake from the Melie’s Kitchen cookbook – Amelia Ferrier is the author and she makes fabulous looking cakes. And she’s only 18!!! Pictured above is the Elderflower, Rose, Rhubarb and Toffee Cake made by my amazing Mum – it went down a treat!
High Tea at Bellini
For about a year and a half now, I have been a part of #NZBloggers, a community of about 712 bloggers (current stats!) who come together online, sharing their blog posts, tips, advice and more. My favourite part about the group is meeting the people behind the blogs you follow and love and this had been made possible with #NZBloggers’ monthly #brunchclub events. We meet up once a month to have brunch and talk about blogging – it is loads of fun!
My 2016 year ended on a high note, with the #brunchclub’s Christmas party being held at Bellini, Hilton for High Tea and cocktails – lovely company, venue and delicious food. We indulged in savoury delights, scones with jam and cream, espresso martinis, strawberry tarts (pictured above), friands, macarons and a toberlone cocktail to finish!
Hope you all enjoyed my post and have a very Happy New Year! 🌟