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Taste of Auckland 19

HEADS UP FOODIES… TASTE OF AUCKLAND IS HERE!!!

November is the most exciting month of the year, for three reasons:
1. It is my birthday month;
2. It is starting to feel like summer; and
3. Taste of Auckland has arrived – woohoo!

On Thursday night, I attended my sixth Taste of Auckland, including the VIP Opening, where Taste presented the ‘Best in Taste Awards’, judged by MARCO PIERRE WHITE (and daughter), Tony Stewart (Clooney), Chand Sahrawat (Sid at The French Cafe/Cassia) and Amanda Linnell (VIVA). The winning dish was the Beetroot Taco Pao with Pulled Sticky Pork Belly, Pickled Carrot and Crispy Shallots by Nanam.

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Jessabel Granada / Executive Chef at Nanam

Plus, a new award this year – ‘People’s Choice Award’ – judged by Nicole O’Brien, who won a VIVA competition to become the judge! Her top pick was the “Miann Hot Dog” with Chocolate Parfait, Eclair, Passionfruit and Raspberry by Miann. Read more below to see a picture!

Held over four days (31 October – 3 November), Taste of Auckland is ideal for those who love food, cooking and everything in between. In other words, it is the event for ultimate foodie heaven! Taste showcases some of Auckland’s best restaurants, all in pop up style at the festival, and each restaurant offers 3-4 dishes for you to try. Check out the restaurant menus hereTaste has their own festival currency, namely ‘Crowns’ ($1 = 1 crown). You use a Crown card to purchase food, drinks and experiences. Restaurant dishes cost between 8 and 20 crowns, while a restaurant’s ‘Icon Dish’ (limited availability) costs between 12 and 45 crowns. Crown cards are available for purchase at the entrance, and are also included in some of the ticket options. Festival glasses (used for drinks and tastings) are $5 and can be purchased onsite as well. Best part, you can keep your glass… just don’t put them in the dishwasher… they shrink! More about crowns and tickets here.

Taste of Auckland are very excited to announce that world renowned British chef (and youngest chef to receive 3 Michelin stars), MARCO PIERRE WHITE, will be at the festival for his first New Zealand public appearance! As part of your ticket, you can see Marco cook live in the SUB ZERO & WOLF Living Kitchen. Just arrive early to get a good seat!

Your ticket entry to Taste also includes trying new and existing food products from all over New Zealand and listening to live music while enjoying the sun and sea.

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Taste is being held in the same location as last year, occupying the entire space of Queen’s Wharf on the waterfront! I am in love with this seaside location, as it is more spacious, and easier to get to. You could drive, but why not walk down from work or take public transport if you can?!

Check out my highlights below at Taste of Auckland 2019 over two sessions. Enjoy!

Restaurants at Taste

There are 14 restaurants to try at Taste of Auckland this year, including: Maori Kitchen, The Shucker Brothers (Seafood), Andiamo (Modern Italian), &Sushi (Sashimi Bar), Miann Chocolate Factory (Desserts), Epicer (Modern Indian), Xoong (North-East Asian), Nanam (Filipino), Culprit. (Modern Kiwi yum cha), Low Brow. (Contemporary fast/good food), Hugo’s Bistro (good food and good conversation), Crab Shack (Seafood, with an emphasis on Crab) and Oyster & Chop (Steak and Seafood).

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Plus, Collab Kitchen, featuring five top chefs cooking in the same kitchen: Nick Honeyman (Paris Butter), Josh Barlow (ex Sugar Club), Hayden McMillan (Ex Etta, Melbourne), Lucas Parkinson (Ode, Wanaka) and Phil Clark (Phil’s Kitchen). Check out the restaurant menus here.

Here is what we ate: 

Andiamo

I have never tried Andiamo‘s food before, so I was really excited to see them pop up at Taste this year. Located in Herne Bay, Andiamo serves modern Italian-inspired cuisine, and upon reading their menu, I was interested in trying every single dish! I tried four out of their five dishes:

ICON DISH: Barbequed Prawns with Pancetta and Puttanesca Sauce
= 25 crowns

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Rigatoni, Seven-Hour Veal & Pork Bolognese with Parmigiano Reggiano
= 12 crowns

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Burrata, Roast Tomatoes and Basil
= 12 crowns

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Lamb Meatballs, Preserved Lemon, Kale and Parmesan
= 12 crowns

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

&Sushi

I was so excited to hear that &Sushi would be popping up at Taste this year, because I am a HUGE fan of their Japanese/Korean delights! They are also the festival’s first dedicated luxurious Sashimi Bar! Read more about &Sushi here. 

Thanks to &Sushi, we tried the Sashimi Bowl with King Salmon, Marinated Wild Caught Yellowfin Tuna, Avocado, Edamame, Seaweed and Flying Fish Roe
= 10 crowns

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And, some delicious Sashimi

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

Collab Kitchen

IF YOU ARE GOING TO TASTE OF AUCKLAND TODAY, BUY PHIL CLARK’S LEMON MERINGUE DESSERT FROM COLLAB KITCHEN

YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. 

Lemon Meringue, Raspberries, Lemon, Almond & Fennel with Salted Shortbread
= 13 crowns

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We also tried the Glazed Wagyu Cheek with Whisky and Coke, served with Pickled Vegetables by Josh Barlow
= 13 crowns

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The Shucker Brothers

The Shucker Brothers are back this year, serving their delicious ocean-fresh oysters (freshly shucked to order) that are sourced locally from Clevedon, Mahurangi and Waiheke’s Te Matuku. Yum!

Freshly Shucked Oysters with Lemon and Mignonette
= 12 crowns

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

Nanam

Nanam have brought a unique and modern interpretation of traditional Filipino cuisine to Taste of Auckland this year! A must order is their Taco Pao (below). 

ICON DISH: Beetroot Taco Pao with Sticky Pork Belly, Pickled Carrot and Crispy Shallots
= 14 crowns

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

Xoong

After winning ‘Best in Taste 2018’, XOONG are back for another year, serving North East Asian fare, with tastes inspired by Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.

Ruakaka Kingfish Sashimi with Apple, Celery and Avocado
= 10 crowns

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

Low Brow.

Low Brow. are forever creating a stir on Auckland’s foodie scene with their infamous free-range fried chicken…

So, you must order some of it when you are at Taste of Auckland!

Two Organic Fried Chicken Wings (Original Spice)
AND Lowbrow Fried Hot Chicken Mini Sando
= 8 crowns / 9 crowns

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

Miann

Last but not least is Miann, who are back for their second year, being the only eatery serving just desserts! I have been following Miann’s journey from the beginning and they make some outstanding desserts, plus I love their handmade chocolates and ice cream. Read more about Miann here and here.

Miann Hot Dog, Chocolate Parfait, Eclair, Passionfruit and Raspberry
= 11 crowns

How freakin’ cool is this dessert?!

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Tiramisu with Marsala and Coffee Espuma, Cacao Nib Gelato and Marsala Sponge, served in an Edible Coffee Cup!
= 14 crowns

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Socials: Website / Instagram / Facebook

Beverages

You are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to the beverage choices at Taste, whether it be wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic drinks. Perfect to enjoy with your favourite restaurant dishes, or while lounging in a sun chair, listening to live music and enjoying the sunshine – bliss. Check out the beverage options available below:

BLUSH Gin

If you only have one drink at Taste of Auckland, make it a BLUSH Gin Slushy. You won’t regret it. Plus, who says no to a pink drink?!

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Wine

Sip, swirl and savour these wine options at Taste of Auckland…

  • From Malborough, No.1 Family Cuvee Estate, Yealands and O:TU Wines
  • From Auckland, Villa Maria
  • From Waiheke, Man O War
  • From Central Otago, Te Kana Estate, Mount Michael Wines and Gibbston Valley

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No1. Family Cuvee Estate

Schweppes

Debuting at Taste of Auckland, Schweppes will be showcasing its newly launched 1783 range, crafted by leading UK mixologists, with natural flavours to deliver the perfect pairing with the finest spirits.

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Aperol Spritz

It is Aperol Time! Bring a touch of Italy to your Taste of Auckland experience with Aperol Spritz and Aperitivo, Italy’s iconic take on happy hour. The perfect Aperol Spritz is made by mixing equal parts Aperol and Prosecco, with a dash of soda and wedge of orange in a wine glass full of ice. Be prepared as these are STRONG!

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Artisan Producers

I was disappointed by the lack of artisan producers this year, compared to previous years. I found there were more stands serving alcohol than food, which was a shame, because really we are coming for the food!!!

Also, many stands were not doing samples, and others were not even selling their products, which was another big shame! There were only three stands I really enjoyed:

The Lucky Taco – head here for free mini tacos! Plus, sign up to their mailing list for your chance to win The Lucky Taco at your casa!
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Green & Blacks – loads of chocolate samples – we love the Dark Salted Caramel!
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Forty Thieves – one of my favourite nut butter brands – don’t leave without trying the Salted Macadamia and Hazelnut Crunch!!!
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All the details…

Taste of Auckland
Dates Thursday 31 October to Sunday 3 November 2019
Times Friday (12pm to 4pm & 5.30pm to 9.30pm) Saturday (12pm to 4pm & 5.30pm to 9.30pm) and Sunday (12pm to 5pm)
Venue Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street, Auckland
Tickets Available on the day or via the Taste website – GA from $25, Premium $65 and VIP from $95.
Getting there Walk from work, Uber, take a bus or train, catch a ferry, or park in the nearby Downtown Parking Building or Britomart Car Park.
Socials Website / Instagram / Facebook

This post is not sponsored, however the lovely people at Taste of Auckland, Lemongrass Productions and Sauce Shop PR provided my entry. All opinions are my own.

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