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Cotto – Auckland


I tried Cotto for the first time last week.

I know, I know, I am super late on the bandwagon, but I finally made it… and I am so glad I did! It was everything I imagined and more.

Cotto originally opened as a handmade-pasta pop up, but two years later they still occupy the same spot. Why, you may ask? Well, the team behind Cotto serve incredible Italian-inspired food. And some of the most flavourful dishes I have tried in Auckland. And the best part? Ordering 10 plus dishes between four will only cost you around $45, including a cocktail/beer/wine. Such a steal!

Their menu is designed to be shared and is split into four sections by price – $5, $15, $20 and $10. Two of our group were vegetarians, but when looking at the menu, all I wanted to eat were the vegetarian dishes so this worked out really well. Everything we ordered was spot on. And full of cheese. Absolutely brilliant, because cheese is life. Below are all the dishes we savoured:

$5

Farinata

A delicious crispy bread made with chickpea flour, olive oil and water and topped with sea salt, rosemary and sage.

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Heirloom Tomato and Shallot

We decided these were the best tomatoes we had eaten all summer, plus it was the perfect starter to our feast that awaited. 

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$15

Spinach and Goats Cheese Dumplings with Fried Sage

Think big buttery dumplings with generous fillings and topped with crispy fried sage leaves. This dish left me oohing and aahing for the duration of the night. These are seriously the real deal. 

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Smoked Chickpea Mozzarella Chips with Almond Aioli

Another highlight of the night!
Give me a plate of these any day and I will be one happy gal!

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Fried Eggplant with Roast Tomato Basil and Whipped Ricotta

My least favourite dish of the night, however, would have eaten the whipped ricotta on its own… may or may not have dipped my Farinata bread into it too… dreamy!

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$20

Basil Gnocchi with Zucchini, Stracciatella and Pinenuts

Soft and fluffy gnocchi and oozing with stringy cheese…! Really enjoyed this dish and could have happily eaten another plate or two. 

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Ravioli with Spinach, Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato and Dried Olives 

A lovely simple dish, but quite a small portion for the price. 

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$10

Chocolate Nemesis with Salted Caramel

A very rich chocolatey dessert, so best shared with your fellow dining companions!

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Affogato

I have never ever ordered affogato for dessert before, because hey, you can make this at home… but hello dreamy… we left with some huge grins on our faces!

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Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Plum and Grappa Sorbet

If you are dining at Cotto in the near future, order their Panna Cotta as your choice of dessert and you will not be disappointed. The panna cotta was perfectly set and melt in your mouth. A beautiful dessert and one of the highlights of the night!

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Food aside, service was efficient and the meals arrived in a well staggered manner. The atmosphere is lively, with great music and at times noisy, but the vibe cosy. Note they don’t take small group bookings, so be prepared to not be seated upon arrival, however you are welcome to sit at the bar while you wait… definitely recommend ordering a Spritz or two!

Thank you Cotto for an incredible foodie experience – I cannot wait to go back x

Cotto
375 Karangahape Road, Auckland / Instagram / Facebook

Cotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch Club at Meadow Auckland

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After a successful NZBloggers Pink Ribbon Brunch last month (more details here), we are back doing our usual brunch clubs!

NZBloggers is a group encouraging, supporting and enabling networking for bloggers and influencers. We host a monthly NZBloggers Brunch Club event, where a few of us take turns organising (I previously organised March’s one at Ozone Coffee Roasters). A bunch of bloggers and influencers meet up to have brunch and learn more about blogging. The thing I love most about these events is meeting people whom you follow on social media, but otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to meet. 

This June, our Brunch Club was held at Meadow in Meadowbank! Meadow is a sophisticated and modern bistro and bar, taking local neighbourhood dining to the next level. Offering a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere, plus elegant interior and an expansive courtyard – perfect for al fresco dining!

Meadow put on a beautiful morning for us – we were seated outside in their courtyard under a private marquee (surrounded by plants and trees), and they decorated a long table with a navy blue theme in mind. They also added special touches, such as blue flowers and personalised name cards. We also loved the fact that we had our own hashtag #MeadowXNZBloggers and custom made cookies by The Cookie Collective. They even provided us with navy blue blankets and heat lamps in case we got cold.

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Today was a special day ⁣ ⁣ It was the first time I attended a brunch club (which I felt privileged to be part of as a recreational grammer!!) hosted by @nzbloggers and was able to meet a group of talented bloggers in Auckland. ⁣ ⁣ In a stunning marqueed set up at @meadow_auckland , with great food to match, this brunch undoubtedly felt next level! And not to mention the details in the décor, and provision of custom cookies by @thecookiecollectivenz that completed the experience. ⁣ ⁣ If you’re a blogger/Instagrammer who wants to reach out to others doing a similar thing or want advice on starting up, then give @nzbloggers a message!⁣ ⁣ I’m utterly excited for more brunches with this bunch – give them a follow!⁣ ⁣ ⁣ @nzbloggers @_georgieats_ ⁣ @lozalock @adiandbert @bunnyeatsdesign @eatitauckland @twelvebelles @onceuponanegg @thefoodieinc

A post shared by 𝘚𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘥 𝘚𝘤𝘰𝘰𝘱 • 𝘕𝘡 /𝘞𝘓𝘎 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘪𝘦 (@sapidscoop) on


Prior to our brunch, their all day menu had us salivating – with dishes such as Chorizo Croque Madame with béchamel, fried egg and mustard sauce, Meadow Huevos Sucios with slow cooked pork, fried eggs, harissa, chilli and labneh and Grilled Chicken Burger with avocado, brie, tomato, rocket and TRUFFLE FRIES! 
Check out their menu here.

Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed:

TRUFFLE Fries with Parmesan and aioli…. so dreamy!!!

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Eggs Benedict on sourdough with bacon and a side of maple syrup

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Meadow Huevos Sucios with slow cooked pork, fried eggs, harissa, chilli and labneh

Chorizo Croque Madame with béchamel, fried egg and mustard sauce

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Crepes with strawberries, chocolate, caramel mascarpone and maple syrup


Overall, it was a great morning out – delicious food, set up and most importantly, the lovely company! A huge thank you to Meadow for their hospitality!

Check out the blogs and social pages of those who came along:

Bec of Once Upon An Egg
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Belle of Twelve Belles
Website / Instagram

Claudia of adi&bert
Website / Instagram

Genie of Bunny Eats Design
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Georgie of Georgieats
WebsiteInstagram / Facebook

Laura of Lozalock
Instagram

May-Lee of Eat It Auckland
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Michelle of The Foodie Inc
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Nathan of Sapid Scoop
Instagram / Facebook


If you are looking for a relaxed place to talk about blogging or are interested in starting a blog, and would like to attend upcoming #NZBloggers and #BrunchClubNZ events, join the Facebook group to ensure you don’t miss out. There are some great things being planned for the rest of 2019… h
ope to see you there!

* Disclosure – we received a small discount on each of our meals. Thanks Meadow! x

Meadow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mexico’s New Winter Menu

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Last week, Mexico launched their new Winter Menu… and it is full of new changes!

Their new Winter Menu style includes two new sections – Mucha Carne, literally translating to ‘a lot of meat’ which includes four bigger dishes designed for sharing, including: 

  • Agave & coffee braised pork ribs, capsicum mojo, habanero chili and agave mole;
  • Barbacoa rubbed beef, chimichurri, crispy shallots and pickled vegetables;
  • Guajillo chicken, pineapple salsa, candied sesame seeds and coriander; and
  • Xocolate braised beef short rib, butternut pumpkin mojo, pink peppercorns and sango.

PLUS, an all-new Sides section, designed to add a little something extra to the table. Your choice of Red Rice, Cos Salad, Broccoli Florets, Crumbed Portobello Mushrooms, Green Beans and Fried Patatas – YUM. 

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Mexico’s Winter Menu also features three new Frida’s Margaritas flavours – Blueberry & Lavender, Pineapple & Orange and Raspberry & Yuzu. Plus, new beers, wines, sangrias and an updated Tequila menu (with an added Mezcal section), and if you are the sober driver for the night, your choice of three new Sodas. 

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Between three of us foodies (shout out to Laura and Evo), we ordered quite a feast! For drinks, we ordered three of their cocktails (note these are not a part of the Frida’s Margaritas menu), which were all delicious, flavourful and super refreshing: 

  • Ruby Paloma with grapefruit, fresh lime, orgeat and Reposado Tequila

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  • Solerno Margarita with blood-orange liqueur, agave, Mezcal and Reposado Tequila
  • Mezcal Spritz with pineapple, lime, Mezcal, fresh mint, topped with sparkling wine

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Followed by one ‘Snack’, two ‘Specialties’, one ‘Quesadilla’ and one ‘Mucha Carne’ dish: 

  • Patatas Bravas with salsa de árbol, green chili jitomate, chipotle mayo and coriander – just check out that salsa! 

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  • Mexico Fried Chicken with jalapeño mayo and chipotle mayo – not to be missed!

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  • Al Pastor Flatbread Wrap with cinnamon braised pork, green apple yoghurt and coriander – this would be perfect for a filling lunch!

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  • Slow Cooked Lamb Quesadilla with queso, zucchini, garlic chips, oregano, chilli and salsa borracha – our favourite quesadilla on Mexico’s menu!
  • Xocolate Braised Beef Short Rib with butternut pumpkin mojo, pink peppercorns and sango – one of their new bigger dishes which we would highly recommend. The beef fell of the bone… seriously good!

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And for sides, these two dishes stood out the most on the new menu, and were the perfect accompaniments to our larger dishes above: 

  • Broccoli Florets with bacon, red onion, garlic and queso fresco (fresh cheese)

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  • Fried Patatas with chili salt, queso blanco (white cheese) and crispy sage

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Aside from the beautiful food, I love dining at Mexico because I love being surrounded by the decor! Think colourful walls covered in memorabilia from Mexico, including artworks of Frida Kahlo and influences from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), plus loads of cacti. It is definitely one of the most fun restaurants to visit in Auckland!

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If you are not able to get to Mexico in Britomart, there are five other locations in Auckland – Ponsonby, Ellerslie, Takapuna, Auckland International Airport and Sylvia Park. Plus, there are restaurants in Hamilton, Wellington, Petone, Christchurch and more recently, Bayfair in Tauranga!

I was sent a voucher to dine at Mexico, however all opinions are (and always will be) my own.

Mexico
23 Britomart Place, Auckland CBD
 / Website / Instagram / Facebook

 

NZBloggers Pink Ribbon Brunch

Last weekend, NZBloggers and I hosted our first and fabulous Pink Ribbon Brunch to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation.


Featured: Krispy Kreme Finger Bun Doughnuts. Photo credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

As some of you may know, in my spare time (alongside running my blog and social pages), I also volunteer for NZBloggers, a group encouraging, supporting and enabling networking for bloggers and influencers in New Zealand. Each month we host events for bloggers by bloggers. 

This month, we hosted an extra special event where everyone was invited to help us fundraise for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Welcome to our Pink Ribbon Brunch! It was a great success and we have since raised over $2,000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Link to our page is here.

Our Pink Ribbon Brunch was open to EVERYONE, not just bloggers. It was not like our usual monthly sit-down NZBloggers brunches. It was interactive, with grazing tables, a help yourself station, plus we had pop-up stalls where you could try on clothing, get your hair/makeup done and/or get a facial. 

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ME! with Otti & Olli’s Pink Ribbon Croquembouche!
Photo Credit: Genie of Bunny Eats Design (Website and Instagram). 

Tickets were $10 and included unlimited tea, coffee and cold drinks, plus nibbles (and by nibbles it meant delicious baked goods – sweet and savoury), plus a range of goodies to take home at the end. To help fundraise, we also had H A M P E R S galore – attendees were encouraged to buy tickets, as well as those who could not attend as you did not have to be present at our brunch to be into win!

Cannot thank our generous sponsors enough who have been in contact with me leading up to our Pink Ribbon Brunch – we love you all, and we would not have been able to do it without you!

A HUGE shout out to the following companies:

Drinks

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Our NZBloggers founder, Laura

Almighty Juices – provided three of their delicious juices – Beetroot, Blackcurrant & Ginger, Orange, Apple & Mango and Guava, Lime & Basil, which is my favourite!

Almo Almond Milk – one of our dairy-free milk options for our brunch, which was an absolute hit!

Happy Happy Soy Boy Soy Milk – another dairy-free milk option for the day… will definitely be buying this milk in the future!

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

Lewis Road Creamery – provided bottles of their Fresh Strawberry Milk – we offered these at our drinks station. All of us (especially the kids) loved them!

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Moccona – provided jars of their coffee – we offered to make coffees for those who attended the brunch. We also put some in our hampers.

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

No Ugly – provided their Plum and Cucumber wellness tonics for our drinks (and also for our hampers).

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

For The Better Good – provided three boxes of their water bottles for our drinks and help yourself station. 

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Graze

180 Degree Crackers – provided crackers for our graze and hampers.

Barker’s of Geraldine – provided their strawberry syrup for our pancake station, their plum and raspberry jams for our bagel station and a selection of their products for our hampers.

Bread & Butter Bakery – provided us with their sourdough loaves, quinoa sourdough loaves, gluten free loaf and cinnamon rolls for our graze and 30 bagels for our bagel station.

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

CocoMaNuts – provided two jars of their coconut peanut butter – one for our bagel station and one for a hamper.

Culleys – provided corn chips for our graze, and corn chips and hot sauce for our hampers.

Dole New Zealand – provided pineapples (thanks to Genie of Bunny Eats Design who cut up the pineapples for our fruit kebabs!) for our pancake station and bananas (which we added to one of our hampers and at our help yourself station).

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Food Snob – provided a selection of their cheeses, crackers, olives and peppers stuffed with cream cheese for our graze.

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Fortune Cookies NZ – provided custom made, double dipped chocolate pink fortune cookies with individual messages inside. We displayed these at our help yourself station – a bit of wisdom for the finale of our event!

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I Love Food Co – provided sausage rolls and salted caramel pies – the best part about these products were all we had to do was cook them in the oven!

Krispy Kreme – provided their limited edition finger bun doughnuts, plus their strawberry iced and original glazed doughnuts. They also provided three vouchers to go into our hampers.

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

Lewis Road Creamery – provided tubs of their spreadable butter, which we used at our bagel station, for the cheese scones, and for the breads on our graze.

Line’s Knækbrød – provided their delicious Danish crackerbread for our graze and to be in our hampers too.

Maison Therese – provided us with many of their products – you may have spotted their relishes and chutneys on our graze, plus their products were featured in almost all of our hampers.

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Photo Credit: Genie of Bunny Eats Design (Website and Instagram). 

Marcel’s Pancakes – provided us with their delicious happy pancakes and petite pancakes, available at our pancake station. We also put some of their petite pancakes in the hampers.

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Otti & Olli – Susan of Otti & Olli messaged us on Instagram saying she would like to donate a Croquembouche for our event! It was EPIC! And it tasted delicious too. The best part was that the filling was Whittaker’s dark chocolate mousse! Check it out below.

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Paneton Bakery – provided us with mini versions of their danishes, croissants and savoury delights. The best part about these products were all we had to do was cook them in the oven!

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Penati – donated boxes of their crackers which we used on our graze and in a hamper.

Petal Cupcakes – provided mini chocolate raspberry cupcakes and donated a $30 voucher for one of our hampers.

Serious Food Co – donated cute packets of their coconut and vanilla popcorn, which we displayed at our help yourself station.

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

The Collective – provided tubs of their new dulce de leche and chai spiced pear yoghurt for our pancake station.

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Queen Anne Chocolates – donated their delicious dark chocolate raspberry marshmallow fish, which we displayed at our help yourself station.

Whittaker’s – donated a box of their creamy milk sante bars, which we displayed at our help yourself station, and these went into our hampers as well.

Zany Zeus – provided us with two tubs of their primo cream cheese, which were placed at our bagel station.

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Photo Credit: Genie of Bunny Eats Design (Website and Instagram). 

Hampers

Baron Hasselhoff’s – donated two boxes of their beautiful chocolates – was eyeing up their chocolate truffles all day!

Crafters Union Wine – donated bottles of their Rose wine!

Duck Island Ice Cream – donated single scoop ice cream vouchers.

Eau Thermale Avene – donated bags filled with a selection of their skin products, plus a beautiful silk pink eye mask came with each bag!

Fresh As – donated their freeze dried fruit powders, slices and recipe cards.

Generosity Coffee – donated two bags of their coffee beans and capsules.

Jenny’s Kitchen Tamarind Chutney – if there is one chutney you eat forever, make it Jenny’s. I have been eating their tamarind chutney for years now and it is still my favourite. Donated their chutney for our hampers.

Little Bird Organics – donated their delicious grawnola, macaroons and good cookies.

Mexico – donated a $100 Mexico voucher for one of our hampers.

Molly Woppy – donated many boxes of their yummy cookies for our hampers. We also had a bowl of their cookies at our drinks station… for people to take one after receiving their coffee/tea!

Remarkable Chocolate Co – donated their beautiful chocolate ‘bark’, Easter bunnies (my favourite ones!) and chocolate blocks.

Sacred Hill – donated two bottles of their Rose wine.

Something to Crow About – donated three packets of their delicious muesli!

Stir Your Milk – donated their latte and hot chocolate boxes and milk powders.

The Three Words – donated a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers which was part of our “Pretty In Pink” hamper. Also donated a beautiful pink cake which was raffled at the end of our brunch.

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Photo Credit: Vicki Watson (Instagram). 

Tio Pablo – donated a special hamper just for us! This was our “Mexican Fiesta” hamper which we drew at our brunch.

uyoc – donated two cute Frank Green pink keep cups.

Wendy’s NZ – donated vouchers for their new Baconator burger combos to be in our hampers!

Thank you SO much to everyone who came along and got behind the cause by attending our brunch, buying raffle tickets or donating to our Pink Ribbon Brunch page. We are so overwhelmed by your generosity! We also cannot wait to host another event!

If you would like to attend upcoming NZBloggers and BrunchClub events, join our Facebook group to ensure you don’t miss out. There are some great things being planned for 2019…

^ Georgie x

Matakana Village Farmers’ Market

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One of the main reasons Aucklanders’ make the trip up to Matakana is to visit the famous Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. With it being only an hour (or less) drive up, it is a great activity to do on a Saturday. My parents moved up to Matakana last year, so every few weekends I have been checking out this foodie lover’s market. 

You will find an array of foodie delights – there are many artisan producers selling their products, most of which are made locally in and around Matakana. These include: 

  • An abundance of colourful Fruits and Vegetables
  • Homemade Nut Butters including peanut, almond, cashew and dark chocolate
  • Homemade Baking and Pies
  • Handcrafted Chocolates
  • Crepes, Sausages, Whitebait Fritters and Mexican Food
  • Cheeses like blue, brie, Camembert and feta
  • Plus, locally brewed coffee and beer, olive oils, fine wines (hello feijoa!), beautiful flowers, live music, and of course, the dog sitting service which is seriously cute (you cannot bring your dogs into the market).

Tips for the market: Get there early (ideally 8am on the dot), bring enough cash (there is one ATM machine by the market but the line is always super long) and bring your own reusable carry bags.

For ease, I have listed my highlights of the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market below:

Swiss Bliss Handcrafted Chocolates

Swiss Bliss is my favourite stand at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market… no surprises there as they sell chocolate! Owners Edith and Pascal immigrated to New Zealand from Switzerland in 2000, and they established a chocolate company shortly after. All of their chocolate is handcrafted and made in Waitoki (40 minute drive from the market).

They make this one specialty that I particularly enjoy – ‘Molten Kisses’. These divine treats have a wafer base, are topped with the fluffiest marshmallow and then completely covered in dark chocolate. They have a few flavours to choose from – original, raspberry and salted caramel.

These are my absolute favourite sweet treat – I first discovered them many years ago at Chocolate Boutique in Auckland (unfortunately they are no longer selling them) and also a foodie highlight when I found them at a supermarket in Berlin. I have not seen these anywhere else in Auckland, so I always stock up on a few when I visit the market.

If you are not into marshmallow, they also make truffles, individual chocolates, chunky chocolate slabs, chocolate fish and chocolate cigars. Around Easter time, they also make the most amazing chocolate bunnies, rabbits and gifts to give to friends and family. 

Side note: Swiss Bliss also have a shop in Waitoki which you can visit. More details here.

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Website / Facebook

Ringawera

This is my second favourite stand – Ringawera. You may recognise the name as co-owner, Patrick Griffiths, originally ran Ringawera Bakery on Waiheke Island, where he lived for the past 18 years. The shop closed two years ago as Patrick was looking for a new challenge, and thus, early 2018, he opened Ringawera Cafe in Matakana – next to Morris and James art gallery. 

In October last year, Patrick started selling his freshly baked breads at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. Look out for the rows and rows of pastries, croissants, beautiful breads, and baskets of baguettes as you enter the market – they are the first stall on the left. It is definitely the most well-presented stand in my opinion! His ciabatta and sourdough are my favourite breads to purchase at the market. 

Side note: Patrick has also opened Ringawera Bakery on Matakana Valley Road, just above the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market All of his breads are baked onsite, from scratch and use quality ingredients. The smell is heavenly when you walk into his shop. You will find all of their freshly baked breads – sourdough, ciabatta (try the mini rolls!), foccacia and mixed grain loaves, plus piping hot Ozone Coffee, pastries, croissants, brioche and generously filled sandwiches to go. They also make some of the best hot cross buns!

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Instagram 

Ringawera Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Matakana Nut Butters

At the Matakana Nut Butters stand, you will find the most delicious nut butters, all made nearby in Whangapiro Valley. Owner, Josie, is at the market every Saturday, and is super friendly and welcoming. It is one of the main reasons why we keep coming back to buy her peanut butter (after the taste of course). 

The best thing about Josie’s nut butters is that they are 100% nuts with nothing else added except sea salt, Manuka honey or dark chocolate. So far, we have been loving her smooth and crunchy peanut butters, but also recently bought their almond butter, which I used in a recent recipe here on the blog… Choc-Almond Slice. Yum!

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Website / Instagram 

Matakana Coffee Roasters

Head to ‘The Love Shack’ aka Matakana Coffee Roasters to get your coffee fix upon entering the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market! This is a local business who have been operating for over 15 years, and their coffee is delicious. They also make many coffees for the stallholders which is super cool! Their coffee is also available for purchase (love their plunger), and you can also buy it at selected New World supermarkets. 

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Website / Instagram 


Manāki
Whitebait Fritters

Manāki (meaning to look after, care for, show respect or kindness to in Maori) are the world’s first sustainable producer of fresh New Zealand whitebait. I have only tried whitebait once – at Soul Bar & Bistro a few years ago, so was very excited to check out Manāki Whitebait’s fritter stand at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market a few weekends’ ago.

We arrived just before 8am, so were the first in line – YAY! The whitebait fritter itself was dreamy – it is a whisked mix of eggs, whitebait and salt and pepper, served on a slice of Ringawera bread, with a squeeze of lemon. Simple, yet delicious. 

I recommend making this your first stop at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, because upon receiving my whitebait fritter, there were already about 20 people waiting! I spoke to a man from Orewa who drives to the market every Saturday, so he and his wife can have a whitebait fritter for breakfast – sounds like a great idea! Highly recommend. 

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Website / Instagram / Facebook

Dutch Touch Produce

Head to this stand for the beautiful and abundant vegetables – namely the capsicums, which are usually 3 for $5 – these are WAY larger than the supermarket ones and you know EXACTLY where they are grown. Also love their bright orange mandarins!

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Facebook

Whangateu Roses

Another beautiful stand, selling only one thing – ROSES. Beautiful roses in all different colours. These sell out fast, so head there second (after the Manāki Whitebait’s fritter stand) to pick up a few bunches – perfect for the home or as gifts for friends. 

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Facebook


Bon Appétit Crêperie

French crepes made by Brazilians. They use local produce, free range and organic ingredients. I have only tried one crepe so far (planning to try them all!) being the ‘Super Foodie’ It is a buckwheat, potato, corn and flaxseed crepe, filled with banana, maple syrup, walnuts and seasonal fruit salad. It is gluten and dairy free and SO good! They also serve a range of sweet and savoury crepes, from the classic lemon and sugar to banana, chocolate and cream! YUM.   

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Instagram 

I Love Pies

You may already know about the brand I Love Food Co. – they make the yummy Love Pies and sausage rolls, plus the I Love Baking Cookies. Check out my Lemon Meringue Pie here which uses their gluten free pastry!

All of their pies and sausage rolls are made with their homemade light and delicate sour cream pastry, which uses sour cream and New Zealand butter – no palm oil in sight! My all time favourite pie is their Free Range Butter Chicken, with their Spiced Chickpea & Spinach (a new vegan pie) coming in at a close second!

As well as selling their pies across the country, they also have a permanent stall at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, where you can buy their pies and sausage rolls. 

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— NEW VEGAN PIES💥 The team behind I Love Food Co (who make scrumptious sweet and savoury pies, sausage rolls and baked goods) have just launched their new Vegan Pies!🌿 The range uses pastry made from coconut oil and @angel.foodnz dairy free Cheddar. Two delicious pie flavours are available: 💥Spiced Chickpea & Spinach 💥 Lentil Mince & Cheese Dinner last night was the Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Pie, made with beautiful fillings and is super tasty🧡 Also couldn’t taste the difference with the dairy-free cheese! ✅✅✅ @ilovefoodco • • • #ILoveFoodCo #Pie #Vegan #Yum #Food #Gifted #Georgieats #VeganFood #VegansOfIG #VeganEats #NomNom #NZEats #AucklandEats #NZFood #Eats #HealthyFood #Delicious #Eeeeeats #NZBlogger #AucklandFoodie #GirlsWhoEat #FoodBlogger #NZBloggers #Auckland #NewZealand

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Website / Instagram / Facebook

The Farmer’s Daughter

Located just before Omaha, this cafe serves delicious coffee and Jewish baked goods. Last year, they also started a stall at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, where they sell their homemade breads, rugelach (Jewish pastries), almond croissants and other goodies. I am a huge fan of their cinnamon buns, almond croissants and rugelach – perfect with your morning coffee at the market! 

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Instagram / Facebook 

Matakana Dog Minding

Technically not a food stand, but definitely one of the highlights at Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. You cannot bring your dogs into the market, however, for a gold coin donation, you can leave them outside the market at the doggy day care. So, while you are shopping at the market, your beloved dog will be getting love and attention!

If you currently don’t have a dog (like me), you are still welcome to pat the dogs while you are there. Bonus!

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Matakana Square, 2 Matakana Valley Road / Every Saturday 8am-1pm
Website / Instagram / Facebook


Hope you enjoyed my post – stay tuned for more Matakana posts coming soon! x

 

Kiwi Lime Meringue Pie

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Following on from my Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie, over the long weekend I decided to make something similar – introducing my Kiwi Lime Meringue Pie!

This is my version of the American classic Key Lime Pie. Since we don’t have Key Limes in New Zealand, I have used some homegrown Matakana limes. If you are a citrus lover, then you will love this pie!

The pie has a sweet biscuit base, topped with a tart lime filling, and finished with toasted meringue and lime zest.

Hope you enjoy making my Kiwi Lime Meringue Pie – it tastes heavenly. Adapted slightly from these recipes here and here

Kiwi Lime Meringue Pie

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Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups malt or graham-cracker crumbs, broken into pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1 tin (400g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 large limes)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus more for garnish (about 4 large limes)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used Heilala)
  • 4 large egg yolks

For the Meringue Topping:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar

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What You Need:

  • Pie Dish or Tin
  • Either a food processor or a large snaplock bag and rolling pin
  • Greaseproof Paper
  • Scales
  • Juicer
  • Small Pot and Whisk
  • Your favourite Mixer (I love KitchenAid) or Beaters and Large Bowl
  • Piping Bags (if you want to pipe the meringue)

Method:

1) For the Crust: Preheat oven to 190°C fan bake and grease your favourite pie dish.

2) Combine graham-crackers, butter and sugar in a food processor and whizz until a crumble.  Press into your pie dish and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. 

3) For the Filling: Lower the oven heat to 150°C.   In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and lime zest.  Pour this into the cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature.

4) For the Meringue: Add egg whites into a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk until they form stiff peaks.  Add in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well and at a high speed between each addition, until the mixture is glossy and firm.  Transfer the meringue into a piping bag and pipe the meringue on top of the pie.

5) Bake pie for around 10 minutes at 200°C until lightly browned – keep a close eye on it!

6) Sprinkle pie with freshly grated lime zest. Serve and enjoy!

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Duck Island Ice Cream – Ponsonby

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DUCK ISLAND ICE CREAM HAS OFFICIALLY OPENED IN AUCKLAND. 

When I found out that Duck Island Ice Cream were planning to open a branch in Auckland (their original store is in Hamilton), I was head over heels!!! And then finding out that the store would be located on Ponsonby Road, literally a five minute walk from my flat… well I was jumping with joy all over the place!

I first tried Duck Island Ice Cream at the end of 2017 when they featured at Taste of Auckland. Since then, a few friends and I have taken a roadie down to Hamilton, mainly to have brunch with a few bloggers and of course, to check out Duck Island’s original store too. I tried their Hot Cross Bun and Custard Square flavours, which tasted exactly like the real thing. 

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Cherry & Coconut / Peanut Butter / Peppermint


At last year’s Taste of Auckland, Duck Island featured again – I attended Taste three times, so this meant trying Duck Island three times – six scoops in total, including:

  • Salted Chocolate Brownie – a winner in my books!
  • Passionfruit Coconut
  • Strawberry & Beetroot Sorbet
  • Coconut Caramel Sesame Praline with Peanuts – another winner!
  • Peppermint
  • Ambrosia… complete with marshmallows and jelly!

I visited a few weeks ago with my friend and fellow foodie, Thea, and we both really enjoyed the experience. Their new store on Ponsonby Road is definitely my cup of tea – with dreamy pastel pink walls, a pink mosaic tiled bench top, pink containers stacked with waffle cones, cacti🌵 (instant love) and the many colourful ice creams on display.
THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. 

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Duck Island offer 24 delicious ice cream flavours, with five options for ordering, including: 

  • Single for $6 – 1 to 2 flavours
  • Double for $8 – 2 to 3 flavours
  • Triple for $9.50 – 3 to 4 flavours
  • Flight for $12 – 8 small scoops of your choice + water
  • Tidler for $4 – 1 flavour

They also offer a range of toppings to enhance your ice cream experience, including: Sherbet, Sprinkles, Whipped Cream, Frosted Peanuts, Vegan Rocky Road (all 50c each) and sauces such as Salty Caramel, Chocolate Fudge and Vegan Chocolate (all $1 each). 

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I ordered 3 scoops for $8 (steal!) and loved the following flavours: 
💫 Toasted Marshmallow
💫 Caramel Sesame Chocolate Peanuts
💫 Passionfruit Coconut – current favourite!

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You can also purchase sundaes, floats, sodas and milkshakes. Plus, ice cream ‘tacos’ and tubs of the good stuff to take home too!

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Ice cream aside, service was super friendly and welcoming, plus there is plenty of seating outside, so bring your family and friends – you will not regret it!!!

Duck Island Ice Cream
182 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby / Instagram / Facebook

Duck Island Ice Cream Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch Club at Ozone Coffee Roasters

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About a month ago, a few foodies and I went along to the opening of Ozone Coffee Roasters in Grey Lynn, where we sampled some of their menu dishes and got to know more about their brand. At the opening, I came across a long table at the back of the eatery and thought “this would be perfect for the NZ Bloggers Brunch Club!”

So, a few weekends’ ago, I hosted my first NZ Bloggers Brunch Club at Ozone Coffee! There were about 20 bloggers in total, and it was lovely to welcome some new faces along, as well as catch up with old friends.

Ozone Coffee has been roasting coffee and building relationships in New Plymouth, London and beyond for the past 20 years. Ozone’s latest venture in Grey Lynn is an all-day eatery, with seating for 100, complete with an open kitchen, and a dedicated coffee bar, with many brews on offer and their beans are roasted on-site – make sure you take a peek at the back to see all the action!

The space is beautifully designed, with high ceilings, booth seating, and its industrial style features create a warm and hospitable feel… great for the ‘gram!

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Everyone agreed that Ozone’s menu is innovative and there is something for everyone, with allergies and intolerances well catered for. Their menu showcases sustainably sourced and seasonal fare, with dishes such as the Lamb Burger with hand-cut chips, Seeded granola with Hawke’s Bay stone-fruit and Velda’s 3-Cheese Italian Pancake. Check out their brunch menu here.

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Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed:

Eggs Benedict on bubble ’n’ squeak cakes with hollandaise and bacon
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Smoked Kawahai on Rye bread with karengo chili jam, fried egg, cucumber and herbs

 

 


Velda’s 3-Cheese Pancake with poached egg, silverbeet, peach chutney and creme fraiche

 

 

 

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The first @NZBloggers brunch club of the year. 🎉🎉🎉 We checked out the fairly new Ozone Coffee Roasters in Grey Lynn and it was PUMPING. What a great turnout! Babies, a pup and lots of lovely bloggers. Great to catch up with bloggers I’ve met before and met some new faces too. Love these meet-ups where everyone understands that the camera eats first. 🤣 I had Velda’s 3-cheese Italian pancake with poachie, silverbeet, killer peach chutney and house made creme fraiche. Vegetarian and naturally gluten free. This was absolutely delicious. 🤤🤤🤤 If you’re a blogger, even a micro-blogger here in Instagram, check out @NZBloggers, an awesome community of cool cats. 👌👌👌 Thanks for having us @ozonecoffeenz 😍😍😍 @_georgieats_ @lifewithlaura.co.nz @lenatalks @islandgirlblogger @bri.dimattina @therestlessempire @onceuponanegg @eatitauckland @twelvebelles @_sweetfoodielife @food2belly @inmaemaeskitchen @myblogtoinspire @theaexplores @thattrip_e_urbanlife

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Smoked cheddar fry-bread with avocado, poached egg and fermented chilli yoghurt

 


Lamb Burger with black olive mayo, cheddar, spiced peach chutney and hand-cut chips
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NB. I also had brunch at Ozone Coffee the previous week and ordered their Veggie Brekkie with poached eggs on seeded sourdough, dry cured bacon, chewy roast tomatoes, kimchi greens, halloumi and hash brown, which was super yummy!

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Bonus – Ozone Coffee is dog friendly, meaning you can dine while sitting next to your dog. Highlight of the day was seeing Daisy, a very cute dog who joined us for brunch! Thank you to Becs (Once Upon an Egg) for bringing her!

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Photo Credit: Bri DiMattina

It was a great morning out – delicious food, decor and most importantly, the lovely company! A huge thank you to Ozone Coffee for their hospitality!

Check out the blogs and social pages of those who came along:

Ash of That Trip-E Urbanlife
Website / YouTubeInstagram

Angela of A Style Collector
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Bec of Once Upon An Egg
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Belle of Twelve Belles
Website / Instagram

Bri of Bri DiMattina
FacebookInstagram

Danielle of The Restless Empire
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Emily of Food2Belly
Instagram

Evo of Island Girl Blogger
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Genie of Bunny Eats Design
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Georgie of Georgieats
WebsiteInstagram / Facebook

Laura of Life with Laura
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Lena of Lena Talks
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Enna of May and Enna
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Maggie of Sunday Dreams
Instagram 

May-Leigh of Eat It Auckland
Website / Instagram / Facebook

Niki of Sweet Foodie Life
Instagram

Thea of On Her Plate
Website / Instagram

Vaishali of My Blog to Inspire
Instagram / Facebook

If you would like to attend upcoming NZ Blogger and Brunch Club events, join the Facebook group to ensure you don’t miss out. There are some great things being planned for 2019…

Ozone Coffee Roasters
18 Westmoreland Street West, Grey Lynn Instagram / Facebook / All Day Brunch Menu

Ozone Coffee Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Auckland Fish Market

I absolutely love seafood. Oysters, mussels, prawns, hoki, kina, gurnard, crayfish, whitebait, clams, flounder, scallops, tuna, snapper, paua – you name it. 

I would eat seafood for every meal if I could… maybe just not for dessert as that is reserved for my other favourite food – chocolate. So, when I was invited to the official opening party of the Auckland Fish Market last Monday, I was super excited!

Most of you will already know, but for the last nine months’, the Auckland Fish Market in Wynyard Quarter has undergone renovations, to include eight new eateries, a courtyard bar, a world class fishmonger – Sanford & Sons and seating for 400 inside and out, making it an ideal dining destination for Aucklanders and for tourists alike. 

The newly refurbished Auckland Fish Market is a celebration of New Zealand seafood – in fact it sells the widest range of the freshest seafood available, straight from the boats to your dinner table. 

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At the opening party of the Auckland Fish Market, we sampled freshly shucked TeKouma Bay oysters, fish sliders from Market Galley, swordfish, green papaya salad from Tiki Thai, Poke Bowls from Ika Bowl and gelato from Little Lato. We later bought bao from Azabu – highly recommend the pork belly!

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Also tried an Aperol Spritz for the first time (hello, new favourite cocktail). These (and many other delicious drink offerings) were available from The Wreck, their new courtyard bar. 

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Here is the latest on the newest food offerings at the Auckland Fish Market: 

Azabu

Serving sublime sushi and sashimi, plus other Asian-style classics like dumplings, bao, tempura and wontons. Menu here.
Instagram

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Billypot

Taking on the traditional mussel and frites concept and making it more kiwi. The hero dish is mussels, coming in three flavours – one traditional herb, one garlic and one white wine. You will also find oysters, crayfish, whitebait and paua fritters on the menu.
Instagram

Mar and Tierra

Sea & Land is the literal translation for this Southern American-inspired restuarant where you will find dishes such as plancha prawns, ceviche and arepas. Menu here.
Instagram

Good Karma Truck

Head here for coffee to start your day, otherwise they offer tea, iced drinks, smoothies and dessert – they serve Little Lato gelato and sweet treats! Menu here.
Instagram

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Market Galley

East meets west, with old favourites and future classics, such as fish and chips and wok-fried dishes – perfect for sharing with the family.

Super Pizza

As the name suggests, you guessed it, PIZZA! Deliciously wood-fired pizzas – my pick is their Margherita or Pepperoni. 

Tiki Thai

With the same owner as Asian-fusion eatery Tok Tok, you know this place will be a winner! A smallish menu consisting of Thai-inspired dishes with bold flavours, like Thai trevally tacos, eggplant chips, crispy pork belly and prawn laksa. Menu here

Ika Bowl

Polynesian Poke Bar serving seafood, complemented with the freshest New Zealand produce. Highly recommend the Fiery Irie bowl. Menu here.
Instagram

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I am so excited about the newly opened Auckland Fish Market and all that it has to offer. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Auckland Fish Market
22 Jellicoe Street, Wynyard Quarter Website / Instagram / Facebook

Azabu Light Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Bird Unbakery

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Attention Little Bird Organics and The Unbakery lovers, the HYPE is real… Little Bird Unbakery is now open for dinner!

At last year’s Taste of Auckland, the festival’s first dedicated vegan restaurant, Little Bird Organics, announced they were trialling out four dishes which could potentially go on the menu of their new dinner offering at their Ponsonby Unbakery! Think Smoked Watermelon SashimiHemp Tacos with BBQ Cauliflower and Kimchee Slider with Gochujang Black Bean Patty. Yum!

Fast forward to two weeks ago, Little Bird Unbakery opened for dinners, and I can see it becoming a very popular place! It is somewhere where you can enjoy a wholesome plant-based delicious meal… and feel great afterwards. 

The idea of their new dinner offering is to showcase seasonal organic bites, meals and desserts (all dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan), paired with an all-natural wine list, organic cocktails and craft beer. The menu will change and grow over the coming weeks, depending on the seasonal produce available and feedback from the public.

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Little Bird Unbakery have only just obtained their liquor license this week, so the natural wines I was hoping for were not available. Instead, they are serving non-alcoholic cocktails made with Ecology & Co. alcohol free spirits. I loved their ‘G&T’ with lemon and tonic. Also on offer non-alcoholic wise is kombucha, cold pressed juices, tea and coffee.

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We ordered quite a feast, mainly because we wanted to try a range of dishes. The menu is split into four sections, including starters, fresh and light dishes, warm and comforting meals and desserts. All of the dishes we ordered had fresh and seasonal ingredients, and were well plated. Below is what we ate:

  • Pakoras – six pakoras filled with a cauliflower and chickpea filling (plus broccoli inside which was a lovely surprise), fried in a light batter and served with a tamarind and coriander mint chutney – YUM! ($12). 

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  • BBQ Cauliflower – one of the highlights of the night! Beautiful BBQ’d cauliflower in the most delicious tomato based sauce. You can either get half a portion ($12) or a quarter portion ($8). 

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  • Grilled Eggplant with sumac, spiced puy lentils, baby spinach, fresh herbs and pomegranate ($18). This was our least favourite dish of the night as it was not as flavourful as we thought it would be. The eggplant was also undercooked.

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  • Summer Bird Bowl ($22). Another highlight of our night. This beautiful and colourful dish consisted of slow roasted tomatoes, Kelmana greens, marinated fennel salad, courgette pasta, avocado, and ricotta stuffed courgette flower. The only glitch about this dish was when it arrived, there was an empty space on the plate – no courgette flower! When we told the staff, they quickly rushed to the kitchen and these were brought out in no time. Note you can also order the courgette flowers as a starter – highly recommend you do. 

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  • Kimchee Burger ($22). Served with cashew mozzarella, sweet chili sauce, tomatoes and bread and butter pickles, this was my main dish and it did not disappoint! There is no bread, so the bun is lettuce… which is great because it does not fill you up as much! The patty was delicious, brownie points because there is kimchi(!!!) and loved the kale chips – could eat these for days!

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Finally, dessert. Do not leave without trying their Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich ($14). This was HEAVENLY. DIVINE. MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. All those things in one. Literally died and went to heaven. Their ice cream is made with cashews and coconut, and sandwiched between a chocolate biscuit base, dipped in chocolate and rolled in activated nuts. This dessert is raw, vegan, dairy and gluten free, but honestly one of the best things I have put in my mouth this year. Highly recommend!

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I am so excited about the new dinner offering at Little Bird Unbakery. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Little Bird Organics – The Unbakery
Corner Summer Street and Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby Website / Instagram / Facebook

Little Bird Unbakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato