All posts filed under: Cocktails

Lucky Buddha Eatery

Since its opening in 2015, Lucky Buddha still remains one of my favourite eateries in Auckland. It is situated on Fort Street, which is fast becoming a foodie mecca, with the likes of Ima Cuisine, Miann and Beirut and around the corner, my favourite ice creamery, Giapo. The first time I dined at Lucky Buddha, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but after learning that the owners are Korean, the head chef is Filipino and that they are serving Asian fusion cuisine (namely Japanese, Korean, Thai and Filipino), I was really excited. I have since dined at Lucky Buddha four times, and each time has been a very memorable foodie experience. The food is fresh and flavourful, and the cocktail list and service is excellent. Below, I list my favourite dishes and drinks at Lucky Buddha. For food, I recommend the following: Sriracha Pork Steamed Buns filled with tender pulled pork, fresh herbs and a cracker spicy peanut sauce. This is my favourite entree on the menu as it has that melt in your mouth wow factor. The bao …

Queens Cafe Bistro

Queens Cafe Bistro is the perfect hideaway in Auckland’s CBD… This is exactly what I was thinking after dining at Queens Cafe Bistro. You probably wouldn’t recognise it from the main street – it is located on the second level of the Queen’s Arcade and its expansive outdoor balcony overlooks the bustling Queen Street. The restaurant opened in November 2016 and while I haven’t seen much advertising for it, there was a deal on Grabone a few months ago, so I bought a voucher. They were offering a two course dinner for two people at a very reasonable price. After perusing their menus, I was really excited to try out this newly opened eatery. Three of us dined here last weekend, and were impressed by their delicious food, relaxing atmosphere and friendly and attentive service. The restaurant has four dining areas, plenty of seating and an outdoor balcony, which will make you feel like you are dining in New York City… minus the 20 floors! The fit out is contemporary, with a British theme running throughout – think …

2016 Foodie Highlights

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): Miann 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 …

Lucky Lucky Dumplings

If someone asked me where they could get lucky tonight, I would tell them to head to the Las Vegas Club on Karangahape Road. But not to the actual club itself… but rather to sip on cocktails, eat plates of dumplings and groove to the music in your seat. Enter through a bright red door, up a few stairs, through a bead curtain and you will find yourself at Lucky Lucky Dumplings, a new pop up bar and eatery situated inside the Las Vegas Club. The first thing that caught my eye was the decor. Plush red booths, bar stool style seating, black carpet, red curtains, Chinese lanterns, and on the tables, Lucky Fortune cats, food court style chopsticks and laminated menus – very funky and cool. And if you are into the eighties era (like my dining companion) you’ll love the music – think hits from The Clash, Pink Floyd and Cyndi Lauper to name a few. Cocktails are the star drink of choice, with only three options to choose from. And most surprising of all, they are served in plastic …

Bedford Soda Mixology Masterclass

One of my all-time favourite activities is making cocktails, watching other people make cocktails and of course, drinking them – whether it be a homemade margarita, a rum concoction in a coconut, or a flaming volcano. So, I was pretty excited to attend a Zomato Foodie Meetup last Sunday afternoon at Bedford Soda and Liquor where we learnt about the science of mixology and also took part in a cocktail masterclass. To get the afternoon going, we all started with a refreshing cocktail which reminded me of summertime – a Vanilla Vodka Daisy (pictured above), with strong hints of passionfruit and decorated with lettuce leaves and edible flowers, while the manager, Kieran, talked about the history of Bedford Soda, in that their inspiration comes from the cocktail bars in Williamsburg, New York, where simplicity and creativity play the most important part in cocktail making. Bedford Soda has adopted this style and they are also passionate about serving simple food done well. It certainly doesn’t disappoint! We were then introduced to Mixologist and New Zealand Bar Champion of 2015, Phil Spector, who showed us how to make four of Bedford Soda’s amazing cocktails, …

Sydney Travel Diary

Sydney is one of my favourite cities. I love it because it is alive and vibrant any time of the day, it is very multi-cultural (think a vast range of delicious foods and products to buy) plus the views are always stunning, whether you are walking through Sydney National Park or are standing on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. I also love that there are so many things to do, and everyone is catered for, whether you are into shopping, being out on the water, trying new foods, keeping active or just relaxing on a beautiful beach (I love Bondi and Bronte). Check out the list below of my favourite foodie places (with recommendations), shopping, and activities in Sydney: EAT I haven’t actually been to many restaurants, as we usually eat at food courts or markets, but there is one restaurant that we always revisit, namely Mama’s Buoi, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in Surry Hills. We love the rice paper rolls, vermicelli noodle salads and they also serve T2 teas. Check out my review here. 116 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills On our most recent trip …

Cafe Hanoi

Cafe Hanoi is one of my all-time favourite restaurants in Auckland (along with Depot and The Federal Delicatessen). And why you may ask? Because the atmosphere is buzzing, the service great and of course, their south-east Asian and Vietnamsese food is always full of flavour and presented well, no matter what you order! I have dined at Cafe Hanoi on several occasions – dinners with friends, family birthdays and work functions. It is definitely the perfect place to celebrate something special. And if you are feeling fancy, they also have a private dining room as well. I love that there is something for everyone on the menu, whether you are into spice, are vegetarian or like to share dishes with your dining companions. My favourite dishes at Cafe Hanoi include: – Summer Rolls of roasted pork, shrimp, fresh herbs and peanuts – Confit Eggplant with soy, garlic and coriander – Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp with garlic mayo – Fried Lemongrass Tofu, with cinnamon smoked mushroom and wilted spinach – Bún Cha (Hanoi-style grilled pork w nuoc cham, …

Queenstown Travel Diary

Last year, my older sister moved to Glenorchy, so we decided to spend Christmas and New Years in nearby Queenstown. I was super excited as it was my first time travelling to Queenstown and I couldn’t wait to experience all that it had to offer. I love that there are so many things to do in Queenstown, and that everyone is catered for, whether you are into adventure sports, being out on the water, tramping, trying new foods, keeping active or just relaxing by a beautiful lake (I especially loved Lake Wakatipu and Lake Wanaka). Check out the list below of my favourite foodie places (with recommendations), shopping, and activities in Queenstown and beyond: EAT 1. Fergburger – undoubtedly Queenstown’s most iconic foodie experience! However, be prepared to wait over an hour (or more) for your burger, but it is definitely worth it! Recommended: I loved the Bombay Chicken burger, washed down with a Speights beer 2. Patagonia Chocolates – I fell in love with this place while in Queenstown. Situated on the waterfront, they sell mouthwatering ice cream, desserts, hot and cold drinks, and of course, homemade chocolates. Definitely head to …

Zomato Foodie Meetup: Besos Latinos

The first time I dined at Besos Latinos was a few years ago after my graduation ceremony. I remember it well – the bright and funky decor, the lively music, the super friendly staff, and of course, the delicious Mexican food. Plus, they surprised me with a dessert, decorated with “Congratulations on your graduation”. Fast forward to Monday night where I attended a Zomato foodie meetup with 19 other foodies, to learn how to recreate simple Mexican street food and cocktails at home. Owners Luis and Cecilia, head chef and maitre’d, have run Besos Latinos (translated as ‘Latin Kisses’) for almost six years. They both hail from Mexico and together, bring a wealth of knowledge of Mexican food, drink and culture. I particularly enjoyed learning about what life is like in Mexico, the food you will find on the streets and the different festivals they celebrate during the year, for example, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), where everyone gathers in the cemetery (along with food, drink and music) to talk about those …