All posts filed under: Dinner

5 Reasons Why I Love Gemmayze Street

I would love to share with you one of my favourite hidden gems in Auckland –  introducing Gemmayze Street in St Kevin’s Arcade. Here are five reasons why I love Gemmayze Street and why you should visit pronto.  1.  The owners. Chef Samir Allen runs the kitchen and produces the most beautiful, divine, mouthwatering and moreish Lebanese food (more on that below), while his mother, Liane Farry, is front of house. I read in one review that said she was ‘scary’ – she is definitely quite the opposite. Always friendly, always welcoming, and once on a very busy night, Liane took over our table of five and we received great service! 2.  The beautiful Lebanese food. I have dined at Gemmayze Street four times now, and the food has been excellent every visit. I generally order my favourite vegetarian dishes (a selection of mezze), and also a larger dish if I am feeling super hungry. These dishes come highly recommended: Hummus – this is my family’s favourite dish, for it’s beautiful flavour and texture, creaminess and lovely presentation. …

Eden Noodles Cafe

  I tried Eden Noodles Cafe for the first time last Friday. I know, I know, I am super late on the bandwagon. It might be that for a long time, I was put off by the long queues out the door or the fact that I can’t handle extremely spicy food. Anyhow, I finally made it… and I am so glad I did! It was everything I imagined and more. Eden Noodles Cafe is located on Dominion Road in Mount Eden and specialises in Sichuan cuisine. The menu is lengthy, and all dishes are reasonably priced. You can order fresh and handmade dumplings, noodles, soups, wontons, hotpot, rice dishes and Sichuan snacks. Their main drawcard is the Dumplings in Spicy Sauce. Ya Qin Zhang, aka ‘The Dumpling Queen’ makes between 3000-4000 dumplings a day at Eden Noodles Cafe. She can even make them with her eyes closed! Ya Qin Zhang aka ‘The Dumpling Queen’ We ordered a FEAST, because, well, I didn’t want to try only one dish, and it was also my first time trying …

Orleans – Britomart

I have visited Orleans on a few occasions – mainly for their Waffles with Fried Chicken and Maple Chili Syrup (a special lunch deal on Wednesdays, which, by the way, is awesome) and at night when they have live jazz music. You can also sit at their bar and have cocktails and small plates, or go there for a delicious Southern meal, complete with dessert. Orleans, located on Customs Street East in Britomart, does all this and more. A few weekend’s ago, I met a friend for drinks and small plates – we were there to check out Orleans’ new menu and were super excited to try some different dishes, as opposed to just ordering fried chicken and waffles.  Firstly, the drinks. Orleans serve an extensive range of drinks – they have an excellent cocktail menu, plus serve bourbon cocktails, Hardshakes (milkshakes with liquor), wines by the glass, bubbles and a few beers. On the night my friend and I dined at Orleans, they had a special cocktail of the week – ‘Kill Bill Vol. 2‘. I …

Wu & You – Mt Eden

  On Tuesday night, I was invited to the opening of a new restaurant in Mt Eden Village, namely Wu & You. It was a fantastic night, thanks to the mouthwatering food, cocktails, ambience and service. Walking in, I loved the vibrant decor. Bright neon pink lights had me oohing and aahing, and the colourful flowers and murals (by local artist, Emily Gardner) featured throughout the space brighten up the industrial walls. Plus, everything is PINK! From the menus, to the beautiful ceramic plates, and the ladies bathroom. There is also plenty of seating to choose from, as well as a lovely courtyard out the back (complete with a striking mural of Wu) – an area which would be perfect for your next celebration. Heading up the kitchen is Cairan Flaherty, who has experience working in restaurants all over Ireland, and more recently at TriBeCa in Parnell. Working alongside Cairan is Yeong Seon Choi (Sunny) who has worked in some of Auckland’s most popular modern Asian eateries including Cafe Hanoi, Saan and White & Wongs. Owner, Jonathan Rickard, also has over 20 …

Mexico – Britomart

Mexico is one of my favourite eateries in Auckland, for its vibrant and fresh Mexican cuisine, extensive tequila list and super funky and delicious Frida’s margaritas.  Their menu boasts a wide range of dishes, and there is definitely something for everyone’s tastes. I also love the fact that their menu is so versatile – you can come here for margaritas and some snacks, or have a three course meal, or just order a three lots of their famous fried chicken and you will be set for the night!  Speaking of fried chicken, my favourite dish on Mexico’s menu is, and always will be, the Mexico Fried Chicken. It is spicy, served with the perfect sauces (chipotle mayo and jalapeno mayo) and I guarantee you will be licking your fingers. I even ordered it for my birthday buffet lunch last year, check it out here. Last week, Mexico launched their new Autumn menu. It is full of earthy local produce, like beetroot, celeriac, butternut pumpkin and black plums, plus there are brand new tacos, snacks, specialties and salads. Mexico …

Hawke’s Bay Travel Diary

Over the summer holidays, I spent a week in Hawke’s Bay, a region in the North Island of New Zealand, which is home to fresh, delicious produce and beautiful wines. In fact, Hawke’s Bay is the oldest wine region in New Zealand and the second largest (after Marlborough). There is lots to do in Hawke’s Bay, from dining at the many restaurants and cafes, sampling local wines, climbing mountains, exploring beaches, or picking up your produce for the week at the amazing farmer’s market. Check out my highlights for my favourite things to see, eat and do in Hawke’s Bay… #1  Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market is one of my favourite markets to date for its abundant range of produce, and the fact that everyone is catered for. Highlights included: FIGS from Te Mata Figs, plus fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, nutty and wholesome gluten free breads, organic blueberries and ice cream from Bay Blueberries, gluten and dairy free treats and products from HAPI, mouthwatering macarons from Monsieur Macaron, hot chilies like jalapeños and Padron …

Hunger Monger, Napier

If you love seafood, then you will love Hunger Monger. We found this restaurant by chance, while walking along Marine Parade in Napier. The restaurant was full and the ambience alive, so the next day we went in to book a table for our final night in Hawke’s Bay. Run by Polish couple, Fraser Slack and Agnieszka Wills, the menu is predominantly seafood, where diners can enjoy oysters, Aussie prawns, grilled fish, Cook Strait octopus, squid, sashimi and salmon to name a few. Also, 98% of their wines and beers are local to the area – many I had never heard of before. We had a glass of the Beatrix Rose by Alpha Domus (Bridge Pa) and Brookfields Pinot Gris 2016 (Ohiti Estate). The Pinot Gris was a stand out, so much so, we went to New World afterwards to purchase a few bottles of it!  For starters, we enjoyed their Tempura Prawns with dipping sauces – big, fat, juicy prawns, which were gone in a flash. For mains, we ordered the Grilled Fish with Salads, …

Night Noodle Markets

Over the weekend, I headed down to Victoria Park to check out the Night Noodle Markets. Held annually, this event celebrates mouthwatering Asian street food from around the country. This year, the Night Noodle Markets are being held over 10 days (Friday 1st to Sunday 10th December). There are 20 street food vendors to choose from, with dishes ranging from $5 to $15 each. I love the variety of the food too – think dumplings, BBQ’d meat, summer rolls, ramen, bao, loaded fries, spicy karaage fried chicken, pakoras, roti rolls, donburi, poke bowls, noodles, gelato, deep fried ice cream and smoothies in pineapples. Check out my foodie highlights below:  Hoy Pinoy – it was my first time trying Hoy Pinoy at this year’s Night Noodle Markets and they did not disappoint! They are a Filipino BBQ vendor, selling juicy pork and chicken on sticks. My favourite is the Inihaw na baboy – BBQ Pork Belly.  House of Dumplings – handmade dumplings in a variety of flavours. My favourites are their Nepalese Spiced Lamb and Korean …

Gold Coast Eats

If you are looking for a short, relaxing break, then I highly recommend the Gold Coast. There are beautiful beaches, shopping, and of course, many places to eat and drink. The last time I visited the Gold Coast was 6 years ago, before my obsession with food started, before I even had Instagram or my blog. On that trip, we enjoyed going to the theme parks and beaches. Fast forward to this year, I have made a few trips to the Gold Coast – mainly to relax, try out the food scene and for the first time, visit Byron Bay and the surrounds. Below, I list my favourite eats in the Gold Coast and beyond. I have listed them by area, so it makes it easier for you when you visit the Gold Coast! Enjoy! Main Beach Local & Co First things first, BEST Nutella Thickshakes EVER!!! Secondly, after reading great reviews on TripAdvisor and the fact that Local & Co was just round the corner from where we were staying in the Gold Coast, …

Inti, Auckland

A few weeks’ ago, I was invited to dine at Inti, a newly opened restaurant delivering freshly styled Hispanic cuisine to Auckland City. Named after the Incan sun god, Inti has replaced Meat Fish Wine, an eatery at which I enjoyed the food and wine, however, dining at Inti is nothing like I have experienced before. At Inti, you can do two things: Explore delicious modern interpretations of South American ingredients, flavours and techniques; and Enjoy art by aerosol artist, Flox, bringing the space to life with Hispanic-inspired wall work. Heading up the Inti kitchen is Spanish born Javier Carmona, who brings 27 years of experience and a passion for Hispanic flavours to Inti, creating a unique culinary journey for Auckland locals to experience. On the night we arrived, Inti were hosting a special Argentinian wine tasting and we were able to join in! We tried four different organic Argentinian red wines, my favourite being the Septima Malbec 2016, an intense red with aromas of fresh cherries, balanced with toast and vanilla. We also sampled various …