All posts filed under: Food

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. 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 …

Bodrum Market – Newmarket

Over the weekend, two friends and I were invited to dine at Bodrum Market in Westfield Newmarket’s new rooftop dining precinct. It was a fantastic lunch, thanks to the lovely food, cocktails, ambience and service. Bodrum Market is run by one of my favourite hospitality companies – Nazar Group. Founded by Alex Isik and Nigar Ivgen, they own restaurants all over Auckland, including Feriza’s, Miss Istanbul, Ottoman Mezze Lounge, NOA Chargrill + Burger, Devon on the Wharf, Mozaik Caffe, Deco Eatery, Casablanca and Bodrum Kitchen. All of their restaurants bring a slice of the Mediterranean to the table – featuring Turkish, Greek, Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes… so we were really excited to check it out! Walking in, we absolutely loved the interior of Bodrum Market, which is inspired by Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and the streets of Bodrum City. While I have not yet been to Istanbul (it is on the list!), I immediately felt transported to an exotic city! We were seated in one of their booths, which overlooks the dining area and bar.  If you …

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

I don’t know about you, but when I hear ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Peanut Butter’ in the same sentence, I get REALLY REALLY EXCITED! I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but unfortunately they are full of sugar and also not good for the waistline, and because I love to eat a variety of chocolate during the week, I wanted to find a balance between the two.  Below is my recipe for Vegan Peanut Butter Cups – they are super simple and easy to make, and only require 4 ingredients! Can also guarantee that your friends and family will love them! Makes 24 mini cups. INGREDIENTS For the Peanut Butter Cups: 1 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Revive Peanut Butter) 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (I like Blue Coconut) 1 tablespoon maple syrup For the Chocolate Topping: 1 cup of coconut oil, melted 3 tablespoons maple syrup 2 x 100g blocks of 70% Lindt chocolate (it is in fact vegan – yay!), roughly chopped and melted METHOD 1. Pop 24 mini muffin cases on trays.  2. Combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and dark chocolate …

Bread & Butter Bakery and Cafe

Last month, I organised #NZBloggers October #BRUNCHCLUB which was held at Bread & Butter Bakery and Cafe in Grey Lynn! Owned and run by Isabel Pasch, Bread & Butter Bakery specialises in making traditional European and naturally leavened sourdough breads. All of their bread is certified organic and tastes delicious! You may have tried their bread before, especially because Bread & Butter generously donated their sourdough loaves, bagels and cinnamon brioche for our Pink Ribbon Carnival back in May of this year!  Bread & Butter have three bakeries in Auckland – Ponsonby Central, Milford and Grey Lynn. At the Grey Lynn branch, this is where all of their breads are baked onsite, and this is where we had our brunch. We were seated in their ‘Plate Room’, a private dining room, where the sun poured in (great for pictures!) and it had the most lovely feature wall (below). At our brunch, Isabel spoke to us briefly about her background (she is a trained scientist and science journalist, but after moving to New Zealand with her family, …

Meadow – Auckland

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 #BRUNCHCLUB 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 #BRUNCHCLUB 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. …

Mexico’s New Winter Menu

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.  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.  Between three of …

#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.  ME! …

Kiwi Lime Meringue Pie

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 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 …

Duck Island Ice Cream – Ponsonby

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.  Cherry & Coconut / Peanut Butter / Peppermint View this post on Instagram Finally made it down to @duckislandicecream’s original shop in Hamilton⚡️ I got their Hot ❌ Bun + Custard Square flavours and both tasted exactly like the real thing❣️ …

Ozone Coffee Roasters

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 #NZBLOGGERS #BRUNCHCLUB!” So, a few weekends’ ago, I hosted my first #NZBloggers #BRUNCHCLUB 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, …