All posts filed under: New Zealand

Choc-Almond Slice with Cocavo

Baking is one of my favourite hobbies. Cookies, brownies and slices are my favourite things to bake. So, when I was sent the whole range of Cocavo products recently (and having never used their products in baking or cooking before), I was super excited to create a recipe using Cocavo’s products.  For those of you that are not familiar with Cocavo, they are a New Zealand owned and run company which produces a unique blend of extra virgin coconut and avocado oils, bringing the healthiest cooking oil to the market. Their products are made from all natural premium ingredients and are dairy and gluten free, and suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Cocavo has five delicious flavours, including: Cocavo Original (used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes) Cocavo Light (the light flavour does not have the aroma or taste of coconut, which makes it the perfect cooking oil for everyday use) Cocavo with Chili and Lime (use for seafood or stir-fry dishes) Cocavo with Cilantro, Lime and Ginger (will bring out the flavours in Thai or …

Taste of Auckland 18

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! 2018 is a big year for Taste of Auckland presented by Electrolux as they are celebrating 10 years! This iconic food festival has helped launch brands, watch restaurants come and go, and of course, provide the public with an amazing event each year.  Taste is also being held in a brand new location – occupying the entire space of Queen’s Wharf on the waterfront! I am in love with the new 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?!  On Thursday night, I attended my fifth Taste of Auckland, including the VIP Opening, where Taste presented the ‘Best in Taste Awards’, judged by Chand Sahrawat, Lachlan Colwill and Amanda Linnell. The winning dish was Xoong’s Ruakaka Kingfish Tartare. …

Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie

When life gives you lemons, make a lemon meringue pie. You may already know about the brand I Love Food Co. – they make the scrumptious I Love Pies (my favourite being the Free Range Butter Chicken) and sausage rolls, plus the I Love Baking Cookies – love the Peanut Butter Choc Chunk ones!  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! And, after the demand for it by consumers, supermarkets and gourmet food stores are now stocking their delicious pastry around the country. Check out their stockists here.  I was recently sent some of I Love Food Co.’s Sour Cream Pastry, plus their gluten free version. Having never used gluten free pastry before, I wanted to try it out! And, having never ever made a Lemon Meringue Pie, I thought I would do that too! This Lemon Meringue Pie was super fun to make, and tasted heavenly. Adapted slightly from this recipe here.  …

American Express Restaurant Month: SOUL goes NOLA

Food lovers rejoice because American Express Restaurant Month is here! From 1-31 August, American Express Restaurant Month celebrates Auckland CBD’s diverse dining scene, offering 25 unique dining events and the chance to experience over 100 special menus, priced at $25, $40 and $55+. It is also a great opportunity to step outside the box and eat odd – try a food you wouldn’t normally eat and have a whole lot of fun doing it! Last Sunday, a friend and I were invited to dine at SOUL. In honor of Restaurant Month this year, SOUL goes NOLA! They have a limited edition menu which is inspired by the colours, textures, flavours and food trends of New Orleans! The SOUL goes NOLA menu will be available until 26 August for both lunch and dinner, for just $40 per person for a two-course meal or $50 including dessert. It’s bold, it’s funky, it’s pure southern deliciousness! We indulged in their $50 three course lunch, matched with their Restaurant Month special cocktail featuring house-made limoncello, fig and thyme cocktail and two Church Road wines – McDonald …

Auckland’s Best Street Food

  I absolutely love street food. We are very lucky in Auckland as we are spoilt for choice when it comes to street food. There are many food trucks and stands offering a wide variety – think bao, dumplings, fried chicken, vegan burgers, tacos, sushi in cones, egg waffles, milk and cookies and gelato to name a few. Below, I have rounded up my favourite food trucks and food stands around Auckland, so that you can go out and enjoy them as much as I do! JUDGE BAO Back in 2015, I wrote a blog post – 5 Reasons Why I Love Judge Bao. Everything I wrote in the post remains the same – the owners, Debbie and Jamie are so down to earth, very welcoming and passionate about their product. Their bao is delicious and I enjoy trying their new creations and love seeing them at various food festivals and markets. Judge Bao make soft and fluffy Chinese steamed buns filled with mouthwatering tofu, pork belly or beef (and sometimes fish and chicken), fresh herbs …

Poderi Crisci – Waiheke

I love love love Poderi Crisci. Situated on Waiheke Island, about a 25 minute drive from Kennedy Point Wharf, you will find Poderi Crisci, a vineyard and Italian restaurant owned and run by Antonio Crisci and his family. Surrounded by rolling hills and immaculate gardens, together with a stunning setting including an Italian style kitchen, displays of Italian cheeses and cured meats, and copper pots and utensils, you will feel like you are in Tuscany.  I dined here for my birthday with my family and it was a very memorable meal… and day overall. Everything was exquisite – from the surrounds and views, to the alfresco dining and beautiful food and wine. The service is also very welcoming, professional and friendly. For starters, we enjoyed a glass of prosecco, accompanied by three platters, all of which were beautifully presented and each dish was savoured: Pane & Olio A selection of homemade grissini, Italian inspired bread and olives with Poderi Crisci olive oil Contorni A selection of Antipasti style side dishes, including free range egg frittata, …

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. …

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 …

Bottomless Brunch at The Lula Inn

Last weekend, I strolled down to Auckland’s Viaduct to have brunch. But not just any old brunch…. Bottomless Brunch at The Lula Inn! Here is the lowdown of what is included: 2 hours of Bottomless Brunch – check out the menu here. Choose a brunch meal, plus receive unlimited Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, Prosecco, Pineapple Mocktails and Citrus Boost Sodas. Access to discounted food and drinks (additional to the cost of the brunch) on the day, like $15 espresso martinis and $10 cocktail of the day. Live music / DJ set while you brunch! Sounds awesome doesn’t it? I was there for the monthly NZ Bloggers Brunch Club event, where a bunch of bloggers meet up and brunch together! The thing I love most about these events is meeting other bloggers whom you follow on social media, but otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to meet.  I arrived around 11am, took my seat and started with a cocktail… a Bloody Mary! While this is not usually my drink of choice, it was surprisingly good. But, it was so spicy! At the …

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 …