All posts filed under: New Zealand

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 …

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.  At the opening party of the Auckland Fish Market, we sampled freshly shucked TeKouma Bay oysters, fish sliders from Market Galley, swordfish, green …

Little Bird Unbakery

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 Sashimi, Hemp 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. Little Bird Unbakery have only just obtained their liquor license this …

A Weekend in Wellington

It was my birthday a few weeks’ ago, so I decided to spend a weekend in Wellington. Here’s what we got up to on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy! FRIDAY We arrived in Wellington around 1pm and thankfully, it was a nice sunny day! Uber seemed a tempting way to get to our hotel, but instead we caught the Airport bus to the “Wellington Railway Station” ($12 one way). The trip only takes about 20 minutes, but somehow we missed our stop, and ended up on the motorway, driving to Petone! Never fear, we had planned to visit Petone in the afternoon. Ravenous, we headed to Kilim for a late lunch. Kilim is a family owned restaurant (there is also a branch in Napier which we have been to) and they do great Turkish fare. We ordered their Doner Kebab with chicken and Iskender Meal with falafel, which also comes with a generous amount of rice, hummus, beetroot dip, mixed salad, tabbouleh and Turkish bread. Both meals were filling, delicious and reasonably priced. Highly recommend …

Krispy Kreme Chancery Square

  Attention doughnut lovers, the HYPE is real… Krispy Kreme is opening a third store in Auckland CBD’s Chancery Square… tomorrow!!! This world-famous doughnut and coffee chain first opened in 1937, and the brand is still going strong, having celebrated its 80th birthday last year (on 13 July). There are over 1,000 stores around the world – with New Zealand now in the mix, 35 countries selling these divine doughnuts! In February, Krispy Kreme opened its first New Zealand store in Manukau and its second store last month at Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal. It has been a roaring success ever since! The new Krispy Kreme store in Chancery is extra special – it is not just a second store, but a brand-new look for Krispy Kreme – first of its kind in the world. It is Krispy Kreme like you have never experienced before! Are you excited yet?! Details for the Grand Opening below… Tonight, Evo and I went along to Krispy Kreme’s new store in Chancery for an exclusive sneak peak! This new branch is …

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 …