All posts filed under: Restaurant

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

5 Reasons Why I Love Poke Poke

I absolutely love a good Poke Bowl. Poke is the Hawaiian word ‘to slice’ and is essentially a raw fish salad. It consists of raw marinated fish (like tuna or salmon) and is often served by itself, but also on sushi rice with vegetables. Many Poke eateries have been popping up around Auckland recently, so I thought I would go out and try a few, and also share with you my favourite one – Poke Poke in Newmarket. Here are five reasons why I love Poke Poke and why you should visit pronto. 1. The Poke! All of Poke Poke’s ingredients and sauces are prepared in-house and taste delicious, fresh, and healthy, plus you will feel great after eating. There are two options available – you can choose from their ‘Poke Poke Bowls with Purpose’ menu or build your own poke bowl. Do the latter as it is more fun! Here is a lowdown on how to customise your own: Step 1: Base: Offerings include white rice, purple rice and salad or choose to have half …

Belly Worship – Auckland

Neon lights? Check. Cheap and delicious Asian-fusion food? Check. Friendly service? Check. Unlimited corn chips and fizzy and closing time of 2am? Bonus.  You will find all this and more at the newly opened Belly Worship, a Chinese-fusion style restaurant located on Dominion Road. On the menu, there are a range of dishes available – steamed and fried dumplings, taco buns, spicy pancakes, stir-fried noodles, chicken, pork, beef and tofu dishes. The restaurant is not licensed, but they do offer a self-service bar where you pay just $3 for unlimited soft drink, alongside popcorn, corn chips and pretzels. This is a great idea – something to snack on while you wait for the rest of your party. It is also self-service for plates, bowls, cutlery and added sauces.  Between three of us, we ordered quite a feast:  – Spinach Taco Bun with Pork Belly ($7) – Shrimp, Pork and Chive Dumplings ($12) – Litchi Pork ($9.90) – Spicy Pancake ($5), with Duck (+$8) – Bamboo Chicken Wings ($14) – KungFu Kebabs with Fish Tofu and Beef ($16) – Scallion Fried Broccoli …

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 …