All posts filed under: Reviews

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, …

Hapī, Napier

Hapī is WOW. Their ethos “you are what you eat” and that “physical and mental wellbeing is a true reflection of how you fuel your body” rings true to my New Year’s Resolution for this year, so I was really excited to check out this cute cafe, while on holiday in Napier. At Hapī, their food is plant based, full of nutrients and very delicious. If you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free or just love eating one or all of the above, then Hapī is your place! Their menu is extensive – for such a small cafe, they sure have a range of everything on offer. Their cabinet display is also one of the best I have seen in New Zealand, with all the food well presented and the staff continuously preparing all the goodies just behind the counter. I could literally stand there for ages, watching them make sandwiches! For breakfast, there are Acai and raw granola bowls, tofu scramble, omelettes and eggs your way on their beautiful paleo bread.  For lunch, you …

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 …

5 Reasons Why I Love GIAPO

  GIAPO. The best ice cream in New Zealand. Here are five reasons why I love GIAPO (and why you should try their ice cream!): 1. Owner Gianpaolo (Giapo) Grazioli. Giapo is the creative mastermind behind all the wondrous ice cream creations. He is very passionate about his ice cream and is the most enthusiastic person I know! You will often find him at the store, talking to customers and/or taking orders. Not many hospitality owners do this around Auckland, so I think this is pretty awesome. Also a special mention to Giapo’s wife, Annarosa, who is lovely, kind and always a joy to see at the Giapo store. 2. The ice cream flavours and the different options to ‘hold’ your ice cream. The menu at Giapo is extensive, with many flavours to choose from. All of the ice creams are gluten free, with four being vegan – definitely something for everyone! Their ice cream is different to that of the normal ones you would get at a dairy or supermarket – Giapo’s are like works of art. …

Auckland Restaurant Month: Odettes Eatery

We are now in the last week of Auckland Restaurant Month! This annual event celebrates the central city’s diverse dining scene, offering 26 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! A fellow foodie friend (Bri) recently won a voucher (thanks to Neat Meat) to dine at her restaurant of choice… so last Tuesday night, Bri, Michelle, Genie and I had dinner at Odettes Eatery, where we tried their $40 Restaurant Month Menu – a four course banquet shared between four. Odettes Eatery is located at City Works Depot, and has been on my foodie wishlist for a while. It is a charming eatery, with a relaxed ambience, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their menu is fresh and creative, drawing on flavours from the Mediterranean and changes seasonally. Two of our party arrived early, so we …

Auckland Restaurant Month: White + Wong’s

If you’re looking for top-notch Asian fusion food, consistently good service and a buzzing atmosphere, then look no further than White + Wong’s, located on Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. White + Wong’s menu is one of my favourites in Auckland – it’s ‘east meets west’ and takes its inspiration from the street food found in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. I love the variety of food choices – think raw/cold cuts, noodles, curries, delicious dumplings and buns. Their food is fresh, flavourful and looks exciting on the plate. I first dined at White + Wong’s a few month’s ago – we tried their edamame beans with a killer spicy and sweet sauce, a selection of their dumplings and gua bao, and their refreshing nashi pear iced teas. The service was great and the food was fantastic! Fast forward to earlier this month, I saw that White + Wong’s were doing a special menu for Auckland Restaurant Month. I just had to check it out! So, on Friday night, a fellow foodie friend and I tried out their 3 course menu. It was a pleasant evening, which meant we …

Auckland Restaurant Month: SOUL

Food lovers rejoice because Auckland Restaurant Month is here!

Restaurant Month is about celebrating the central city’s diverse dining scene, offering 26 unique food events and the chance to experience over 100 special menus (priced at $25, $40 and $55+) during the month of August. 

To kick off my Auckland Restaurant Month experience, I dined at SOUL last Friday night. We indulged in their $50 three course meal, along with a cocktail and matching wines.

Click the link to read more!