All posts tagged: cocktails

The Chocolate and Coffee Show 2017

  Hands up who loves Chocolate? And/or Coffee? How about Cupcakes, Gelato, Desserts and Espresso Martinis? Me! And I am sure a lot of you who are reading this also put your hand up! Today, I attended The Chocolate and Coffee Show, held at The Cloud on Queen’s Wharf, a show which celebrates everything indulgent – from boutique chocolatiers and artisan coffee roasters, to producers of tasty treats. There are also talks and cooking demonstrations by chef Julie Le Clerc, chocolatier Karl Hogarth and Homestead chef Sam Mannering, various masterclasses you can participate in – barista skills, cupcake decorating, a chocolate and tea tasting workshop and a Milse Pop-Up – woohoo! You can also check out the winners of the very first New Zealand Chocolate Awards. I had a really fun experience today, so I have rounded up my favourite coffee, chocolate and tasty products that I came across/tried at the The Chocolate and Coffee Show. If you have any questions about the products, feel free to ask! If you are heading to the show tomorrow, have a great time! …

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!

Queens Cafe Bistro

Queens Cafe Bistro is the perfect hideaway in Auckland’s CBD… This is exactly what I was thinking after dining at Queens Cafe Bistro. You probably wouldn’t recognise it from the main street – it is located on the second level of the Queen’s Arcade and its expansive outdoor balcony overlooks the bustling Queen Street. The restaurant opened in November 2016 and while I haven’t seen much advertising for it, there was a deal on Grabone a few months ago, so I bought a voucher. They were offering a two course dinner for two people at a very reasonable price. After perusing their menus, I was really excited to try out this newly opened eatery. Three of us dined here last weekend, and were impressed by their delicious food, relaxing atmosphere and friendly and attentive service. The restaurant has four dining areas, plenty of seating and an outdoor balcony, which will make you feel like you are dining in New York City… minus the 20 floors! The fit out is contemporary, with a British theme running throughout – think …

Xuxu Dumpling & Bar

Cocktails, Dumplings and Dessert. Three of my favourite things. And three things that you will find at Xuxu Dumpling & Bar, making it one of my favourite eateries in the city. I have been frequenting Xuxu numerous times over the years, and each time, I struggle to find something negative to say about it. The service is consistently good, their cocktails and food are fantastic and the atmosphere is always buzzing. Xuxu also serves one of my favourite drinks in the CBD – a virgin passionfruit mojito. It is sweet, refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to plates of never ending dumplings. They also have a great cocktail list, along with a selection of beer, wine and cider. But, the main stand out is of course, their handmade dumplings. They are light, full of flavour and trust me, you will want to order one of everything! My favourites include the Prawn Har Gao (with ginger, onion and garlic), Chicken potstickers (fried dumplings with shiitake mushroom), Beef & Cabbage (with onion, ginger and garlic) and for extras, their sticky and spicy …

Lucky Lucky Dumplings

If someone asked me where they could get lucky tonight, I would tell them to head to the Las Vegas Club on Karangahape Road. But not to the actual club itself… but rather to sip on cocktails, eat plates of dumplings and groove to the music in your seat. Enter through a bright red door, up a few stairs, through a bead curtain and you will find yourself at Lucky Lucky Dumplings, a new pop up bar and eatery situated inside the Las Vegas Club. The first thing that caught my eye was the decor. Plush red booths, bar stool style seating, black carpet, red curtains, Chinese lanterns, and on the tables, Lucky Fortune cats, food court style chopsticks and laminated menus – very funky and cool. And if you are into the eighties era (like my dining companion) you’ll love the music – think hits from The Clash, Pink Floyd and Cyndi Lauper to name a few. Cocktails are the star drink of choice, with only three options to choose from. And most surprising of all, they are served in plastic …

Bedford Soda Mixology Masterclass

One of my all-time favourite activities is making cocktails, watching other people make cocktails and of course, drinking them – whether it be a homemade margarita, a rum concoction in a coconut, or a flaming volcano. So, I was pretty excited to attend a Zomato Foodie Meetup last Sunday afternoon at Bedford Soda and Liquor where we learnt about the science of mixology and also took part in a cocktail masterclass. To get the afternoon going, we all started with a refreshing cocktail which reminded me of summertime – a Vanilla Vodka Daisy (pictured above), with strong hints of passionfruit and decorated with lettuce leaves and edible flowers, while the manager, Kieran, talked about the history of Bedford Soda, in that their inspiration comes from the cocktail bars in Williamsburg, New York, where simplicity and creativity play the most important part in cocktail making. Bedford Soda has adopted this style and they are also passionate about serving simple food done well. It certainly doesn’t disappoint! We were then introduced to Mixologist and New Zealand Bar Champion of 2015, Phil Spector, who showed us how to make four of Bedford Soda’s amazing cocktails, …

Cafe Hanoi

Cafe Hanoi is one of my all-time favourite restaurants in Auckland (along with Depot and The Federal Delicatessen). And why you may ask? Because the atmosphere is buzzing, the service great and of course, their south-east Asian and Vietnamsese food is always full of flavour and presented well, no matter what you order! I have dined at Cafe Hanoi on several occasions – dinners with friends, family birthdays and work functions. It is definitely the perfect place to celebrate something special. And if you are feeling fancy, they also have a private dining room as well. I love that there is something for everyone on the menu, whether you are into spice, are vegetarian or like to share dishes with your dining companions. My favourite dishes at Cafe Hanoi include: – Summer Rolls of roasted pork, shrimp, fresh herbs and peanuts – Confit Eggplant with soy, garlic and coriander – Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp with garlic mayo – Fried Lemongrass Tofu, with cinnamon smoked mushroom and wilted spinach – Bún Cha (Hanoi-style grilled pork w nuoc cham, …

Queenstown Travel Diary

Last year, my older sister moved to Glenorchy, so we decided to spend Christmas and New Years in nearby Queenstown. I was super excited as it was my first time travelling to Queenstown and I couldn’t wait to experience all that it had to offer. I love that there are so many things to do in Queenstown, and that everyone is catered for, whether you are into adventure sports, being out on the water, tramping, trying new foods, keeping active or just relaxing by a beautiful lake (I especially loved Lake Wakatipu and Lake Wanaka). Check out the list below of my favourite foodie places (with recommendations), shopping, and activities in Queenstown and beyond: EAT 1. Fergburger – undoubtedly Queenstown’s most iconic foodie experience! However, be prepared to wait over an hour (or more) for your burger, but it is definitely worth it! Recommended: I loved the Bombay Chicken burger, washed down with a Speights beer 2. Patagonia Chocolates – I fell in love with this place while in Queenstown. Situated on the waterfront, they sell mouthwatering ice cream, desserts, hot and cold drinks, and of course, homemade chocolates. Definitely head to …