All posts tagged: photography

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 …

Top 5 Barcelona Eats + Recipe

Following on from my Barcelona Travel Diary post, check out my Top 5 Eats in Barcelona, plus a recipe for one of my favourite Spanish dishes – paella! BACOA My sister and I love burgers – we are attempting to try every burger place in Auckland, and every time we try a new one, I always ask her “so, how do you like your burger?”, and her reply is always the same – “BACOA is still the best!”. Paired with patatas bravas and a beer in hand, these are some of the best burgers you will ever have. Click here for my review and photo diary of BACOA. Our top choice at BACOA is their Vegetariana burger – the patty is made of chickpeas, sweet corn, baby spinach and red pepper and topped with a spicy tomato chutney and creamed goat’s cheese. Ooh la la! We also loved the Japonesa burger (beef glazed with traditional teriyaki sauce) and the Pollo burger (fresh chicken breast marinated for 12 hours, then chargrilled). Recommended dish: The vegetarian burger… with …

2016 Foodie Highlights

2016 was a great foodie year! I tried new dishes (at Tiger Burger and Judge Bao), I tried a new food truck (Temaki Truck), there were many foodie events (Auckland Food Show, Taste of Auckland, Seafood Festival, Food Space, streetARTdego and Auckland Night Noodle Markets to name a few), my favourite dessert bar (Miann) opened a second branch and I travelled to many wonderful places (Sydney, Fiji, all around Spain, London, Dublin and Edinburgh). Check out my list below for my 16 favourite foodie highlights of the year. Click the links after each to find out more. Enjoy! From left to right (main image above): Miann This year, Miann opened their second store (YAY) and in my favourite area – Britomart! Just like their Fort Street store, they are selling their beautifully presented gateaux, gelato sticks, macarons and handcrafted bonbons. The point of difference is the larger, brighter and airier space. My favourites so far include their Bombe Alaska dessert, the 55% Itakuja gateaux with dark chocolate, passionfruit, coconut and lime (pictured above) and the peanut butter …

Velvet Burger, Federal Lane

Up until last month, I had never tried Velvet Burger, despite the burger brand being around since 2006. So, when my Christchurch-based cousin mentioned that Velvet Burger do a 2-for-1 deal every week, I rushed to their Fort Street store, keen to try out their burgers – and I loved them! Now, thanks to the Cook Brothers Bars, who own and operate Velvet Burger (as well as the likes of The Glass Goose, Fort Street Union and La Zeppa), a second branch has opened in Auckland’s CBD, conveniently located near the Sky Tower, in Federal Lane. The new Federal Lane store offers indoor and courtyard dining, table service (there is only counter service at the Fort Street branch) and an express lunch option. I was fortunate to dine here last week and I loved it – from the menu, to the open kitchen, the hanging lights in the courtyard and the friendly staff. The menu features 17 gourmet burgers (with your choice of beef, chicken, venison, lamb or vegetarian), wine, local beers (brownie points for …

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, …

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 …

Vegan Cocoa Coconut Treats

You may have read my recent post on The Caker, aka Jordan Rondel. She makes unusual but mouthwatering cakes, cookies and sweet delights. This recipe is from her first book, as pictured below. These cocoa coconut treats are super simple to recreate, and are perfect as a lunchbox snack, a ‘pick me up’ at work or enjoyed with a hot cup of tea. Jordan says in her book that because the treats are vegan, they can also be served raw – just chill the balls in the fridge for an hour or so. However, baking them in the oven gives them a texture, somewhere between a truffle and a cookie, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Sounds perfect! Makes approximately 20 treats. Ingredients 1 1/2 cups dried shredded coconut 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder 30g rolled oats 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (I used Nudecoconut) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon extra shredded coconut for rolling balls in Method 1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the coconut, cocoa powder and rolled oats. Mix in …

La Cigale French Market

If you are looking for something fun to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning and which involves lots of delicious food, then I highly recommend checking out La Cigale French Market in Parnell. It is undoubtedly the best market in Auckland. Here’s a taste of what you may come across at La Cigale: – Delicious coffee, macarons and croissants just out of the oven – Rotisserie chickens, gooey croque monsieurs, breakfast buns and other savoury delights – Delectable tarts (my favourite being the Frangipani tart with rhubarb and pistachio) and eclairs from Amadine – Freshly made juices, plus smoothies from The Organic Mechanic – Muesli and chia seed bowls from The Vital Bowl – Various international foods like paella, crepes and gozleme – Freshly baked bread, smoked fish, fruit and vegetables – Tasty dips, Turkish bread, wraps and fresh dates – And you probably wouldn’t believe it but there is a stand near the entrance selling every dog treat you can imagine! The market can get quite crowded, so I recommend coming here as early as possible – my favourite time being …