All posts tagged: restaurant

5 Reasons Why I Love Hello Beasty

If you haven’t been to Hello Beasty yet, then you are seriously missing out! I must admit, I’m very late to the party, but thanks to my boyfriend’s love for the restaurant, we had a date night here recently… it was everything I imagined and more. Here are five reasons why I love Hello Beasty and why you should visit pronto! 1. The Service, Ambience and Layout. From the moment we walked in, service was welcoming and friendly, not to mention, excellent throughout the night, with the usual things I look out for – drinks and food arriving promptly, water glasses topped up regularly, and wait staff attentive and always on hand to explain the dishes and make suggestions. Kudos to Emma Rogan, co-owner (along with award-winning chef and husband, Stu Rogan) who was running front of house the night we were there – she was friendly, professional and lovely to chat with. We were seated in Hello Beasty’s open-air courtyard overlooking Market Square – the best spot in my opinion and great for people …

Cocoro – Ponsonby

If there was one word to describe Cocoro, it would be… well, to be honest, it would be many words. Exquisite. Superb. Spectacular. Faultless. Sensational. Perfection. In March of this year, I was invited by Pamu New Zealand to dine at Cocoro, one of the three finalists in the nationwide ‘Pamu & Cuisine Deer Milk Ice Cream Competition 2020’ where chefs were tasked to create their very first Deer Milk ice cream dessert. You may have heard of Deer Milk… it is like the caviar of milk. Rich and creamy, yet fresh and light. Fun fact: it is actually double the fat and double the protein of regular cow’s milk, making it the creamiest milk you will ever taste. It is also the first of its kind and is made by Pamu on their farm near Queenstown. Co-Owner and Head Chef of Cocoro, Makoto Tokuyama’s creation was Deer Milk with Shio Koji Ice Cream Manuka Smoke, inspired to reflect Pamu’s deer farm on a Spring morning. The combination of deer milk with shio koji (salt …

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 …

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 …

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 …

5 Reasons Why I Love Gemmayze Street

I would love to share with you one of my favourite hidden gems in Auckland –  introducing Gemmayze Street in St Kevin’s Arcade. Here are five reasons why I love Gemmayze Street and why you should visit pronto.  1.  The owners. Chef Samir Allen runs the kitchen and produces the most beautiful, divine, mouthwatering and moreish Lebanese food (more on that below), while his mother, Liane Farry, is front of house. I read in one review that said she was ‘scary’ – she is definitely quite the opposite. Always friendly, always welcoming, and once on a very busy night, Liane took over our table of five and we received great service! 2.  The beautiful Lebanese food. I have dined at Gemmayze Street four times now, and the food has been excellent every visit. I generally order my favourite vegetarian dishes (a selection of mezze), and also a larger dish if I am feeling super hungry. These dishes come highly recommended: Hummus – this is my family’s favourite dish, for it’s beautiful flavour and texture, creaminess and lovely presentation. …

Gerome, Parnell

Gerome is the latest newcomer to Parnell’s dining scene, occupying the space where the famous Iguacu used to be. This new restaurant is serving up beautiful modern Greek food, matched with an elegant dining experience and friendly and attentive service. Three of us dined here last week for a special birthday, and we were very impressed.

Lucky Buddha Eatery

Since its opening in 2015, Lucky Buddha still remains one of my favourite eateries in Auckland. It is situated on Fort Street, which is fast becoming a foodie mecca, with the likes of Ima Cuisine, Miann and Beirut and around the corner, my favourite ice creamery, Giapo. The first time I dined at Lucky Buddha, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but after learning that the owners are Korean, the head chef is Filipino and that they are serving Asian fusion cuisine (namely Japanese, Korean, Thai and Filipino), I was really excited. I have since dined at Lucky Buddha four times, and each time has been a very memorable foodie experience. The food is fresh and flavourful, and the cocktail list and service is excellent. Below, I list my favourite dishes and drinks at Lucky Buddha. For food, I recommend the following: Sriracha Pork Steamed Buns filled with tender pulled pork, fresh herbs and a cracker spicy peanut sauce. This is my favourite entree on the menu as it has that melt in your mouth wow factor. The bao …

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 …