All posts tagged: wine

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, …

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 …

Allan Scott Generations Gewurztraminer matched with Kimchi & Tofu Dumplings

Two of my favourite winter foods are Kimchi and Dumplings. A staple in Korean cuisine, Kimchi is made from salted and fermented vegetables, in particular napa cabbages and Korean radishes, with added seasonings and chilli. Different variations of dumplings are eaten worldwide. In Auckland, it is easy to find a good dumpling, either in a restaurant, at a cheap eatery, and even in the supermarket. I have eaten plenty, believe you me, but have never actually made my own. Fast forward to last week, I received a bottle of the brand-new Allan Scott Generations Gewürztraminer 2016 from Allan Scott Family Winemakers, which was one of the first independent wineries to establish in Marlborough, New Zealand in 1990. The Allan Scott Generations Gewürztraminer (dubbed ‘G’whizz’ by the Allan Scott team) is the newest addition to their exclusive Generations range, with delicate and floral flavours and aromas – think exotic spices, candied figs, turkish delight and lychees. The G’whizz is divine on its own yet truly brought to life when paired with exotic foods, such as sweet Middle Eastern dishes, …

Meat Fish Wine

Last week, I was invited to dine at Meat Fish Wine to try their five course degustation menu, matched with local and international wines. We had a fantastic night, thanks to the beautiful food, wine, ambience and service. Meat Fish Wine is located on the corner of O’Connell and Chancery Streets, making it a great central spot for dining. The menu changes seasonally, focusing on fresh New Zealand produce, in particular meat and fish, and it has one of the largest wine lists in New Zealand. With over 500 wines to choose from, hand-picked by a Sommelier, you are truly spoilt for choice. Walking in, the interior is stunning. We loved the inviting bar area with plush seating, the large heritage windows overlooking O’Connell Street, the open plan kitchen (with adjoining chef’s table), the unique bathroom (don’t leave without taking a peak!), the luxurious private dining rooms (named Waiheke, Rangitoto and Kawau) and most impressive of all, the chandelier display of over 2,000 Riedel wine glasses shaped to reflect a Hei Matau or traditional fish hook. Chandelier …

Zomato Blogger Meetup: Le Chef

We are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out in Auckland, in particular the CBD. But I suppose there is one cuisine which is lacking – French. Thanks to Le Chef, that void has now been filled! At Le Chef, they are all about using fresh and seasonal produce and you can sample their delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner! On Monday night, I dined at Le Chef, as part of Zomato’s Blogger Meetup. It was lovely being in the company of four other bloggers – Carli from The Enthusiastic Cook, Maddy from Madicatt, Genie from Bunny Eats Design, Laura from Laura Laura and a huge thank you to Chanelle from Zomato for organising the event. We were there to sample dishes from Le Chef’s dinner menu, as well as a few preview dishes from their upcoming Friday event, La Longue Table Du Chef*. Translating to ‘The Chef’s Long Table’, 120 people will dine together at one big outdoor table, devouring three courses of French food and drinking French wine – to me that sounds like a …

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 …

Aria Restaurant

A few nights ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to dine at Aria Restaurant, where we tried 12 different dishes off their new winter menu. I was super excited, not only because I always enjoy a foodie night out, but because I have walked past Crowne Plaza many times, but have never ventured in, so it was a real surprise! Upon arrival, I first noticed how large the restaurant was. It was fairly quiet for a Wednesday evening, but in a way, it was nice having the restaurant to ourselves! The ambience was warm and inviting and the seating very comfortable. The new winter menu offers an amazing choice of dishes, from seafood to meat to vegetarian meals. For starters, we were served the following: – Hot Smoked Akaroa Salmon with cauliflower and roasted beetroot (a perfect start to the evening); – Pan Seared Scallops with braised lentils and cherry tomatoes (the scallops cooked perfectly); – Shiitake, Button and Portobello Mushroom Salad (not a huge fan, but my other dining companions loved it); …

Yelp Elite Event: Spanish Fiesta

As of yesterday, in one months’ time, I will be in Spain. And what better way to celebrate than at Yelp Auckland Elite’s ‘Spanish Fiesta’ event held at The Black Hoof last night! The highlight of the night was definitely the moorish toasted sandwiches filled with jamon (or Spanish cured ham) and melted cheese – I couldn’t get enough of them! We also got to sample mini meatballs, goats cheese croquettes, salted almonds and olives, all of which are on The Black Hoof’s tapas menu. Other highlights included the two huge legs of jamon, carved beautifully by Joan of Iberian Foods. There were two different types of jamon – the first one named ‘Iberico Bellota’ which is an acorn-fed pig and the second one named ‘Iberico Mangalica’ which is Hungarian grain fed pig (if you google them, you will see that they sort of resemble sheep!) Both jamon were scrumptious – salty, soft and they would be perfect in sandwiches or just delicious on their own! To accompany all the delectable delights, Jorge from Casita Miro provided a sherry tasting …