Metro brings you a round up of the best of what Auckland has to offer for the coming week in our city's diverse and exciting food scene.
Gemmayze St x Orphans Kitchen breakfast
Tom Hishon (Orphans Kitchen) and Samir Allen (Gemmayze Street) are joining culinary forces to plate up a two-course Lebanese-inspired breakfast for anyone free at 7am-10.30am on a Friday morning and are willing to part with $45 for some yum food. 10% of the proceeds go to Everybody Eats, due to open their permanent space very soon. Book online.
Friday 30 August | Orphans Kitchen
Father’s Day lunch at Cazador
Don’t let a Bunnings Warehouse ad convince you that your dad really needs a new power drill (or whatever) every year – he doesn't. In my experience, a meal is the best, no-fuss, no-hurtful-enquiries-after-the-receipt Father’s Day present you can get them. Cazador is hosting a slow-cooked Sunday lunch for $65pp (lots of meat, probs) on the Sunday. DM (@cazador_akl) or email to book.
Sunday 1 September | Cazador
Coco’s Hosts La Valentina + more birthday celebrations
The month of September marks K’Rd institution Coco’s Cantina’s 10th birthday, and a very happy birthday to them. We’ve had some very good times there, gathering at their red-and-white chequered tables over happy-hour pastas and Prosecco, and we’re looking forward to join in on their collaborative celebrations. First up is Coco’s x La Valentina, whose vineyard team have flown over from Italy to bring over a taste of Italian hospitality. Tickets are $90 are include drinks on arrival, three courses and a showcase of their wines not available in Aotearoa. Stay tuned for the rest of their birthday events.
Tuesday 3 September | Coco’s Cantina
The Brit opening
With a menu by Nourish Group Executive Chef Gareth Stewart, pool tables and a massive 440 square metre interior, Britomart’s latest addition had us at foot long pizzas and Cuban Coffee cocktails. They’re in the old Northern Steamship spot, but CTRL Space has done a revamp, with lots of bare wood and a fair few nautical accents. “It’s a light, bright venue to complement the surrounding architecture with natural timber, terracotta tiles and marble counter tops welcoming guests as they step foot inside,” says Director Chris Stevens, who’s goal was a relaxed vibe that melds with the building’s heritage.
Opens Friday 30 September | 122 Quay St, Britomart
What We Ate This Week
Jean Teng and Alex Blackwood
I really hope I came on an off-night, because the burger I had on this night was just not it. My first time taking a chance on the McFly did not pay off – the (white) chicken was dry and bland, the slices of cheese cold. The normally-great brioche buns were also curiously dry and lacking fluff, just limply hanging out on top of the lacklustre filling. – JT
40 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna
Jazz apple juniors
I seldom eat apples for fear of a floury, crunchless, bad time. But these little suckers are hella crunchy, tart and juicy. I ate so many that people wondered if I was on some kind of health kick (lol, have they MET me?) - AB
I hadn’t been to Mexico in years, associating it as a go-to place for awkward catch-ups with high-school friends. After eating their food, I quickly realised why I felt that way – safe, uninterestingly tasty, and best with booze. But, happily, we were invited for a tequila and mezcal tasting, an attempt to reframe tequila as a Serious Drink, rather than something you reluctantly knock back at 4am. They didn’t have to convince me – I’m a fan of tequila, and mezcal especially, smoky and spicy. I’d make the case that mezcal is better for beginners: the flavour, and the enjoyment, is more apparent than tequila at first sip, before you learn how to taste underneath the “alcohol” flavour, and I’d say it’s more of a sipping alcohol than tequila is. (Both are made from agave, but to be called “tequila”, the alcohol has to be made from the blue agave plant.) Try mezcal out with some of their hard-to-hate fried chicken.
23 Britomart Place, central city
Tianze Dumpling House
Tianze have two kitchens – one to deal with the dumplings, another for the hot food. Unfortunately, that exposes potential for organisational nightmares, one of which happened on the day I visited where they forgot to put our dumplings order through to the other kitchen and we waited for 50 minutes for them. They were nice about it and gave us a free dish, but here’s a word of warning to others: don’t be dumb, and check in on it earlier than we did if the wait seems oddly long. – JT
695 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Curiosity Gin Recipe #23
Gin is a slippery beverage. Sometimes you can barely pick a single characteristic. Not so with Curiosity gin. In the first sip I could taste the malty, earthy savouriness and a definite hint of Manuka. I am told that if you have this gin with Indian tonic and grapefruit, the citrus and spice flavours will come through more. - AB
You can’t get anything here for under $5 – even a scattering of chocolate-covered coffee beans in a plastic baggie will set you back $5.50. A scoop of ice-cream is $8. A hot chocolate is $9. It’s definitely treat food, the whole cafe awash with wafts of chocolatey indulgence. I had a matchamisu, a matcha sponge with coffee cream, with my only complaint being the matcha wasn’t strong enough to play with that overpowering flavour of caffeine. The coffee here is surprisingly good. – JT
12/14 McDonald St, Morningside
Zool Zool soft shell crab
Fun fact: soft shell crab is not actually a specific species of crab that has a tender shell. Rather it’s a regular crab (usually, blue crab) that has just shed a shell that it has grown out of and not yet had a chance to have the new shell underneath harden. It’s quite mean to take advantage of such a vulnerable time in the crab’s life but it is also delicious and much easier to eat and prepare than a crab whose shell has been given a chance to harden (plus it means we can eat a diverse range of crabs rather than just going for one and overfishing it? (I hope?)). Anyway. This one was battered in such a way that the tender-crispness of the crab meat was perfectly accentuated but it could have done with more sauce. Perhaps mayonnaise or teriyaki. – AB
405 Mount Eden Rd Mt Eden