Understandably, it’s a quiet week for food, with the hospitality industry currently under huge stress due to Covid-19. As of time of writing, there is no recommendation to stop eating out at restaurants. Stay at home if you’re sick, and practice safe hygiene by washing hands regularly. If you are either in self-isolation or wanting to engage in social distancing, consider ordering through delivery services, many of which are currently giving customers the option of contactless delivery.
While all events are still scheduled to go ahead at the time of publishing, Metro encourages readers to double-check for cancellations.
There’s potential for a meet-cute here. You accidentally spill a glass of Astrolabe wine into the lap of the person next to you. You reach for the same napkin. Your heads bump. You eat three-courses of food together, provided by Everybody Eats. You get married.
Wow, sounds good, huh! If you’re between the ages of 25-35ish, grab a $55 ticket and see what happens. There’s a special call-out for men, and all the proceeds go to Everybody Eats.
Friday 20 March | Everybody Eats, Onehunga
It’s been two years since Garage Project opened in Auckland, can you believe it? So there will be a party, naturally. 12 “excellent, unusual and exciting” beers on tap. Wild wines from GP Crushed. Food from Bun Hun. A DJ. And a cake.
Saturday 21 March | Garage Project Kingsland
The new head chef at Williams Eatery, Elie Assaf, presents a dining series by night, cooking a cuisine close to his heart and showcasing his Lebanese family recipes. The first dinner is this weekend, with some tickets still available at $85pp.
Sunday 22 March | Williams Eatery
READ MORE: The best Chinese cheap eats in Auckland
You can now chow down on a bowl of dan dan noodles from the infamous Eden (whose Mt Eden store regularly has lines out the door) in the middle of the city. They’re still under test mode and have decided not to announce the store address online – we’ll honour that, except to say it’s near a street that rhymes with Borne.
Any university student will know this location right away
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What we ate this week
Jean Teng and Alex Blackwood
Sunny Town Chinese Restaurant
I failed myself by not eating at one of my recommended post- and pre-show dinner spots, but Sunny Town was calling my name. I dropped by after watching Alice Canton’s new show, Year of the Tiger (虎—hǔ), which deserves a little love right now – Covid-19 has impacted ticket sales on Basement shows, big time. Grab a ticket for something a little unexpected; what you’ll see on your night is different from what I saw on my night. It is, ultimately, an exploration of pre-determination and upbringing and life experiences, and the comfort in both relating and not relating to a stranger – this understanding that there are parts of us that other people will echo, and parts of us that won’t, and that’s OK.
Anyway, Sunny Town. The menu is short and sweet, so I just get the dan dan noodles. Unapologetically oily, just the right side of spicy (that is, if you don’t do well with spice you should still be able to eat this) and extremely efficient. – JT
10-14 Lorne St, central city
Hallertau Brewery Riverhead
I went to Hallertau twice this weekend because I was staying out that way and it has a good vibe. I had the Thomsons Whisky taster and they're doing great things for NZ whisky but I'd like to talk about the pickle beer. It’s actually audacious of Hallertau to make such a thing. Pickles!? In MY beer?!? Beer in this country has gone too far. There is salt and vinegary cucumber and you could drink this with your burger as a substitute for having pickles on the burger! I’m enraged. I love it. Five stars. - AB
1171 Coatesville-Riverhead Hwy, Riverhead
So first of all, the coffee here was strong and very good. My iced Americano was served in a tumbler that made it feel like a fancy cocktail. But then I had the gazpacho and I’m still not sure about it. I like a chunky gazpacho and this was smooth and almost creamy with sourdough on the side. The question needs to be asked, at what point of blendedness is gazpacho just a tomato smoothie. I’m not not on board though. The jury (consisting of me and only me) is still out on this one.
16 McDonald St, Morningside
Simon & Lee
Between us, my family and I must have tried nearly everything from Simon & Lee’s new menu, and there’s still teething issues with most of the dishes. The sashimi soba had clumps of uncooked soba at the bottom (like when you open an instant noodle packet), but was easily fixed after alerting them to it. There were three clams in the sujebi but only one of them had any meat (we assumed the other two had fallen out and were searching the broth with no luck). I think the sujebi would benefit from having more dough (noodles) in the bowl, and the cold sashimi soba’s gochujang soup could be sweetened up a bit. My favourite dish was the Hulk spaghetti, which had a simple, pesto-y base flavour that was easy to like, with funkiness from the aster. - JT
115 Saint Georges Bay Rd, Parnell
Ooft a good toastie is a thing of beauty. The pastrami toastie I got here was exactly that; perfectly toasted with loads of mustard and some pickled beetroot. It ticked all the boxes, but the decor here was even better. It was a rainy day, but they still had the doors open and you could hear the water trickling through all the many plants. I have been in search of a very plant-ful cafe to go to and I think this is it.
503 New North Rd, Kingsland