RED sando (vegan) from Small Fry Colours pop-up - Smoked nut butter (hazelnut and almond), tomato (semi dehydrated marinated in garlic oil), red pickles. Photo: Supplied

Your week in food: Small Fry's sandwich pop-up, Cult Wine comes to Auckland

Natural wine! Plant-based sandwiches! Mezcal! The calendar this week is full of buzzwordy food trends. Yum, yum, yum.

Match made in Vegan (Soho wine match)

A plant-based collab with SOHO wines. Six courses, six wines for $65pp.
Wednesday 26 February | KIND

Mezcal – An Exploration of Agave

If you’ve ever wondered about mezcal, you could visit La Fuente in Snickel Lane, or you could also go along to a little tasting from Glengarry Wines, including a line-up of mezcal from small family producers. Mezcal is very different to tequila, by the way – above anything, it’s something to slowly savour, rather than down in a shot.
Wednesday 26 February | Glengarry Wines, Jervois Rd

Orakei Night Market

Yet another Food Truck Collective event to visit your favourite trucks, and believe me, they’re all here, plus the new Bun Hun (one half of the ex-Judge Bao team).
Thursday 27 January | Orakei Bay Village

Ima's hot cross buns

Get ready to wait in line for these babies ("Big ol' spiced brioche buns, studded with orange and lemon peel, currants and SMOTHERED with custard pastry cream crosses"). First release from this Friday. 
Friday 28 January | Ima, Fort St

Cult Corner Launch

You’ve got us at free natural wine tasting, thanks. Cult Wine has come to Auckland, popping up at Beer Jerk’s store The Fridge and Flagon in Eden Terrace and selling their wines. Come to the opening this Saturday for some wine and cheese and all-around good times.
Saturday 29 February | The Fridge and Flagon

Leap Year Leaping at The Pie Piper

It’s fried chicken and mac and cheese night again at the Pie Piper, so you should expect coleslaw, biscuits and watermelon salad next to the infamous chicken and macaroni. Maybe get a pie or doughnut, too – 29th February only comes around every four years, after all.
Saturday 29 February | The Pie Piper, K’Rd

Small Fry Colours

Small Fry has been revived in pop-up form again by its owner Ruby White, this time for a special cause – all profits will be split between Wildlife Victoria and Deadly Science in support of the Australian Bush Fire relief. Small Fry’s sandwiches had gathered a cult following in the days the cafe was open, and this pop-up is all about them: three colour-block sandwiches in red, green and yellow. Click here for the full menu. P.S. Ruby’s kaya will also be available. Very yum, imo.
Sunday 1 March | CHAIRS, 376 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn

New openings

Barilla Dumpling
A new branch has opened in Milford, serving more or less the same food as their Dominion Road eatery, just opposite the New World. I checked it out opening day - it's a good, reliable addition to the Milford scene, which only has maybe two other Chinese restaurants on the main road, if that.
208 Kitchener Rd, Milford

READ MORE: The best places to eat on Auckland's Dominion Rd

READ MORE: Metro Recommends: 5 sweet treats with a special twist

What we ate this week

Jean Teng and Alex Blackwood

Mamak
I've been eating so much Western food recently, my body gave a sigh of relief when I walked into Mamak in Takapuna and heard the Malaysian accent of its owner, Jeffery. The heart wants what the heart wants. I ordered Hainanese chicken, but made the mistake of not requesting dark meat, so I got given dry, overpoached chicken with hardly any flavour and barely-there sauce with no love. It's so difficult to cook Hainanese chicken that almost no one in Auckland does it right, and only then inconsistently, something I quietly grumble about in sadness because it's my favourite Malaysian dish of all time. Anyway, eat their laksa instead. - JT
6 Huron St, Takapuna

Huami superior broth with seafood radish rings
If you’re going to call something superior broth, please, please, please let there be more than a tablespoon or so and please can it taste like something other than water? The radish rings were interesting and a fun texture but flavourless and the scallops were unseasoned and just ok. I just wanted some broth, guys. - AB
SkyCity 87 Federal St, central city

Go Go Music Cafe grilled eel
It really is just that – a sizeable piece of grilled eel, charred to the point of caramelised, soft, flavoursome perfection. Goodbye maccas for a 1am food run; go to Go Go. - AB
559 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden

Redeem probiotic kefir soda char-cola
Because kombucha tastes like beer mixed with water that someone’s washed their feet in (and is only nice when there is lots of added flavour) I am suspicious of probiotic beverages. Because Viggo Mortensen was correct in Captain Fantastic when he described cola as poison water, I am suspicious of cola beverages. I am also suspicious of charcoal as a health food. But this is at least definitely vegan, organic and low in sugar. It isn’t very sweet at all (I hear that some people dislike how not-sweet it is) but it tastes faintly of caramel with the nuttiness of coconut and there is a soft creaminess about it. It did smell odd and yeasty, but I liked the taste. So to my surprise I really liked it actually. - AB

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