Diners enjoy one of mutliple courses brought out in 30 minute time slots at Pasture. Photo: Josh Griggs

Your week in food: Vegetarian menus, secret bars a special event at Apéro and a new arcade

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.

Metro One Night Only: Apéro's Family Supper
With the help of Peugeot, Metro is running a series of one-off dining events over the next few months, with each showcasing unique experiences at some of Auckland's very best restaurants. We kicked off the series with a night of "speed eating" at Pasture (see the pictures below and above), and tickets for Apéro's event are on sale now. Winner of Best Casual Restaurant in the 2019 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year awards, Apéro will be serving up a family feast of French beef stew, cooked gently for a very long time, and served two ways. There will be bread and there will be wine. (Note: Our Pasture event sold out, so make sure to get in quick to secure a place this time around!)
October 13 | Apéro

Photos from Metro's One Night Only event at Pasture. Photo: Josh Griggs

Orphans Kitchen Root to Petal
Plants? For spring? Groundbreaking. Na jokes, it looks yum. From Wednesday, Orphans Kitchen is offering a two-course vegan and vegetarian set menu. The regular menu will still be on offer too so if you’re one of those people who gets upset if they can’t have meat, don’t worry, the world is still catering to you. Visit www.orphanskitchen.co.nz to make a booking. $35 for a two-course set menu, Tuesday-Saturday from 5pm.
25 September to 19 OctoberOrphans Kitchen

Orphans Kitchen's vegan ginger crunch

Meat-free Mondays at Saan
With dishes like spicy Thai vermicelli larb with black fungus, fresh herbs & toasted rice powder; roasted eggplant, chilli & mushroom dip with crispy tofu curd & fresh cucumber; and twice-cooked tofu rolls with taro, water chestnut & sweet plum dipping sauce, Saan are ushering in a month of meat-free Mondays, something head chef Say Polvit says they're super excited about. They hope the menu will appeal to vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians and the "vege-curious.”
23 September 2019 | Saan

 Saan's roasted eggplant, chilli & mushroom dip

Taste of Auckland 2019
Whether you're going to eat, to look or to ask lots of questions (just kidding, we know you're going there to eat), Taste of Auckland has a lot to offer. There'll be food from Culprit, Andiamo, &Sushi and Paris Butter among many others, plus stalls offering everything including (but not limited to) all the wine, beer, chocolate, cocktails and cupcakes you can shake a breadstick at.
31 September to 3 October | Queens Wharf

Steinlager Black Laundry
Sigh. For some people, the Rugby World Cup is all just a bit much. If you aren’t one of those people and love supporting the All Blacks, Steinlager have opened a laundromat. Unlike other laundromats, the piece of clothing you bring into Black Laundry will return dyed black and stitched with an embroidered Steinlager emblem by the end of the session. Oh, and there's beer. Session numbers are limited and appointments are necessary, so book on the website: www.blacklaundry.co.nz
Wednesday, 2 October:  4 - 9pm
Sunday, 6 October: 3 - 8pm
Saturday, 12 October: 3 - 8pm 
450 Karangahape Rd

New Flavour Dumpling Workshop
A free dumpling workshop in celebration of NZ Chinese Language Week 2019? Say no more. We're there. 
28 September | New Flavour, 537 Dominion Rd


New Openings

Sly
Far be it from us to spoil the fun by revealing all about a secret bar, but we can reveal that this Friday, a sneaky little bar will be arriving behind a blue door on K road. More info here.
Friday 27 September | 345A Karangahape Rd

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq Newmarket
With Flashing lights, 67 arcade machines, dodgem cars, bowling and a VR experience called ThrillRide, this new obligatory first date location sounds exhaustingly exciting. The menu is very theme-park, with popcorn, candy floss, burgers, fries and hotdogs. It sounds like a sugar headache waiting to happen but that isn't always terrible. 
Level 3, Westfield Newmarket


What We Ate This Week
By Alex Blackwood

Beef Tataki at The Churchill
On the menu this is called “handpicked 55 day aged beef eye fillet tataki shiitake, edamame, soy mayo, pickled daikon” and indeed I would handpick it again if I found myself at the Churchill, even though they acted a bit as if Jean and I had walked into their home and sat ourselves at their kitchen table unannounced (despite the restaurant being quite bustling). It took a while before these poor put-upon souls would speak to us. Yet, even so, the tataki was buttery soft, rich and smoky. The garlicky, earthy dots of mayo, and smattering of sauce were definitely worth the confusion of the staff. The Kokoda was also creamy, fruity and moreish. The cumin roasted cauliflower was very lightly roasted and fresh – softened rather than really cooked. - AB

 Gin and Tonic 10/10/10 at The Churchill

Gin and tonic from the 10/10/10 menu at The Churchill
For a place with a seemingly endless gin list, The Churchill staff were oddly baffled to be asked if there was any information material on how to choose (a pamphlet? A flowchart? a spiel? Even an interpretive dance?) between each gin, tonic and garnish on their 10/10/10 shortlist. The idea is to build a gin and tonic from the ten gins, ten mixers and ten botanicals. It’s a lovely thought to get everyone involved and allow them to choose everything on their own but the creative spirit gives way to dread in the face of a complete lack of knowledge. Which is a floral gin, which is a sloe gin and which is a citrus gin and what tonic correlates well accordingly? This confusion from a booze nerd who actively reads about gins, tonics and how to pair them. Choice is great thing to have - but not without a smidgen of guidance. Nonetheless, I wrangled together enough wherewithal to pick a floral saffron gin, Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic, lavender and lemon garnished cocktail that was fragrant with a whisper of honey. Good luck everyone. - AB

Scallops five ways at Euro
Upon seeing that Euro was offering this throughout September, I thought “damn, five is a lot of ways for scallops, how are they going to pull this off?” But of course, in the capable hands of Executive Chef Gareth Stewart, my concerns were assuaged by the first course; Scallop tartare with finger lime on a fried cracker. The pieces of finger lime acted like citrusy caviar and offset the richness of the Scallops in little bursts as I ate. The sweet and creamy dots of avocado puree brought it all together. The other ways with scallops included sliders that showcased the shellfish as a fancy fast-food-esque bite and the parmesan gnocchi brought out the soft, sweet and creamy decadence in the scallops. - AB

Raw Scallop Tartare from Euro

Speed Pasture Blue Mackeral
Speed pasture is like regular Pasture but fast. They give you the food and you eat it or they take it away. No time for explanations; they email you the menu later. I wish you could all go but it was only on for one night so you need to go to regular Pasture (however Metro is running more events like this  - the next one is at Apero, check out the details here). My favourite dish was the Blue Mackeral, served simply on a block of ice with a splash of sauce (soy? Vinegar?). Good fish, properly smoked for not very long. Simple. Heavenly. - AB

Dishes served up at Pasture. Photo: Josh Griggs

Cafe Mocha cheese and onion sandwich
Cheese, onion, mayo, white bread. That’s it. That is all it is. The cheese is simple grated cheddar that retains its structure in an endearing, nearly al dente way. In typical Cafe Mocha fashion, this sandwich isn’t fancy but damn does it hit the spot. - AB

Trevally Sashimi at Culprit

Trevally Sashimi at Culprit
A well-curated, cleverly sequential yet surprising and interesting menu is always impressive and Culprit always do that very, very well. Also, name a better a natural wine list; You can't. The Trevally sashimi with basil buttermilk, Curious Cropper green tomatoes and tomato and lime jelly was a standout, packed with juicy, smoky, piquant fresh spring flavours. The wine match, Supernatural “Minus 220” Sav Blanc was smooth and fruity, lacking in that jarring acridness that sav often has. AB

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