Taco Loco plans a permanent spot, plus more new Auckland openings

Vamanos a Taco Loco

Food truck favourites open a permanent home

It started with a $5000 loan from Roger Moraes’ wife. Taco Loco owners Moraes and Marcelo Bianchessi (above centre, with team members Vitor Matos, left, and Renato Diatinetti) went to Napier to pick up a beat-up old caravan and turn it into a taco truck; returning to Auckland involved a breakdown, a creepy man, a ferocious dog and a lot of luck. Their skull-muralled, brightly painted truck is now ubiquitous on Auckland’s food truck circuit. This month, they will open a permanent venue in Mount Albert in which to refine recipes, serve booze, and showcase traditional Mexican breakfast foods. Cleverly, they’ve positioned themselves in the old Sprout cafe site, home of the Mount Albert Friday night markets, where they will anchor the street food offering once a week.

847 New North Rd, Mt Albert

Another day, another poke bar

Poke bowls arrive in Albany

Invented by Hawaiian fishermen who’d season their offcut catch to eat as a snack, poke is becoming increasingly popular internationally. Ex-mechanical engineer Nicholas Chang and wife Jane have opened their first hospo outlet – Blu Poke Shed – in Albany, offering six contemporary takes on the classic raw fish bowl, with tuna, salmon, tofu or chicken, plus Almighty juices.

Unit 3, 56 Apollo Drv, Albany

A new eatery for Northcote

All-day restaurant Clarence Rd Eatery opens

There’s a wealth of hospo knowledge at this Northcote bistro, from Hip Group alumni to  wine pros. Once Sausalito cafe, the room has been brightened and the bar removed to allow guests a peek at the picturesque views of the Waitemataa. From 11am, there is coal-fired meat and fish, alongside pizzas, salads and Allpress Coffee’s Ponsonby Roast.

124 Queen St, Northcote Point

XL fried chicken

Try Taiwanese fried chicken at new opening, The Bite

Cherry Yang, owner of newly opened Taiwanese fried chicken shop, The Bite, stays long after closing to prepare her chicken marinade in complete secrecy. There’s probably some cinnamon, and perhaps garlic and pepper, but we’re speculating. Whacking pieces of juicy thigh meat are marinated overnight then fried to order. Crisp and hot, try one before sinking into one of those comfy seats at Rialto.

Inside NJK Supermarket, 3 Kent St, Newmarket