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Metro Eats! — Friday 10 February

Jean discusses spoons PLUS what's happening, what's new and what's good in Auckland eating. With thanks to Tuatara!

Metro Eats! — Friday 10 February

Feb 10, 2023 Metro Eats

Hey everyone,

In my household, the spoons always seem to disappear first. The forks are ever plentiful – a mish-mash of different types tumbled together in our cutlery drawer – while the spoons wait, soiled, in the dishwasher. We love a big spoon. Not the case for most people.

There is a large small spoon preference in the internet’s wider Spoon Fandom – a serving vessel with a shrunken-enough area space so that food can be savoured; so that the experience of eating can be eked out and elongated, as we can not be trusted with doing that ourselves – especially when eating normal, non teaspoon-y type things. Nora Ephron writes about it here for the New York Times. 

I personally love a big spoon, for eating almost anything, and for almost every occasion. Anyone that knows me knows that I will not shut up about the convenience and practicality of eating with a dinner spoon. I burn, seething inside, when I see people eat rice with a fork in their dominant hand, struggling to get a good bite of grains and meat between the prongs, as their dinner spoon lies, abandoned, to the side of their plate. It takes all my might not to pry their fingers open, move the fork to the left hand, and slot a spoon in their right. 

My friend recently texted me, jokingly, a photo of her setting a table, a jumble of different types of cutlery in the shot, with the caption, “Me and mum debating what cutlery white people use.” I texted back, “They’ve never seen a spoon in their entire life, so don’t know why those are there.” It once shocked me to find out that people only use a spoon for soup and cereal. Meanwhile, I reach for a spoon for rice, for lasagna, for penne-type pasta, for mashed potatoes, for sauces, for fish, for chicken. Cultural differences are interesting – seemingly so inconsequential, but hugely affective on daily life.

While I can’t get onboard with a knife and fork, I can somewhat get on board with the Small Spoon. Nora writes, “And as with all bad things, you want it to last as long as possible.” As I try my best to make sure everything I eat is delicious, and therefore as “bad” as possible, I like the idea of it lingering. Although, my greediness often makes it hard for that to be a reality.

– Jean

As always, thanks to Tuatara for sponsoring this newsletter, and for Metro Eats – for which the window stickers have started popping up around Tāmaki.


What’s Happening


Fankery is popping up at coffee spot Rumours on Saturday 11th. On the menu: mochi-centered burnt basque cheesecakes, matcha chocolate, ube taro filled polo buns, and more.

Katie Riley is popping up again at No. 7, slinging tacos this Sunday 12th, 1pm till sold out. There will be slushy margaritas and also some music, I think.

The Auckland Night Markets has moved to Albany on the North Shore, under the Warehouse at the Albany Mega Centre. Its grand opening is this Sunday, 12 Feb from 4pm.

Seabreeze (a Top 50 cafe in Westmere) opens up on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for pizza, drinks and side plates by supercuts

A TVNZ series on exploring Chinese identity through food, Sik Fan Lah, is dropping its first episode this Sunday 12 February. There will be six episodes, each fronted by a different Chinese host who take you to different places in Aotearoa. They interview interesting people, eat interesting food, and provide further insight into varying aspects of Chinese culture, as contextualised in New Zealand. 

While not an arts and culture newsletter, I feel it remiss not to mention that Auckland Pride is on at the moment (especially as Metro no longer sends out the great Metro Arts, due to an unfortunate defunding of the role). Lots of free, and not free, events to spend your time attending.


What’s Good


I went to Sunrise Cafe in Newmarket recently for a pre-TÁR meal at Rialto. It’s a restaurant most known for its cheap lunch specials (you can get a range of meals here for under $10, easily) and also cha chaan teng-style eats – think rice baked in a casserole dish with a creamy, cheesy sauce poured over the top. Everything is very salty and moreish; I particularly liked the “deep fried chicken” (a version of Hong Kong’s roast chicken but with crispy skin) and the pork and beef ball in soup (which has some daikon, the only sign of any type of vegetables in our meal). 

I have not been eating out much this week, but cooking. Revolutionary! I recommend this Melissa Clark green curry salmon with rice recipe, which is all done in one pot and is an easy way of packing flavour in there with very minimal effort. Side anecdote: I usually just cook for one person, and the act of having to point and say, “That one there please, the small piece” (still $5.72! Outrageous!) is somewhat humbling, especially when they go, “Is that all?”. I also enjoy cooking this spicy butter pasta, which has oyster sauce, soy sauce and parmesan as a quick side to a protein. 

If you haven’t had a cold Yakult, straight out of the fridge, recently, I really recommend it. You can get it in mainstream supermarkets, and it is a top-tier, unfussy treat that is over very quickly (small bottle).

My parents have a huge excess of makrut lime leaves in their backyard, which was put to good use recently and infused into the gin made by local distllery Twelfth Hour. It’s a particularly nice summer gin.


What’s New


Devil’s Fried Chicken, the newest addition to the K’Rd Food Workshop, has been very quickly replaced by “Saigon Mama”, a casual Vietnamese spot that puts “pho” in quotation marks. I think it is the same owners, but they already seem to have more success.

No 1 Pancake, of central city No 1 Pancake fame, has a new branch in Takapuna at 33/45 Hurstmere Rd. This is in addition to its other Noth Shore branch in Rosedale.

I saw the other day on Facebook group Lazy Susan that there is someone at the night markets, Elohim Kitchen, selling fufu (plus egosi and jollof rice!). You can order from them directly too.

My beloved Sim’s Kitchen is opening a CBD branch at 57 Fort St today (where Miann was), which means you do not have to go out to Onehunga for a nasi lemak bungkus if you live central.


Metro x Aperol: What is an Aperol Spritz, and how can I make it at home?


If you have managed to escape New Zealand’s shores and headed to Europe you may have noticed everyone sipping on a bright orange cocktail in the afternoon hours. That’d be an Aperol Spritz.

Aperol is one of the most popular aperitifs in Italy. Bright orange in colour, Aperol has a uniquely bittersweet taste with an unmistakable note of orange. Its secret recipe has not changed since its creation in 1919 – an aperitivo infused with citrus fruits and a blend of high quality botanicals. Light, refreshing and low in alcohol, it’s the ideal beverage for the summer sun to enjoy with friends and family.

Make it at home:

In a large glass full of ice, simply add:

3 parts Italian Prosecco (90ml) – we recommend Cinzano Prosecco
2 parts Aperol (60ml)
1 part soda water (30ml, just a dash)

Garnish with an orange wedge and enjoy!

Aperol is available in all leading liquor retailers.

Want to know more? Visit us at and follow us @aperolspritznz.

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In the Autumn 2024 issue of Metro we celebrate the best of Tāmaki Makaurau — 100 great things about life in Auckland, including our favourite florist, furniture store, cocktail, basketball court, tree, make-out spot, influencer, and psychic. The issue also includes the Metro Wine Awards, the battle over music technology company Serato, the end of The Pantograph Punch, the Billy Apple archives, a visit to Armenia, viral indie musician Lontalius, the state of fine dining, and the time we bombed West Auckland to kill a moth. Plus restaurants, movies, politics, astrology, and more.

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