Dec 10, 2021 Metro Eats
A rare exclamation point in this week’s greeting to celebrate release day, because, as you may or may not know, our new issue came out yesterday. It was an issue created almost entirely within lockdown, the majority within Level 4. But amongst all that doom and gloom, it was also the beginning of warm, summer days; of lounging on the patio till 8pm with several bags of chips laying around, some leftover cheese and a thumbed-through novel. We also knew that, sooner or later, Auckland would see some reprieve, and the business of going out would start to creep in as the holiday season did too. So we endeavoured for the issue to reflect that brightness, joy and curiosity.
On my end of things, I decided it was time to rebrand “Cheap Eats”, despite its catchiness still having some sort of cultural hold on all of us. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything of my work that I had a major problem with the “Cheap Eats” framing.** I go into it more in the magazine (so buy it, please!), but the short and thick of it is that it always felt like a devaluation of the places that, in many ways, we value the most, and had a role to play on how the cuisines usually found in this list are perceived by the average diner. So I thought, fuck it. What’s stopping us from changing it?
For now, it’ll be known as Metro Eats, a guide on where to eat for under $25. My hope is that, eventually, we may even be able to drop the price ceiling crutch, but for the sake of serving the readers in the transition, it’s there for clarity. So, get the new copy to find out all the best places for an affordable feed! Dine in, or takeaway! I hope you find it useful!
** Additional reading:
What’s good & what’s happening
Run, don’t walk to try the black sesame Tsujiri soft serve, which I think is only available for a limited time. It’s so earthy, nutty and sweet; a perfect summer cool-down treat.
Plabita Florence from Forest is popping up at Kōkako in Commercial Bay this weekend, serving thick vegan shakes on Sunday 13 from 11am. Flavours include strawberry with balsamic caramel, mint whip and sichuan pepper sorbet; and peanut butter with toast infused whip, boysenberry jelly and cinnamon sugar.
Sky City has a festive dining programme for the Christmas period across their restaruants if you are unable to face more home cooked celebrations (and dishes). Details here
Cacio e pepe has arrived in New Zealand in pizza form, which you can get at new pizza spot Frat’s in Mt Albert. No pecorino that I could taste, sadly, but plenty of mozzarella, cream cheese and truffle oil. I’d ask for extra cracked black pepper.
If you’re wanting a laugh, my friend David sent me this piece, Bros., Leece: We Eat at the Worst Michellin-starred Restaurant, Ever in which a dining party is forced to lick cirtrus foam out of a plaster cast of the chef’s mouth. A little bit of it is dripping down the side of the mouth.
I haven’t tried these yet, but Filipino restaurant Nanam is selling its own jars of anchovy tuyo, chicken annato and adobo-style garlic chilli oil. Super intrigued by the anchovy iteration.
May I also recommend popcorn, eaten at any cinema near you? I went to see The French Dispatch last week, and popcorn, eaten quietly in the dark, never tasted so good.
We have a fridge stocked with cold drinks, but all boozy, so it’s a bit of a problem when 2pm rolls around in this summer weather and we’re craving something icy. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on bottles of these Mango Otai and Vai Berry Kiai from Otai Kiai. My flatmate is obsessed with the juices from The Nest in Kingsland.
I spotted this Instagram account called Bucci’s selling little glutinous rice balls rolled in sesame seeds. I’d never heard of them before, but turns out Buchi is the Filipino name for these hollow rice flour balls, filled with things like red bean and matcha. In China, similar treats are called jian dui.
Cheese on Toast has opened a new outpost in Birkenhead, on 96 Hinemoa St. It looks pretty snazzy.
I noticed that Fat Puku’s Smashed Burgers, which were previously popping up in Albany, now has a permanent spot on Queen St, where Al’s Deli used to be, 1/492 Queen St.