Feb 11, 2022 Metro Eats
Last year, New York Magazine advertised a job role for a writer to pen a column titled ‘The Year I Ate New York’, eating their way through, you guessed it, New York. I don’t even want to think about this poor editor’s email inbox after sending an open call for a role like that, which, for all intents and purposes, sounds like everyone’s dream job but is what I would think of as actually somewhat of a nightmare. Every time you eat out, you’d have to have your silly little thinking cap on, and if you don’t, all your friends will be like, where is your silly little thinking cap? Aren’t you supposed to be writing about this shit later?
In saying that, I’ve been really enjoying the pieces from the person they eventually chose, food writer Tammie Teclemariam, who, if you’re not familiar, was the Twitterer who kicked off the Bon Appetit scandal last year when she posted the photo of then-editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport in brownface. I especially liked this one, The Broth Binary, which opens with the line, “As I type these words, the hottest table in Brooklyn is Bonnie’s, the Cantonese restaurant in Williamsburg that opened in early December.” Sends shivers down my spine. I wish the hottest table in Auckland was at a Cantonese restaurant, not just a kinda-Italian, or kinda-French, or kinda-Greek place that will either severely challenge my lactose tolerance, or seat me next to really hot people dressed in Paris Georgia.
Like Teclemariam, I also want to be a Broth Person, because all food people seem to be Broth People. It’s like the food equivalent of knowing wine – slurping it up sharply and loudly, smacking your lips and proudly declaring whether it’s “complex” or “not complex”. It’s always either complex or not complex. Though sometimes it can be flat, or clean (which is usually a good thing), or deep, like “being wrapped into a hug”.
I know that many people around the world sip on hot things when it’s warm, as it is in Tāmaki (sorry, did you actually think I wouldn’t mention the weather?) in order to cool down, so maybe instead of tea, sip on a little broth. As Teclemariam says, it’s nutrition in its most basic, elemental form. Hot tip: lots of places that serve pho et. al will sell just the broth, sans noodles, for you to live your best Broth Person life.
P.S. If the thought of sipping on piping hot soup while your forehead beads with sweat sounds absolutely horrifying to you – good news! I have a recipe down below (scroll) for some delicious-sounding chai masala ice pops from chef and cookbook author Ashia Ismail-Singer, who recently released a new book Saffron Swirls and Cinnamon Dust.
Acho’s has a pop up by Cassia’s head chef Vicky Shah (Indian street food) on 27 Feb.
It’s Valentine’s Day this coming Monday, which is a good excuse to “support local” (i.e. have a fancy meal and buy some fancy treats). You can get something with hearts on it (or something heart-shaped) from dessert shop and chocolate factory Miann; have an dinner at somewhere romantic like Bar Celeste, Bar Magda or Pasta e Cuore; or send someone a Bottle of Möet.
We noticed that Nook is gone from St Kevin’s Arcade, with an “underground bistro” set to take its place. Xuxu Dumpling Bar is closing indefinitely, with the hope that they can open again in 6 months time.
Over 60 Auckland hospo businesses have signed an open letter to Finance Minister Grant Robertson asking for more financial support. “Every restaurant, once they lose a significant amount of their customers … once you have a big drop, every restaurant is only three months away from bankruptcy.”
Auckland Council is fast-tracking applications and waiving fees for outdoor dining. Heart of the City / Auckland Council are also giving away $100 dining vouchers to use in central city restaurants, which you can enter for here.
Did someone snitch on the knock-off NZ Delight Bakery on Dominion Rd, opposite the Countdown? It has just changed its name to NZ Bakery, papering over the Delight with a makeshift tape. For all those who don’t know: a “NZ Delight Bakery”, fashioned in pretty much the exact same font as Baker’s Delight, opened at 267 Dominion Rd not long ago, also selling pretty much the exact same things as Baker’s Delight. It was a delight! I guess they got served by Big Bakery.
There is a new Island Gelato Company that just opened at 124 Ponsonby Rd. Yum gelato! And coffee (Allpress).
I noticed there was a new Good Dog Bad Dog going in at Onehunga Mall, right next to the new Slabs Pizza. Open soon-ish?
Joy! There’s a new Malaysian restaurant going in next to Udon Works called Pudu. (It has about five million signs, so you won’t be able to miss it.)
I had no idea that the schedule of when hot cross buns should grace our shelves was such a big topic in the food world, but turns out… lots of opinions. I had one at Daily Bread last weekend and it tasted the same as it does during Easter: good.
I had a pho at Sen, a Vietnamese restaurant in Mt Eden that I previously had no idea existed. It was suprisingly good: generous herbs and slices of beef. I also had a taste of the crispy, moreish banh xeo, which I rated too.
Treasure Kitchen in Otāhuhu is running a Chinese New Year menu alongside its regular offering right now; I had the creamy salted egg yolk crab, which is much more appetising than it sounds, with the addition of chilli and curry leaves to keep it from becoming too much.
I haven’t gotten a bag yet, but I love the packaging of this new Aotearoa-based coffee roaster, El Descanso. I think you can try a cup at K Rd cafe Daily Daily.
Plus: Ashia Ismail-Singer’s Chai Masala ice pops with peanut and chocolate drizzle
First of all, Ismail-Singer’s latest cookbook, Saffron Swirls and Cinnamon Dust, looks pretty damn delicious. Mostly desserts featuring fragrant aromatics and spices, I immediately thought of her ice pops when looking for a recipe that would serve as a cool-down treat. I’m a big fan of masala chai, and am dreaming of holding one of these ice pops in my hand right now.
Refreshing and sweet with a hint of spice, these are perfect for a sizzling, hot day when you need to cool down. They also make an impressive after-dinner treat if you want to keep it simple. Don’t be tempted to cut back on the sugar, as the pops will not taste that sweet after being frozen.
4-5 green cardamom pods, crushed and seeds reserved
4 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick (approx. finger length)
4 tablespoons sugar (or 2 tablespoons condensed milk)
1 tea bag
4 iceblock sticks
1/2 cup choc chips/buttons
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
In a saucepan, bring 450ml water to the boil. Add the spices and the sugar (or condensed milk). Once the sugar or condensed milk has dissolved, add the tea bag and simmer for a few minutes. Strain into a jug and leave to cool. Stir the cooled mixture well and pour into ice pop moulds and freeze. When the mixture is semi-frozen (about 40-60 minutes), insert an ice block stick in each. Once frozen, remove from the moulds by running them under a hot tap until they release.
To make the drizzle, heat the chocolate and peanut butter in short bursts in a microwave. Stir to mix and drizzle over the ice pops or simply dip the ends to make a chocolate tip. You may have to refreeze them to set the chocolate.