Feb 18, 2022 Metro Eats
If you didn’t already guess this, I am really into restaurants. I feel like all my core memories have been founded around them, in one way or another. Ever since I could remember, my family have summarily rejected the concept of takeaways (it just doesn’t hit the same, we can all attest) and instead dragged ourselves to the physical table, no matter our mood or weather. In fact, my parents very rarely ever (if ever!) left us kids behind for a “grown-up dinner”; if they decided to have supper at the hawker market at 10pm, even if I was 5 years old, I’d be there.
So the idea of restaurants as an integral part of our social fabric? Yes, I buy into it. I don’t want to lose them – and to be fair, I don’t think we ever will. But it’s crisis mode at the moment, which we have seen across all news platforms this week. And while the message from Restaurant Association, lobbying groups and other food media is to urge people to continue dining out, I’m struggling to do the same. It makes perfect sense to me that people are going to make the choice to reduce risk during a time of high virus transmission; eating out can, in many ways, be considered not worth that risk. We can see from our friends in the UK that dining schemes, like Eat Out Help Out, contributed to an increase in cases there. So these days I’m always thinking, how do I balance our usual ‘support hospitality’ messaging? What’s the responsible thing to do?
In short, as with many other activities permissible under Red Light, it comes down to your own personal risk assessment: one size does not fit all. And if you do want to dine out, there’s ways of managing that risk, too: eating outside, eating during a restaurant’s quiet lulls, choosing to dine at places you know are complying with the regulations to the best of its ability.
In the meantime, I’m supportive of targeted financial and policy support (rent reductions, resurgence payments etc.), which Jacinda Ardern has said they’d have more on shortly. It’s clear everything is coming to a fever pitch, so I’m hoping to see an announcement soon.
Duck Island and Garage Project are throwing a Fairy Bread fête this Saturday to celebrate the release of the GP Crushed ‘21 Vintage. 12pm-9pm at Garage Project’s cellar door in Kingsland.
Crumb in Grey Lynn’s last day is this Sunday 20 Feb, so get in while you can if you wanna say goodbye.
A bunch of businesses (like Kōkako , All Good and Almighty) have partnered up for hospo relief initiative Hospo Red Relief, which requires participants to nominate an independently owned business by uploading a photo of a purchase they made there. The winner (of $10,000!) will be drawn by random midday March 7.
I hope this is not, in fact, A Wine Bar Coming Soon, but a parody account that will soon post close-up Instagram pics of its distressed walls, exposed brick, pendant lighting and earthernware ceramics.
A new observational documentary series looking at the minute, intimate moments from the lives of kids that work in or around their family’s takeaway shops, Takeout Kids, is out now. I watched all four episodes last night, and though I considered writing something on it, I think a lot of what is beautiful about it can be summed up by Rose Lu (also a former takeaway kid). I loved that each episode always prioritised the kids; it’s not driving a specific narrative about immigrant lives that I think a lot of projects which fall into this genre tend to do, as if they already know what every story beat will be. By being so quiet and unobtrusive, the series almost feels loud in its resistance to those tropes.
I went to Ipoh Malaysian Cuisine in Remuera this week and had the otak-otak, which is a fish custard that I have a huge fondness for (sounds gross, tastes great). It’s hard to get it in restaurants here, although you can get a frozen version from Singapore that is also surprisingly good.
Every time I eat a Sneaky Snacky burger I’m like, is this the best burger of all time?
When I asked the office if anyone had eaten anything good this week, our editor Henry told us he’d discovered a new technique for roast chicken, one he stumbled upon by accident when he needed to roast a whole chicken in time for dinner while also not wanting to leave the oven on unattended. He preheated as high as it would go, chucked the chicken in, switched the oven off, then left the house. It turned out “amazing”, he says. Better than usual!