May 19, 2023 Metro Eats
We’re currently in the process of judging Cafes for the next issue, and thus I am in the process of writing copy for the best 50 cafes in Auckland, which can at times be a draining and repetitive task. I often find myself falling into the same patterns of description, lush language that rhapsodies about light-filled spaces, “unconventional” breakfast options, and great coffee. It may be because while it can be hard to find a good cafe, good cafes tend to all do a similar thing, as the ideal dining experience at cafes is more routine than any other genre. (Cafes do not ask you, “Is this your first time dining with us?” Cafes ask you, “Would you like to start with a coffee?” and I love them for it).
The one descriptor I have decided to refuse to use for cafes this year is the word, “vibe”. I am sick of the word vibe. I am sick of its mutation into a meaningless, sentence filler of a word: something you say when you don’t know what to say but when you want to give something a vague sense of approval. “Oh, vibe.” “Oh, that’s a vibe.” “What a vibe.” It’s also often used when you want to talk shit about a place that everyone else seems to love. “The food’s not that great, but it had good vibes.” Or used when you just really didn’t like a place but don’t want to give your conversation partner any specifics. “It had bad vibes.” Actually, I feel like I’ve accidentally written myself into an argument that, in fact, vibe is the perfect all-occasion word.
Next week: a tirade against the word “banging”.
Voting for the Lewishams (Auckland’s hospitality awards) are open till Sunday 21st May – note that voting is only open for hospitality industry members only.
Six independent Hawke’s Bay wine producers are coming up to Tāmaki to host a little party at La Fuente on the 8 June. Featuring walk-around tasting with the winemakers; takeaway packs available. Inc. Amoise, Halcyon Days, Jenny Dobson, Kenzie, Petane and Three Fates.
Friend of the show Delaney Mes is hosting a pop-up dinner at Roses on the 24 of May – an event we would encourage you to attend but which you can’t as it is sold out. Oops! Eat with your eyes on Instagram instead.
Fork over $40 at one of Pomona Deli’s Blue Plate dinners and get big plates of spaghetti alle vongole, salad, and something sweet, plus cheap beer + wine. Dreamy! Sunday 28 May.
Since I’ve last talked to you, I’ve spent one week in Melbourne, and one week down with COVID-19, so recent Auckland intel is sorely lacking. I did manage to sneak in one meal, the opening night of Cassia ’s new site in SkyCity. Previously The Grill, it is now decked in Cassia’s signature blue, with the nice booths in its little nooks intact. I enjoyed the classics of its menu on the night in particular – the famous carrots and lamb ribs. Best of all – no flooding!
It was also my first time visiting Melbourne since the pandemic, and I managed to pack a lot into my five days I was there (and a lot of Uniqlo in my bag). If you wanna see every single place I went to, my friend Sam has helpfully documented it all on his Instagram page, starting from day one.
Also, yes, I did go to Vue de Monde. It had good vibes.*
*Please see the introduction for the reference if you’ve just scrolled straight here.
Sneaky Snacky , the place of the fried chicken donut burgers, has opened a donut shop at 35 High St selling donuts. The donuts come in sweet flavours, like tiramisu or peanut butter and jelly, or savoury options, like cheddar cheese. A helpful vid on TikTok here.
I’ve been seeing this new Instagram page, Luxe, that is selling Royal Korean desserts for at-home delivery. These look beautiful: glazed, sticky, flaky, indulgent. You can get things like gaesong juak, which are like chewy rice cakes, and yakgwa, or fried honey cookies.
A second branch of Thai vegan restaurant Khu Khu Eatery is opening in Milford, at 91 Kitchener Rd.
A new Italian restaurant, San Marco, is now open at 231 Archers Rd in Wairau Valley.