May 20, 2022 Metro Eats
I am once again writing to you from isolation, which we all know now is extremely boring, even when I try to magick some form of excitement into existence by making cocoa brownies at 2pm, or whatever. (I don’t have COVID – I’m just a household contact.) So apologies for the short one today! I regret to inform you that nothing is good this week.
The night before I went into isolation, I was having dinner at Poni in Commercial Bay, drinking (1) glass of wine (Sato L’atypique Pinot Gris) and I started thinking about one of the very first articles I wrote when I was still at Bauer Media, about my relationship with alcohol and Asian flush. I wrote it in June 2019, almost three years ago now, and reading it over fills me with insidious dread – not only because the writing is a little clumsy, but also because… nothing has changed. Looking back on it now, it felt pertinent – urgent, even – to put those thoughts to paper, because I had just been unceremoniously thrust into a job which expected a certain level of enthusiasm about drinking, and to not fall in line with that would presumably have created a disappointment and tension that people didn’t know what to do with. I was, essentially, trying to reason with myself.
Since then, I still haven’t worked out what to do with that presumed social discomfort, and in fact have started to manipulate it in my favour. I now relish the laugh that will accompany my explanation of my intolerance while still ordering a glass of wine, and my inclination to have bottles with pretty labels on it despite this ailment of mine seems to somewhat impress people (or, at least it seems that way). I can’t seem to shake its social and cultural currency and how much easier it makes already-scripted interactions go. Sometimes, when I say to myself that I won’t order a drink, I always recall this one story someone in hospitality told me, about an owner of a restaurant getting annoyed at a booking with Asian last names because, “they don’t fucking drink.” So I order the drink.
New Mexican restaurant De Nada is opening today at 2/476 Mount Eden Rd and celebrating with free corn chips and salads on arrival from 4-5pm.
Made Burger is popping up at Dedwood Deli this weekend, Sat 21 May, from 6pm-sell out. (Side note: Dedwood have also opened a second outpost at 49a Station Rd, Penrose).
There’s a Malaysian Carnival on this weekend at the Mt Eden Memorial Hall, which I’m bummed not to be attending. There will be food! On from 10am-4pm at 489 Dominion Rd.
Plant-based restaurant Forest is teaming up with Swift Wines on 25 May – four courses, snacks and wine matches for $165pp. Head to the website to book.
Forgot to mention last week that Metro fave Cassia is open again after being shut for a month due to flooding – there’s new menu items, even, like a dry chicken curry croquette. Curry encased in things is a top-tier food imo.
My good friend Sam is going to be on MasterChef New Zealand, which is premiering next Sunday after seven years off air. The judges are Auckland restaurateur Michael Dearth (of Baduzzi, The Grove), Nadia Lim (needs no other identifying information) and Vaughan Mabee (Amisfield). Soz to the other contestants but I do endorse Sam as the official Metro Eats pick.
Rumours Coffee, a new espresso bar in the CBD on O’Connell St, opened yesterday. From what I can tell, it’s being opened by owner Danny Lee and serving single-origin coffee from Society. The interior gives me, like, Korean coffee shop vibes, similar to Receptionist.
I saw that there’s a new banh mi truck called Banh Mi Boy, parked up on Massey Rd in Mangere East. I’ve not managed to swing by and try it yet, but I love banh mi with all my being, so I’m looking forward to checking it out.
I’ve never had an alfajores before, but I always like supporting The Kitchen Project – Mate Alfajor is selling these sweet South American snacks that look extremely yum: soft chocolate biscuits wedged with dulce de leche in between. Pre-orders open now till 4 May for the next batch.
There’s a new cafe in Ponsonby called Honey, the second after their flagship in Takapuna. I grew up on the Shore so I’m very familiar with the one in Taka – it’s a sweet spot that is perfect for office workers.