Jul 21, 2023 Metro Eats
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – aka when you stress about how long your pre-movie dinner is taking to get out of the kitchen, and then you’re eating as quick as you can, and then you run to The Civic and realise that your tickets are in the middle of row M in the stalls so you probably have to bump the shins of at least 25 people on your way to the seat. And then after the movie you have to fucking book it as fast as you can to ASB Waterfront Theatre, which is actually quite far from The Civic on foot, but, at the very least, downhill.
I went to the opening night of the film festival last night, which was preceded by a quick dinner at The Don on High St. (Other suggestions for our 5.30pm meal included Chom Na, the Thai restaurant down the stairs in Lorne St, and Elliot Stables, which is apparently going through a metamorphosis soon and, alongside a new offering from the team behind Mr Hao , will also host my favourite Malaysian restaurant Sim’s Kitchen).
Going for dinner determined by geographic location is a particular pleasure of mine, because even if it ends up disappointing, the sting of this disappointment is somewhat soothed by the fact that we really had no choice, the venue is right there, and also – we now have a show to get to, so there’s no point being sad about it! At least our stomachs will not be grumbling throughout the quiet mumbly film from Russia. It also serves as a nice excuse to finally try the place that you always said you’d get around to but never did, and there’s an immense satisfaction when someone’s like, “Hey, you know what could be good?” and then you’re all amazed that our lives have lined up so perfectly that it makes logistical sense to eat at this place that’d been floated on the group chat multiple times before but never ventured. We always knew we’d get around to it!
P.S. Reminder that we have a new issue out! It’s sold out online but you can still nab a digital copy or, of course, get one in a supermarket near you.
Win: Bialetti x Dolce & Gabbana 6-Cup Moka Express, worth $229
If you prefer your morning coffee to err more on the side of an espresso than a filter but don’t want to invest in an expensive machine, the Moka Pot is your best bet. It is very easy to use: just fill it with hot water, then coffee grounds, and chuck it on the stove to heat; I always add more hot water to mine after as it usually yields a dark, rich espresso. It’ll work on both gas and electric (but not induction!).
My Moka Pot is just plain silver, but this one – which you can win – is wrapped in a D&G design, inspired by the Caretto Siciliano, a traditional ornate cart native to Sicily. Available online and at Smith & Caugheys.
If you’d like to go into the draw to win one, flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: D&G Moka Pot. You must be a New Zealand resident to enter.
The Long Weekends are taking over Ooh-Fa on 31 July for a 5-course set menu at $120pp. I’ve not heard of these guys before but it looks like they specialise in wild/foraged foods – expect seafood and New Zealand / Australian natural wine.
There will be a Long Table pop-up at Harlan Pepper (317 New North Rd) this Saturday 23 July, where Kier will be serving his take of Filipino breakfast – longganisa? Eggs? Garlic rice? Go along and find out!
St Kevin’s Arcade Gemmayze St is celebrating its 7th birthday with a three-course mezza and matching wines from Swift Wines. Tickets are $125pp and include dishes like lamb kafta and roasted lamb rump.
Pomona Deli is running another version of its Blue Plate pop-up, this time at Open Coffee on Karangahape Rd. For $40 you can dine on osso bucco and polenta, plus salad and dessert. A vegetarian option is available as well.
Happy FIFA Women’s World Cup Day for all those who celebrate – although we aren’t getting the world’s first fry-thru from the Golden Arches, you can get a lite version of its “sauces of the world” promotion at the moment, as they’ve launched the famous Szechuan sauce, plus a new Curry Sauce. Doesn’t appear to be outback barbecue though.
We were, somewhat embarrassingly (due to keenness), the first customers at Tacoteca on its opening day, La Fuente ’s new taqueria in City Works Depot . It’s where Food Truck Garage used to be and has more or less the same casual, good-time vibe. We had the guacamole, which came with a few triangles of charred pineapple on top – it was light and vibrant and exceptionally good drinking food (I imagine; we went at 11.30am). Of the tacos, we liked the lamb barbacoa the best, which was dripping in a tasty chilli and spiced marinade and on a house-made corn tortilla.
Coffee and yum cha is a very common weekend outing for me, but they usually have to be consumed in separate places. It was a novelty and a delight that I could have both at the same time at Sun World in Newmarket, where YJ is making coffee under the Eternal Coffee brand. Triple shot standard, if you’re into that (but I asked for double, as I am weak).
Had a late-night snack at Shanghai Restaurant on Dominion Rd, where my friend introduced me to the pan-fried pearl buns, aka tiny versions of sheng jian bao which they serve in numerous number in a fry pan. They are very cute and have crispy bottoms.
My family and I went to the new Malaysian restaurant in Ōtāhuhu called Lima Bintang, which is where Treasure Kitchen used to be and, before that, Penang Cafe. It’s a space that has housed Malaysian restaurants since we moved here and we’ve been going to all of them since 2001. The food here is pretty standard Malaysian fare – we had a whole deep-fried fish, marmite chicken and salted fish and eggplant in a claypot. It’s definitely a bit cheaper, with bigger portions, than what you’ll find closer to the city.
We also recently went to Anh’s Vietnamese Food in Howick, which is notable for its you tiao and banh tieu (we always call up and preorder the banh tieu because it’s really the best version of it we’ve found in Auckland). The food is good value here too, with a nice, warming pho.
There is a new ramen spot at 10 Durham Street East called Go Ramen, where Renkon used to be. Its special seems to be the chicken paitan tomato – a chicken-based broth that has a dollop of tomato sauce. There is tonkotsu and shoyu too, of course.
New Asian bakery Wheatz Bakery has opened at 13 Lorne St, on the streetfront of that little alleyway where Biang Biang is. Expect croissants, soft buns, and cream.
Speaking of croissants – there’s a new croissant-heavy cafe in Takapuna called Domo Bakery. There is a lemon meringue croissant that looks particularly good, as well as a matcha version. Eighthirty coffee!
Keep an eye out for this pasta delicatessen, Stracci, due to open in Westmere at 170 Garnet Rd in August. You’ll be able to buy hand-filled and rolled pastas, alongside sauces (to serve at home) and a range of deli goods.
A new Vietnamese restaurant, Nét Viêt, has just opened in Balmoral, where the Dim Sum & Dumpling House was (3/8 Rocklands Ave). Pho, banh mi, and more!