Jan 28, 2022 Metro Eats
Kia ora koutou,
If you look into my Google search history of the past week, it’ll be littered with frantic panic enquiries like “P2 masks Auckland”; “double masking effective??”; “KN95 masks vs N95 masks”; “bus high risk location??”. Social media is flooded with people showing off their meticulous seven-day paper bag mask system (it’s recommended that, due to how hard it is to get your hands on N95 or P2 masks, to rotate between seven of them and store them in a paper bag in between uses).
It’s a scary time! So I hope you’re being good to yourself, doing what you can and not beating yourself up about what you can’t. I haven’t been able to get any P2s yet, but have been wearing a well-fitted fabric mask over a surgical one and it seems to create a much better seal.
Restaurants are still operating in Red, with stricter masking protocols and reduced capacity (up to 100). You now have to make sure to put your mask on any time you’re not eating, such as going up to use the toilet – though did anyone just assume this was the rule the whole time? I’m keen to take advantage of outdoor dining as much as I can, both in consideration of omicron and soaking up the good weather we’re having at the moment.
And happy Lunar New Year next week for those that celebrate!! Hope there’s some red packets in your near future.
Gong xi fa cai,
Lunar New Year starts on February 2nd, and the Lantern Festival has just been cancelled for the third time in a row. Some may say it was inevitable, but I was hopeful we’d be able to sneak it in this year before omicron hit the community. Anyway, I guess we’ll just be celebrating at home (Chinese New Year is kinda like my Christmas, tbh).
Some fun Chinese New Year-themed food goods and deals:
Wen & Yen have a pack of CNY donuts, with flavours like pineapple tart (!!) and pandan red bean. Four donuts for $25; there’s a gluten-free option as well.
Treasure Kitchen in Ōtāhuhu has heaps of feast options that range from about $368-$568 (and it’ll feed 8-10 people). You can also order its yee sang, which is a traditional prosperity salad that the table has to toss up as high as they can with their chopsticks. Yee sang will be available at a variety of Chinese and Malaysian restaurants, so you could just ask your local if it’s doing it. Even PappaRich is doing it.
If you’re searching for Chinese New Year-specific baking or treats, I’d recommend hitting up Facebook community groups to find people that sell them. This Malaysian food in Auckland one is a good bet. So many pineapple tarts! You can also always get bakkwa at Malaysia Singapore Cuisine in Somerville, which is a sweet, slightly saucy dried pork jerky that is popular around CNY.
For some fancier options, Huami has its usual Chinese New Year banquet meals on offer; Sofitel’s restaurant La Maree has seafood galore; Cordis’ restaurant Eight is going tradish with whole steamed fish and more.
Kelmarna is putting on its pop-up dinners again, set amongst its Village Green. Putting it here early because it always sells out – there’s six dinners this year, with Forest taking 16-19 February, and Ozone x Salo Salo on 23-24 February. It’ll be a four-course menu in both respects, using produce taken from the surrounding gardens.
A couple of other events in the horizon:
Bar Magda is offering a special Valentine’s meal at $100pp: a three-course shared menu, including a bottle of wine.
Gochu’s Test Kitchen have rebranded as Gochu & Friends, with the first dinner of the year in collaboration with Kelly Washington Wines. It’s $75pp + drinks.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a meal at Santhiya’s, consider donating to the owner, Aunty Youges, who took a fall and is now paralysed. Santhiya’s is permanently closed; one of the only places in Auckland you could get Malaysian-Indian food. Its mee goreng was wonderful.
Crumb Cafe in Grey Lynn is closing down – boo! It’s having a closing party on its last day, 20 February, plus this Instagram post suggests this is not the end for Crumb.
It’s kinda old news, but the first-ever St Pierre’s sushi drive-through is now open in Onehunga. I’ll go on the record as somewhat of a St Pierre fan – it’s my go-to lunch when I can’t think of anything else. Sushi snobs please do not contact me.
Tiger Burger is open on Dominion Rd now, down the Balmoral end past Potter’s Park.
On the same road, King Made Noodles just opened another branch on Dominion Rd, further down, kind of on the Wang Wang Pancake stretch.
A bakery, MIBO, from the same team behind St Benedict’s Cafe is about to open, nearby-ish in Mount Eden on Enfield St.
There’s a new food outlet going in next to Eden Noodles in Mt Eden (who have not heeded my calls to expand into that space) called Goldie, which is billed as a posh roast shop that will also sell Ottolenghi-style salads. Will save you from having to buy pomegranate.
My mum, aka Metro Eats’ North Shore correspondent, told me that Morning Bakery, the old Korean bakery in Sunnynook (where Manoah is now), has moved to 174 Lake Rd, Northcote.
I think this new food magazine, The Cheese Mag, looks so fun. A magazine of culture! Now if only it wasn’t a million dollars to ship to New Zealand.
I grabbed a couple of jars from Pomona Deli over the weekend, specifically the smoked fish rillettes and herb and preserved lemon salsa. They both made excellent additions to bread and salad, easily brightening up a meal, though I’d recommend checking the best before date before buying since we quickly realised we had to eat a whole jar of rillettes ASAP. Also get the sourdough skordalia – so tasty.
If you want a non-Campari alternative to use in a spritz, I’d recommend this Silvio Carta Apertivo that you can get at By the Bottle. Less outwardly bitter, very yum.