Oct 29, 2021 Metro Eats
It’s the 73rd day since we went into Alert Level 4 lockdown. (I think — someone run the numbers on that.) That’s 2 months and 2 weeks, which feels like an insane amount of time; enough for all of this to feel somewhat normal.
What doesn’t feel normal is trying to produce a print magazine in lockdown. Not having interacted with anyone really besides my bubble for 2 months and 2 weeks, has made things pretty fucking hard, NGL. It’s like all the usual muscles and avenues you use to have ideas and feel energised have atrophied substantially. I’m not sure if it’s like this for everyone, but if it is, then I thoroughly empathise with you.
The ways which I’m planning for our food section have also had to shift, for very obvious reasons. While brainstorming, the thing that occurred to me the most frequently was the lack of direct connection we’ve had to the hospitality industry. When we were able to go out, the small chats I’d have with owners, front-of-house staff, baristas etc. would allow me to get a sense of how everyone was doing and feeling; a gauge on what was going on, essentially.
But Metro (me) is still keen to hear about all that. The little glimpses of stories I’ve heard from hospo owners and workers through emails and phone calls only just skim the surface, I know. So in place of face-to-face interaction, we’ve created two surveys: one for hospitality owners, and one for hospitality workers. Each has some questions, about 10, which ask frankly about vaccine mandates, financials, working conditions, government help and more. There’s also plenty of space to write your own thoughts, freely, if you want us to know something that goes beyond the scope of the questions and options. We recognise that some of the options may not be completely accurate or adequate, so tell us why.
All submissions are anonymous and confidential. We won’t ask you where you work, or what restaurant you own. We’re planning to publish the results, and quotes from the feedback, in the next issue of Metro.
While there’s been a couple of surveys already for hospitality owners, it was important to us to offer an avenue for workers to feedback directly as well, and not through their employers. According to this article by Emma Vitz in The Spinoff, cafe/restaurant managers score the highest among the COVID transmission risk factors characteristics of physical proximity, external customer and face-to-face interaction and being indoors. Essentially, this means hospitality environments are high-risk for COVID transmission. In addition, from the private feedback we’ve received after publishing the Pasture story last issue, it’s clear that more platforms for these workers to have a voice is very much needed.
If none of this pertains to you, consider forwarding it on to the people in your life that it does. And if you don’t know any of these people, thanks for reading anyway! Onwards to the other stuff.
What’s new and what’s good
Enak Malaysian on 248A Dom Rd is now Petaling Malaysian. There are some similarities, but from what I can tell, the range of dishes are quite different. I tried the dry bak kut teh, which is usually a herbal soup with pork, but opted for the dry one which is more picnic-friendly. The dishes all come in generous portions and are packed with lots of flavour (the dry bak kut teh had dried cuttlefish, for example) and have a 10% opening discount on all meals at the moment.
This weekend only: Pici Cacio e Pepe is available over the counter for takeaway from 12-2pm.
Not to be too earnest, but I think these lunchbox cakes from “From Sugar” are extremely cute — small babycakes, neatly decorated. Would probably make a fun gift.
I went to pick up some gelato from this Instagram page, Cooked Plates, the other day. (I think they’re doing other cakes and goods under Alert Level 3; check stories.) I had the apricot, ginger and yoghurt, which is an interesting balance between all three strong flavours, the kind that takes a few bites to fully appreciate, but when you do, then you do.
Very curious about this Instagram, yumso_soyum, which is full of baking that does, indeed, look so yum. There is no mention of how to order anything, even though it looks like they have branded packaging already, so if you have intel, contact me!
A couple more takeaway options: each week sees a different one of Beau Wine Bar’s chefs taking over its takeaway options, and this week Sean’s menu has ramen, including my personal favourite variety, chicken paitan. Perfect for this shit weather. Food truck favourite Miso Ra is also popping up at Muriwai today, if you happen to be out there (189 Motutara Rd). Onemata, the restaurant at Park Hyatt, is starting takeaways now too.
Reminder that it’s near the beginning of strawberry season and you could go get some right now.