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Metro Eats! — Friday 3 March

Food travel Writing, random thoughts and what is good and happening in local food. With thanks to Tuatara!

Metro Eats! — Friday 3 March

Mar 3, 2023 Metro Eats

Hey there!

Food writer Alicia Kennedy (who I’ve talked about a lot on this newsletter before) is currently teaching a class on Culinary Tourism at Boston University, and she’s been publishing her lectures for free through her newsletter. Her latest post, on travel magazines and whether they can actually tell the truth of a place – or whether they’re really just in the “business of gloss” – makes me think about the campaigns to make cities “food destinations”, and the increase of people who would travel just to eat there (me included).

Most travel pieces you read in magazines, or even on digital, are paid for by their respective tourism boards, meaning that experiences are mediated and narratives are crafted depending on how they want to flatter the city – and the reader. So how a city is presented in the 2000-word article in which the “writer is a paid guest” is not what the city is actually like to the people who live there – which, to some extent, we as the reader understand. But I think that perhaps these sorts of pieces can be detrimental to the actual lived reality of a city, and inflate the egos and importance of certain types of eating, restaurants and chefs – think about the construction of New Nordic, and how people slowly began to see Rene Redzepi as the Best Chef in the World because everyone just started saying it.

Anyway, this is less of a newsletter introduction with a specific point and more of a general navel-gazey dump of thoughts which I hope encourages you to read and ponder more about the topic – it was either this or my rant about how Bad food photography should actually be embraced and not ridiculed, because it actually portrays a genuine excitement to eat the damn food. Or like how much I hate it when food at restaurants are undersalted, but then I for some reason refuse to actually ask for salt, because there’s something in me that needs to eat it how the chef wants me to eat it, even if it’s worse, because that’s how it came out of the kitchen. I have a lot of opinions on petty uninteresting topics that I’m sure will become the subject of a future Metro Eats newsletter.

Apologies for the short newsletter and the lack of “What’s Good” – being on deadline always makes me revisit my constant favourites, which I’ve mentioned heaps of times and you’re probably sick of hearing. Speaking of constant favourites – I did finally go to the city branch of Sim’s Kitchen, by the way, and had the pan mee. I enjoyed that a lot.



Metro x Aperol


If you have managed to escape New Zealand’s shores and headed to Europe you may have noticed everyone sipping on a bright orange cocktail in the afternoon hours. That’d be an Aperol Spritz.

Aperol is one of the most popular aperitifs in Italy. Bright orange in colour, Aperol has a uniquely bittersweet taste with an unmistakable note of orange. Its secret recipe has not changed since its creation in 1919 – an aperitivo infused with citrus fruits and a blend of high quality botanicals. Light, refreshing and low in alcohol, it’s the ideal beverage for the summer sun to enjoy with friends and family.

Make it at home

In a large glass full of ice, simply add:

3 parts Italian Prosecco (90ml) – we recommend Cinzano Prosecco
2 parts Aperol (60ml)
1 part soda water (30ml, just a dash)

Garnish with an orange wedge and enjoy!

Aperol is available in all leading liquor retailers. Want to know more? Visit us at and follow us @aperolspritznz.


What’s Happening


Wander down to Alta  from 5pm on March 5th and have some tacos, small plates and margaritas with them and guest chef Katie Riley. Here is a list of delicious-sounding things, all on the menu: corn chips with cashew nut salsa. Fried potato and iceberg lettuce tacos. Grilled corn with smoked cheese fondue.

Lillius  is hosting a Vegan Root to Stem lunch on Sunday 19 March, serving a 9 course menu of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. $200pp.

Kier Ibanez is cooking alongside Williams Eatery ’s head chef in a Long Table pop-up in a “nod to their Filipino roots”. Tickets are $90pp.

Portuguese restaurant Sem is coming to Bar Magda for a couple nights on March 11 and 12, collaborating on a menu where Portugal and the Philippines meet. 4 sharing-style courses start at $115pp.


What’s New


There’s a new “speakeasy” in the inner-city called Panacea, which serves small-batch cocktails that we have been assured are very good – and inventive. It’s on O’Connell Street.

Scandibunz have opened a permanent spot in Milford, serving its sweet buns and light lunches at 199 Shakespeare Rd.

A new Malaysian restauraunt, Empire Malaysian Cuisine, has opened up on 21 Whitaker Place in Grafton. The food looks tasty, but I’ve heard the walk is punishing (it’s down a very steep road) so be warned.

A new Indian restaurant Times of India which, from what I can tell, is associated with inner-city restaurant 1947 eatery, has just opened on Graham St, where the daytime cafe Major Sprout used to be.

Chaat Street, a popular import from our capital city Wellington, is set to open this Saturday at 320 Parnell Rd. It looks pretty yum imo.

The Lebanese Grocer, from Milenta executive chef Elie Asif, opened this morning at 9am. I’m unsure where it is because they have not put the address online, but if I had to guess I’d say probably somewhere around Karangahape.

Not quite new, but there’s a Uygur bakery in Rosedale (on the North Shore) that has been coming across my Instagram a lot recently that looks very intriguing – especially this Napoleon cake.

There’s a new branch of Lao Guangzhou Hot Pot at the MidCity Mall (239 Queen St) that is open till 2am every night. Apparently they do an excellent claypot rice here.

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