Sep 30, 2022 Metro Eats
In the new issue of Metro, I wrote something to accompany our big Restaurant of the Year feature, on restaurant fit-outs. It was self-indulgent kind of, because I enjoy grumbling about design in a way that only someone truly unversed and incredibly unknowledgable about an area of expertise can: loudly and indiscriminately. (You should witness me watching the newest season of The Block; there is a lot of yelling at the screen about the grotesque amount of recessed curved arches and pill-shaped mirrors.)
It felt very cathartic to let out some long-stewing thoughts about the prevelance of light orbs (you know the ones) and rattan, but it was also quite humbling to speak to people whose actual jobs entail designing hospitality spaces and hearing them talk about what the Actual Important things are about hospitality design; the stuff that makes or breaks a space (spoiler alert: it’s not the orbs).
I’ve been writing about restaurants and new openings for almost three years now. When I was at Metro under Bauer Media, and covering “first looks” was more of a priority, I remember the general template for them always went like this: describe what the space looks like, then the people behind it and their story, and then the food. Putting words to the look, and vibe, of the place was what we always got out of the way first, because it’s always indicative of what kind of restaurant, or cafe it is; there’s a level of unspoken understanding there in how you use words like “modern”, or “timber”, or “rustic”. I guess the need to constantly reinvent non-boring ways of describing very similar looking fit-outs has encouraged this aspect of dining to be a special interest of mine.
What I mean is, when you have to describe restaurants as much as I do, the very existence of something interesting that gives me something to chew on (or talk shit about) is a big relief to me, even if it’s something I haven’t particularly come around to yet. I remember messaging my friend about the heavy prevalence of glass bricks at new French restaurant Origine, torn between being impressed with the sheer amount of them, stacked in rows and reflecting off each other, and horrified by the sheer amount of them, stacked in rows and reflecting off each other. Or, for example, this new restaurant in Sydney, Kiln, that has the oddest leather-topped tables. Like, the table is topped with leather. The long cantilevered seats are draped in leather. Is this what male fantasy is?
Anyway. Get the issue and read my story about it there. There’s even an index of restaurant chairs, yet another thing I’ve become very into.
P.S. We put the Metro Top 50 Wines for 2022 online, if you’re in need of a recommendation. If you are, however, more of a non-alcoholic drinker, I also did a zero-alcohol beer tasting a while back which may be of interest to you.
P.P.S. Wanna know who won in last week’s Restaurant of the Year awards, presented with Estrella Damm? All is revealed in the issue – and on our Instagram grid.
Colours Ltd is hosting an event tonight from 6pm onwards at Chur Bae , in celebration of its collaboration with the cafe. You can expect music, tatts, tacos from Ragtag, colourful cocktails and more merch.
Everyday Wine is hosting another four wine tastings at three venues across three days. For $60pp, you’ll get tasters of 10 wines, plus “a bunch of delicious snacks by each venue”. The venues include Bar Martin , Atelier and Williams Eatery , from Monday 3 October – 6 October.
Honest Spirits is presenting a Market Party series at 222 Dominion Rd called ‘Saturdays’, from 2pm-10pm every Saturday in the month of October. There will be different vendors, stalls and yum things to eat on different days, but expect people and places like Mor Bakery, Crate, Halcyon Wines, Doug’s, Kiosk, Waves Vintage and more.
If you want a little lunch treat, Andiamo is offering an extended Perrier Jouët Champagne menu in October. Lunch is $65pp and includes two courses, plus a flute, running Wednesdays-Sundays 12pm-3pm.
The old La Cigale Markets in Parnell is re-launching as the Buono Gastro Market, every Saturday and Sunday 8am-1.30pm from tomorrow.
Simon went to the Sandringham Satya Chai Lounge recently, and said, “Still delicious. The Paneer 555 in particular.” The lamb nukkad is another highlight.
I bought some treats from home baker Yumso and they were indeed so yum. I especially liked the black sesame madeleine (an under-uitilised flavour here but such a good one). Will someone get me this cake for Christmas?
It was my mum’s birthday last weekend and I got her some crepe cake slices, of mixed flavours, from our old faithful Fukurou Patisserie. If you’re a durian fan (and why wouldn’t you be, as it’s a flavour notoriously beloved by all!), you’ll be pleased to know there are two durian flavours, one with pandan.
I went to Shefco on Dominion Rd for lunch last weekend, and while the food is very yum, I have to give a special shout-out to the woman behind the counter who was running the whole ship solo – ringing customers up, carving up roast chickens, deep-frying the fries, rolling the kebabs, dishing up my yellow rice, taking people’s after-meal orders at the table, making coffees and hot chocolates with the little square of Turkish Delight on the side. A true hospitality hero.
Peaches Hot Chicken is moving into a brand-new site, somewhere bigger (less worries about nabbing a seat!). It will still be in Panmure on Queens Rd.
Conch has finally reopened after undergoing extensive renovations after a damaging fire nearly a year ago. It’s looking as colourful as ever!
There’s a new specialty drinks bar going into the Auckland City Les Mills on Victoria St, 186, courtesy of Williams Eatery. I’m not a Les Mills girlie, but, in my attempts to one day finagle an at-home Slayer machine, I will tell you they will have one of those. And, apparently, something called a bone broth smoothie.
Not What’s New, but What’s Not-New: Mamak Takapuna has now closed down. The owners plan to renovate and put something else in its place (as the owners also own Ajisen Ramen in Newmarket, my best guess that it’s something Japanese-related).
Andy’s Burgers & Bar in SkyCity has re-opened – with robots. A casual, order-by-QR-code-at-the-table kind of joint, there are a lot of buffalo wings, burgers, cheese dips and ribs on offer, delivered to you via, you guessed it, a robot.