Aug 5, 2022 Metro Eats
I have become a victim of the winter blues, a time of the year in Auckland I often associate with cramming back-to-back films at the festival and grabbing pre-show dinners nearby at The Don on High St or Queen St’s BBQ Duck Cafe (I’m not and never was a Tanuki’s Cave gal, which I actually went to for the first time two months ago and feel quite ambivalent about.) This year is the first year the festival has been back in physical theatres since 2019, and it’s been very nice to again get into the same rhythm, even if there’s way less venues, movies, and times available this time round, due to the festival’s recovery (like, the only time to watch the Paul Mescal-fronted Aftersun is at 11.45am on a Sunday? Ahhhh. Only one Cronenberg showing? Crazy!).
Last night, I got a post-film dinner at Chom Na Thai on Lorne St, which to me is a perfect post-film spot: it’s set in a cavernous basement downstairs where the lighting is white and bright, with this slightly off-centre, not-of-this-world quality that makes you feel carefree enough to say whatever the hell you want. People can exist happily there in big groups or eating by themselves (there’s enough space and tables so you can shield yourself away from the world and not feel like you’re stealing a table away if you’re on your lonesome). It’s weird. Despite the space’s stark hostility – its mild coldness, its white walls – it comes with a lack of judgement that makes it feel comfy. And the food is tasty – there is this raw prawn salad in particular that reminded me of my recent holiday in Bangkok, full of that unapologetic one-two punch garlicky, birds-eye-chilli flavour. I find there’s nothing quite like sitting quietly next to a friend for a couple of hours, doing your own thing, and then letting all your built-up thoughts out over some food.
There’s still a few more days before closing night on Sunday to catch some film festival films – including the one Metro is presenting, Decision to Leave. I am very fond of the director, Park Chan-wook, who usually delivers a degree of ridiculousness and rolicking-good-timeness to his dark-themed films that makes them immensely fun to watch.
Thanks for attending my Metro Eats x Metro Arts newsletter this week. A reminder that we do actually have a specific Metro Arts newsletter, which Lana will probably only be writing for another couple weeks before she jettisons to her job in the US. Sign up so you get her very last one, which I assume will be a banger (no pressure, Lana).
We’re giving away a meal for four people to Eight Restaurant at the Cordis, the best buffet in town. If you’d like to enter, head over to our Instagram page to comment on the post there. Please note, you’ll have to be following Cordis to enter.
I was lucky enough to head there for dinner last night for my brother’s birthday (#gifted), which meant he got a little slice of cake that they trotted out at the end of the night (they always seem to ask at the beginning of the dinner if you’re celebrating a special occasion). I feel like people go into buffets with elaborate strategies in order to game the system, but I go in and pick stuff out mostly based on vibes, but with the general idea that carbs are more or less useless, and you should eat as much seafood as possible. Seafood, like fresh fish, is cooked to order – expect to wait a little. That is by far my favourite station. My second favourite is probably the American Grill, which offers things like wild tahr, kangaroo and lamb kidneys, as well as pork scotch marinated in gochujang (for a Korean BBQ type thing) and aged beef. My advice is to go in hungry (I ate lunch at 11am this morning in order to prepare) and don’t spread your choices out too much – eat what you like, rather than trying to eat everything.
No. 7 is hosting a taco party this weekend, with chef Katie Riley on the tools. Swing by for $10 wines and spicy margaritas from 4pm this Sunday.
Stumpy’s on the Balmoral end of Dominion Rd are closing up shop for good tomorrow, August 6, so pop by for one last pizza before it’s gone.
Crumb (RIP) is hosting a garage sale with Kensal on the 13 August, 9am-2pm (or sell out). There will be Crumb mugs, plates, art etc. plus plants and flowers and treats from Neat Cakes. 5078 New North Rd, Kingsland.
Pomona Deli has announced it will start putting on a supper club every fourth Sunday of the month, starting from August 28, set in the upstairs Florets dining room (you may be familiar with Pomona from its jarred spreads and condiments, sold in the Florets fridge).
Acho’s is celebrating its anniversary on the 18 August from 6pm till late. The bar is turning 9!
It is, in fact, Restaurant Month in Tāmaki, with lots of deals and chef table series to choose from (some of which are already sold out, oops). The menus range from under $25 to $55 or more, and focus on eateries in the central city.
I honestly just want to go back and eat the oyster omelette from Treasure Kitchen in Ōtāhuhu, which is one of those things that renews my faith in food. They are opening a new restaurant in Ellerslie soon, which looks really bloody huge.
I went on a trip to Taupō/Rotorua last weekend and did my usual stop by at Grey St Kitchen (also one of my fave places to get beans!) in Hamilton for a coffee and noticed there was a new udon shop that just opened there called Waikato Udon that makes its own udon noodles. Didn’t get to try it, but we took away a couple of onigiri for the road that were delicious.
The team behind Bar Celeste are opening a sandwich and pie shop at its old bottle shop, Star Superette, called Glorias. I’m particularly happy about this one because it’s opposite the Metro office, and the Lunch Conundrum is real and ever-present.
Yet another hotel opening: there will be a restaurant in the new Movenpick Hotel called BODA, “modern Asian cuisine with a distinctively New Zealand edge”. There will be views, sambal, tteokgalbi, and a lot of chocolate.
There’s a new pasta place I’ve been seeing pop up on my For You page quite a bit called Pastarita – it took over the old Nonna spot in Newmarket, serving up a similar offering, but with new owners. 10 Teed St.
Good Buzz has a new kombucha flavour, Boysenberry Apple. I had some bottles #gifted to me, and I found it quite refreshing; the fermentation isn’t too strong, with a sweet finish.
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