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Pot Luck — Friday 22 March

The Metro Dining Newsletter

Pot Luck — Friday 22 March

Mar 22, 2024 Metro Eats

I have a complex relationship with fruit. When it comes up in conversation, I have a bad habit of simplifying my feelings toward this actually quite nuanced food category with an inelegant refrain: “I hate fruit”, I’ll say out loud, as if I’ve regressed to the eating habits of a four-year-old. This is usually met with astonished gasps and further cross-examining, “but what about [insert fruit]?”

As someone who, on every other front, is not picky about food, I’ve wondered a lot about this aversion. Fruit is colourful, sweet and nutritious. It’s convenient, too; something you can usually eat with one hand and ready to be packed into a bag — some fruits even come with their own packaging. For the most part fruit doesn’t need to be cooked or seasoned to be palatable; it’s good to go, unadorned, ‘as is’. 

Perhaps this is part of the problem for me: there’s little space for creative flair or novelty in all this convenience and virtuousness. It turns out I like a little processing. 

There’s also a kind of moral obligation that comes with eating fruit that I find off-putting. I think we eat an absurd amount of it these days; I mean, my grandma used to tell me she’d get a piece of citrus in her Christmas stocking and that would be her fruit intake for the year. I’m not sure how accurate that story is or what health ramifications it had, but it’s certainly food for thought. This essay about fruit (and vegetables) by documentary-maker Adam Curtis played quite a formative role in my scepticism around fruit eating — the main point of his piece being that if you want people to live longer and be healthier, rather than encouraging people to focus entirely on what they’re putting into their bodies (more fruit!), it would make more sense to focus on solving the problems of inequality that are the largest determinants of health. That we’re bad at doing that isn’t fruit’s fault, of course, but it does make me wonder if we’re placing too much burden on fruit to do the job of making ourselves ‘healthy’. 

There are exceptions to every rule, of course: I love feijoas, Cape gooseberries, passionfruit and tamarillos, but get bored of them quickly; I despise bananas but eat one on my muesli every morning because it seems like the right thing to do; watermelon is delicious with Tajin; almost all berries are good with cream; the plums from my boyfriend’s family’s tree are perfect (the tree was blown down in Cyclone Gabrielle though); stone fruit is good in dense, almondy cakes; cherries are lovely when eaten on the beach; and papaya is nice as part of a hotel breakfast buffet. Also, on Sunday I bought two granadilla passionfruit and some Mona Lisa bananas from Aotearoa Grown, an outfit which grows tropical fruit in Waipū — they were some of the most delicious varieties I’ve ever had. So, yes, while it’s kind of a simplification to say that I ‘hate’ all fruit, my fruit bowl is for the most part barren bar a bunch of bananas, and you certainly won’t find me snacking on sliced apple or getting excited about a fig. 


Comings and goings


I was excited to see that there’s a new Vietnamese spot called Daily Vietnamese Cafe in Royal Oak, right next to the roundabout. They have all the usual suspects (phở, bánh mì, summer rolls, grilled chicken) on their menu, but I’m especially enthused about their range of Vietnamese coffees — coconut coffee, salted coffee, egg coffee and so on…

Bar Céleste’s lunchtime subsidiary Gloria’s, which was initially on Karangahape Rd but shut down at the end of last year, has reopened in Commercial Bay. They’re currently open seven days a week, 9.30am–3pm. I’m very happy to see that the miraculously delicious French carrot salad / carottes râpées (when else in history has grated carrot tasted this good?) from Celeste’s menu is available here during the daytime — a perfect lunch!

There’s an intriguing new membership-only shared workspace / cafe in Newmarket called O3. They do coffee and open toasted sandwiches, plus have really fast wifi and very long opening hours from what I can gather from online reviews. I have a few questions though about how it all works — the first being, what exactly are “o-coins”?

Another new spot in Newmarket: Master Chuan, a hot pot and barbecue skewer restaurant, has just opened on Short St (next to Tombo). From the pictures I’ve seen, it looks like they’ve got an impressive selection of skewers to choose from.

To-go lunch spot Tuck Shop (which opened its first branch in Wynyard Quarter) has just opened a second branch, also in central Auckland but this time on Customs St. Much like the original store, the concept here is nostalgia-driven cabinet food: think sausage rolls, pies, sandwiches, custard slices and lamingtons.

Roving Grill, as the name suggests, is a food truck which roams around the city, popping in at various markets and festivals with a menu of brisket, pulled-beef sandwiches and tortillas, among other Texan and Tex-Mex favourites. They’ve recently found themselves a permanent parking spot at 179 Brigham Creek Rd, Hobsonville, where they’ll be open from 11am to 7/8pm Tuesday–Saturday.

Back to the Kitchen’s Symonds St location has quietly shut in the past two weeks (their Pt Chevalier shop is still open though). A new burger and chicken spot with an equally sci-fi name, SPACE Burger, looks set to open in the space soon.

Certainly, the city’s burger scene is in flux. At the start of the month, Tiger Burger announced they’d be closing their Dominion Rd restaurant and that this weekend was their last in service. At this stage, it’s unclear whether the closure is temporary or more permanent, but they’ve described it as “a long break” on their Instagram.




Kūmara prices (they’re finally on their way down!)

Pepler’s jams 

Tiny cutlery (especially forks)

Pottles of mussels

Estrella dill potato chips from Safka

This piece on the limitations of food diplomacy





The world’s largest blueberry (this shouldn’t exist)

Boutique ice



Where we’re going


The Balmoral Street Food Market is on tonight (Friday 22 March) at 164 Balmoral Rd, 5.30–9pm. There will no doubt be a plethora of food trucks; plus Junk and Disorderly will be open late.

Esther has a new express lunch menu which is available 12–3pm, Wednesday–Friday. It includes a three-course prix fixe lunch menu (which includes their new steak frites option) for $49 per person.

Starting on 2 April, The Grove expanding their opening hours to include Tuesday evenings. They’ll also be offering a special Tuesday-only six-course dégustation menu priced at $150 per person (instead of the usual $195).




To welcome our latest neighbour to the block, Metro has partnered with Auckland’s newest hotel, Abstract Hotel & Residences, for an exciting giveaway, valued at $600. Included is one night’s stay for two people, a bottle of bubbles and a 60-minute spa treatment for two at Sa-Ni, Abstract’s luxury in-house spa. Details here


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