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Pot Luck — Friday 23 February

The Metro Dining Newsletter!

Pot Luck — Friday 23 February

Feb 23, 2024 Metro Eats

Moving flats is not just annoying and time-consuming, it can also be pretty heartbreaking. 

Unfortunately that’s how I’ve spent a good deal of time over the past week: meticulously wrapping plates and platters and picture frames, playing detective to determine which flatmate owns which towel, tearing down the sweet peas I had trained up the fence, sugar-soaping walls, heaving furniture into the boots of cars, driving and unloading boxes, driving then loading more of the endless boxes, all the while wondering why and how we’ve accumulated so much stuff. 

After two years of renting what was probably the happiest house I have ever lived or will ever live in, our landlords gave us notice (just a few days before Christmas) that our tenancy would be ending. Not by any fault of ours, I should add — they had simply decided to sell the house. I spent the week after receiving the news in a vague, delusional state, dreaming up impossible strategies to service a $1.9 million mortgage. 

We are persistently encouraged by the world around us to find a sense of home. I’d done just that at this flat. I knew the best takeaways around, I knew our postie by name, I knew the staff at our local pub, I knew the local cats, I (almost) knew what the time must be simply by glimpsing at the colour of the trees outside our dining room. 

The part of the house I was best acquainted with, though, is the kitchen. It’s fascinating but perhaps not surprising how important the kitchen is when it comes to building a sense of home. Ours was idyllic: sunny with cork floors and red and blue paint on the walls, a great big bench for friends to hover around with martinis, a drawer specifically for toast spreads, a giant oven and six-burner gas stovetop, and a perfectly sized area next to the stove for all the things one regularly reaches for while cooking (my favourite part of any kitchen): various salts, pepper, chilli flakes, sesame seeds, MSG, spices.

And as I fumble my way around a new imperfect kitchen, with its awkward shallow drawers and sparse bench space and tiny fridge, I can’t help but think about the amount of labour that goes into figuring out a new kitchen, a new house, and making it feel like home again. Cooking, usually a great joy for me, now feels totally cumbersome. Worst of all is that the housing crisis and insecure rental market dooms so many of us to repeatedly go through this process.

Like every other time, I know that I’ll figure out how to cook with ease in this new place, and that with each meal cooked, the kitchen will begin to feel more like home — so long as our new landlords don’t kick us out anytime soon. 

While this newsletter is about food, it is also about love for this city. On that note, it feels appropriate to pay brief tribute to Fa‘anānā Efeso Collins, a champion of his people and of Tāmaki Makaurau, who embodied so much of what this city can and should be. Moe mai rā e te rangatira.


Comings and goings


Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a cute little caravan called Lazy Sundae ice cream parked up next to Potters Park in Balmoral. I entirely endorse more ice cream food trucks seasonally appearing around the city.

It’s official: after three months of locked doors, Cotto is back in business with a slightly refreshed menu and with one fewer letter in their name: they’ve dropped the ‘C’ and now go by the name Otto. Welcome back!

A third branch of vegan, Thai-inspired restaurant Khu Khu Eatery has opened on Snickel Lane in downtown Auckland.

Le Musang, a new shop specialising in durian-flavoured desserts, has opened next door to Sashimi of Japan on Dominion Rd in the old barbershop. They’re open 11am to 9pm, seven days a week. I’ve heard good things about both the durian smoothie and cake.

After more than 12 years in operation, bar and eatery Everybody’s and nightclub Roxy, both in downtown Auckland, have closed permanently this week. The company that owns the two locations went into liquidation last Friday, according to reports.




Chic’en Eats

Succinct menus

The tiramisu tart at Coffee Pen : it consistently delivers

Desa Corner (Yes, we’re obsessed)

The Shed Collective Farmers’ Market in Henderson (excellent vegan vibes)

Granita in savoury dishes. I’m still thinking about the pomelo granita capped with kuikui (kina) I had at Tala a few months ago

The chocolate tips in Trumpets




Restaurant bathrooms without bag hooks

Exploitation of delivery app drivers

Dismissing New Zealand-Chinese takeaway shop cuisine 

Incoherent menus


Where we’re going


If you’re enthusiastic (or curious) about schnitzel and riesling you should head to By the Bottle’s Rizzle & Schnizzle pop-up at Apero on Karangahape Rd on Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March. No bookings are required and they’ll be serving both from 1pm till 7pm (or until sold out). 

Dave Collins (from 15 Minute Bottles) is the chef in residence at Roses Dining Room for the next three weeks. And tonight (Friday 23 February) Roses are hosting their first international winemaker, Aidan Raftery of Igavi and Vintners & Vagabonds in Georgia, alongside some special Georgian-influenced menu items. As Roses owner Ophelia Harradine Bayly writes, “given Georgia is like the birthplace of wine it’s a pretty epic opportunity to try some out-of-this-world OG natty stuff”. 

Ponsonby restaurant Inca turns two this year, and will be celebrating by way of a one-night collaboration with Chef Giulio Sturla on Thursday 7 March. Tickets are $98 per person and sittings are at 6pm and 8pm.

There are a bunch of happy hours and deals around town at the moment too:

Somm on Auckland’s waterfront has a selection of $7 drinks from 3pm to 5pm daily. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays they’re doing $2 oysters, too (until sold out). 

Andiamo’s new “Otto Hour” menu features eight exquisite drinks, each priced at $8 from 4pm to 5pm.

The “Power Lunch” at Jervois Steak House is available every Friday, 12pm–2pm, and includes a main course, side dish and a glass of house wine for $55 per person. 


From the archive


Metro N°238, April 2001

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