Taste 2014 battled a change in location and stormy weather. Parking was insane, we went through the usual hope of thinking we would be lucky, then it slowly deteriorated to us trying every tiny spot we could find on the side of a street, to almost giving up and paying $10 to park in someone’s driveway, and finally to stalking a family as they walked up the hill. That aside, this year’s event was was beautifully decked out with florals and green lush signs. Our favourite plates were crayfish risotto from The Oyster Inn, oysters and tuatuas from Depot, and Lucky Taco minis (Taste 2013 food was more interesting and better). You have to be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of money and time at Taste, dishes are usually around 8-12 crowns ($1 = 1 crown) – though there are some odd ones out, like the 20 crown sandwich from Harbourside. See you next year, Taste!
Easter is just round the corner and this year to celebrate, Whittakers have scattered Auckland CBD, Wellington and Christchurch with large decorated eggs for New Zealanders to take part in a big egg hunt. Many artists have been involved in producing the 101 unique eggs, and the initiative supports the Starship Foundation (read more here).
This is an excellent activity for the kids and family during the Easter Break and is a good opportunity to visit areas of town that you don’t go often. We certainly had a fun time tracking down the eggs and admiring how they were presented.
The hunt is on now till 22 April. There is also an app (Apple only) which you can download to scan and collect the eggs as you find them and compare how you’re doing in relation to fellow hunters (click here). By joining the egg hunt you can go into the draw to win a golden slab by Partridge Jewellers and Whittakers’ peanut slabs on the way (read more here). Bonus points for finding the (Where’s) Wally egg who moves location every two days!
What are your plans for the Easter holiday?
The Big Egg Hunt NZ.
Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington
We left Victoria Park yesterday afternoon feeling very full and elated after attending Taste of Auckland. It was a foodie’s heaven and we had a glorious amount of food and drinks.The Depot – Pulled Pork Slider : most definitely one of our favourites. The bun was soft and the flavours amazing with apple slaw and pickled jalapenos. It was so good we went back for seconds.
The Depot – Oysters : not quite as fresh as we had hoped. Though it may be because we went back at the very end for these and it was nearing the end of the lunch session. We were there for a solid three hours!
Toto’ – Mushroom Tortellini : so delicious. It was well made, not too soft or soggy and the sauce was incredibly tasty.
Toto’ – Calamari : this was nothing special. The flavours weren’t quite there, we thought the vegetables were actually better than the squid itself.Passionfruit Mocktail : the heat was crazy on such a beautiful day, this helped cool us down and was only $3 too!We sampled lots of free food like Simon Gault’s prawns, some of Al Brown’s delicious creamy smoked butter, and the Fisher & Paykel lamb roast reinvented experience. The Grove – Tuna with grilled prawn : another one of our favourites. So fresh and so delicious, we could have easily gone back for seconds or thirds.
Baduzzi – Wagyu meatballs : this was top notch with some super tasty sauce and very juicy meat. The Commons – Vanilla salmon with coconut and lime sorbet : our least favourite from the entire event. Not quite sure we actually finished it, the flavours were on two extreme scales of salty and sweet, it didn’t quite sit well with us. Fish – Chocolate marquise with popcorn ice cream and milk : a very rich and enjoyable dessert with gooey caramel underneath. There was so much good wine and drinks to have. We had some from The People’s Wine and some Passionfruit cider from Rekorderlig. We loved the amount of detail that went into setting up the marquees. It was a truly great day. Thanks to Genie at Bunny Eats Design for our tickets, we can’t wait for next year! Taste of Auckland.
Every November, for one weekend Western Park in Ponsonby lights up. It transforms into an open gallery with glowing trees, bacteria octopuses, and cycling human electric generators. If you missed out this year, that’s okay there’s always next November, though no guarantee of running shining people.
Lily of the Valley – a valley of luminous lilies created with plastic bags.
NAG – powered by artists through vintage racing bicycles to produce electricity.
Art in the Dark.
Western Park, Ponsonby (free entry)
Last night I had the privilege of attending the Pie Face pre-opening with a friend of mine. We tasted pie after pie and also met some of the main guys behind it: Julian and Matt. The pastry is amazing and definitely matchable to Australia’s (read our Melbourne: Pie Face blog here), if not better, on home soil. The pies are made fresh at their Mt Wellington factory with top ingredients like 100% NZ Angus Beef. There’s a lot on offer, from savoury to sweet pies, and bagels to croissants as well as cookies and muffins. We thought the savoury won over the sweet. Our favourites of the night were the Steak and Cheese, the Chicken and Mushroom and the Spinach Roll. Prices range from $1.90 to $6.90 for single items. There are also combo deals and catering available. The flagship store is very spacious with more seating towards the back of the restaurant. The interior adopts more of the New York: Pie Face store style and features some funky wall art and hanging bare lightbulbs. They’re now officially open on 18 Shortland Street Auckland Central, and in two weeks will be operating 24 hours. More stores will be rolling out very soon. Hurry in for some flaky, buttery goodness. Go get pie-faced and have some liquid gold (coffee) too while you’re at it. -Kely Pie Face.
18 Shortland Street, Auckland Central.
There’s no stopping hungry Aucklanders even on a rainy day. Yesterday we ventured down to Shed 10 for Big Little City’s Street Eats event as part of Restaurant Month. Chefs from coveted restaurants around the CBD left their kitchens and served up their form of street food at affordable prices. We arrived at about noon and already the shed was super crowded. It was smoky from all the grills and stoves as most of the food was cooked fresh right there and then.
First stop: Imperial Lane hotdogs ($9) – Incredibly soft bun, flavourful and delicious. We loved the dry fried onions that came with it. I was obviously way too keen and ate a large mouthful before remembering to take a photo. This was one of our favourites from the day.Very interesting Shaky Isles stall…Second stop: Vue Pork, Duck and Lamb Sliders ($7) – Enjoyable and cute sliders but the fillings were relatively the same for all three except the meat itself.Third Stop: Merchants of Venice Risotto Balls ($7) – Crunchy exterior paired well with tangy sauce.Fourth Stop: Faro chicken skewers and Pumpkin Juice ($5) – in all honesty at first we did not want any pumpkin juice and were really just after the skewers but because they came in a combo we took it anyway. Turns out the pumpkin juice was yum, sweet and refreshing. It was a delight to have with the skewers. It reminded us of bamboo juice.Fifth Stop: San Pellegrino Limonata ($5) – the finest. Sixth Stop: FISH Prawn Skewers ($5) – nothing special, just prawns grilled on a stick but it was nice to have some seafood after all the meat. We asked for half half in terms of spice and no spice. The bottom two, with lemon pepper, we enjoyed more. Seventh Stop (my goodness, it’s like we were starving): Toto Boscaiola Pizza ($5) – There was probably a bit too much truffle oil on the pizza than what we would have preferred but all in all it had enough ingredients piled on, enough cheese and a crispy edge.Eighth Stop: The Lucky Taco x2 ($12) – this was the longest line we had to wait in for food in the entire shed, and that tells you something. These are brilliant, brilliant tacos. They’re incredibly good, with ingredients that are paired so well. If you were following our Instagram (@twohonesttruths) you would know that we just managed to make the last order before they stopped orders for 15mins due to a large backlog. Noone moved from their position in line and it just got bigger. We were very lucky indeed. This was our other favourite of the day.
So we ended and began on extremely good notes. Street Eats was so popular most stalls sold out around the 5pm mark, some even at 2pm! There is bound to be more in the future so if you missed out on this round, there’s always the next. Check out more Restaurant Month events here. Remember to follow our Restaurant Month adventures by clicking the +Follow button on the right hand bottom corner to subscribe by email or WordPress.