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We are so spoilt with burger options in Auckland, it’s honestly a crime to have anything but the best. Food snobs foodies unite. These Bearded Clam burgers will help you maintain that diet. The Buffalo Chicken burger ($16) was my favourite, chicken incredibly tender and perfectly balanced out with the blue cheese sauce. The Cheeseburger ($12) is simple done right. It’s the traditional maccas ordeal but 100x less greasier, 100x tastier, and 100x better for you. Their brioche buns are super soft and pillowy, basically what every burger fiend dreams of. Here are some photos of the beautiful beings basking in the winter light, you’re welcome.P6110249P6110248P6110234P6110247P6110241

Bearded Clam
Locations change

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P3240143.jpgP3240148.jpgThe simplest things are forever the hardest to get right. Like the eggs bene and the mushrooms on toast. Or the humble burger and the fish and chips. Burger Burger and Fish Fish have hit the sweet spot on the latter two respectively. According to our Instagram grid, we are well rehearsed in the BB game and thanks to the panko-crumbed gurnard with tartare sauce last Thursday night we will soon be FF frequent grammers too. The seafood is fresh, the chips thick cut. It’s the fish and chips you actually wanted need for the beach. Not the slimy, thick battered ordeal from the corner dairy.  A slaw is good to throw in the mix, and so is something from the specials menu. The prawn and sweet potato fritter is incredibly tasty with its spicy vinegar sauce. Not as enjoyable if you are the type of person that believes whitebait fritters stare into your soul, the prawns here are also. There aren’t many seats but you can order online and takeaway – good for that horrendous Ponsonby parking.

For those on the shore, watch out for the BB and FF powerhouse opening soon!

Fish Fish (menu here)
Ponsonby Central, Auckland

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As we enter the cold, all we want to do is eat noodles and drink soup all day long. Ramen Takara has just opened along Ponsonby Road, just in time for Winter. The restaurant has a bar and a courtyard but it is small. There is next to none waiting space so bear that in mind when you are faced with a 40-minute wait time and howling wind and rain outside. The Tonkotsu ($13 + $3 for extra noodles) and Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles ($15.50) were our favourites. The Tonkotsu wasn’t overpoweringly salty, it was perfectly creamy and the noodle texture just right. If we are comparing (of course we are), Takara has smaller portions than Ramen Do. The egg is also not as well done as Do’s molten goodness. Yet overall we prefer Takara because we just can’t get enough of those noodles and soup. Wouldn’t recommend the sides, stick to the ramen though if desperate, order the Karaage Chicken. Service though is still lacking as it is only a week or so old – the bartenders were definitely confused. Give it a few more weeks and we will definitely be back again!

Ramen Takara
272 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

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There goes the cliche – can you believe it’s the end of the year already. Once it hits December, Merry Christmas greetings are entirely acceptable. Really, it would be rude not to. Franklin this year, albeit some grinch houses, was great. There were snow machines, diving penguins, cute snowmen with earmuffs, naughty Santas, and a giant snowman snowing inside his belly – snowception.

Franklin Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

IMG_4573IMG_4580 IMG_4591 IMG_4596 IMG_4598 IMG_4608 Lunchtimes at Dear Jervois usually consist of lines and waiting, but also creamy mushrooms and delicious smoothies. The food is great. Our favourite is the Portobello mushrooms with potato hash stack ($19), but it’s often sold out if you go late. The Creamy balsamic mushrooms are a slightly heavier alternative but still tasty with toasted ciabatta ($18). We also love the Soba noodle salad with free range chicken ($22) and the Cacao maca smoothie ($9). Service is very slow and inattentive. We had to ask at least four times for water and the mushrooms came without the extra poached egg we’d ordered – not the place to go if you are in a hurry. Parking is reasonably easy and there are some beautiful stores to shop at next door before or after your meal. Hopefully service is better next time round so we can come back to try the famous waffles.

I’d forgotten about these photos, or maybe I just didn’t want more people joining the queue for a table…have a great week ahead!

Dear Jervois
234 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland

IMG_7092 IMG_7045 IMG_7086 IMG_7053 IMG_7085 IMG_7069 IMG_7073 IMG_7084 IMG_7080 IMG_7087 IMG_7089 IMG_7095Boy & Bird is great, open from 11am till late, 7 days a week. They also take bookings (!) – you can probably stop reading now. That’s all you needed to know, right? Because there’s a 40-minute wait at Dear Jervois, 45-minute wait at Rosie, and don’t even think about Depot on a Friday night. The half bird ($19) came with chunky chips and gravy. Double thumbs up to the chips. More gravy, more ($3). We also had some coleslaw which was refreshing and delicious (small $5.50). First class combination right there. I wouldn’t recommend the Chilli Satay Chicken ($10) no matter how good it sounds on paper and stay away from the soda selection. There are of course non-chicken dishes available but for now the chips, gravy, and coleslaw are enough to take me back.

Boy & Bird
222 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

I think I turned all of my friends into food critics. No harm having a little bit of expectation, right? We are doing this for the greater good, right?

Thankfully the cuts at JSH were amazing. They were tasty on their own but the sauces were equally as great. Our favourite was the SG’s Choice Wagyu Sirloin with the truffle chipotle and horseradish bearnaise (300g, $59.50). There’s not much to say about presentation but it doesn’t matter because everyone is too busy focusing on the steak. Also, where can you get that excellent knife.

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JSH is another Simon Gault restaurant along with Euro and FISH.

Entree Special Pork ribs – these were surprisingly very delicious, definitely recommended.IMG_4199

Entree Salt and Pepper prawns $24.50 – yeah, no.

It was suggested that we order 5-7 partners between 5 people because the steak does not come with any condiments. We were reasonable and ordered just 4, which was more than enough (don’t overestimate yourself!).

Special Cauliflower with aged cheddar $7.50 – super tasty and rich.IMG_4204

Mac and cheese fritters $7.50 – this was an interesting dish, which was enjoyable. Essentially mac and cheese rolled together, crumbed and fried.IMG_4202Truffle fries $7.50 – I’m not too sure whether they’d got the order wrong and these were actually steakhouse fries because there didn’t seem to be a hint of truffle in them at all. Based on the ones we got, I wouldn’t recommend.

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Creamed spinach $7.50
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Signature prime rib queen cut (24 hours notice) 300g, $45 – crazy smooth, to the point where it was maybe a little too much and reminded us of corned beef rather than steak.IMG_4215

Jervois cut eye fillet on the bone, 370g, $42.50 – beautifully cooked to medium rare. The porcini jus was clean and matched well to stronger flavoured cuts.IMG_4213

The service at JSH is a bit off. You know it’s not going to go very well when they forget you had pre-ordered a steak the night before and also puts down the wrong drink and comes back to offer it to someone else.

Creme brûlée $16.50 – classic vanilla just how I like it. Though it would’ve been better if all the vanilla bean hadn’t sunk to the bottom.IMG_4228

Baked Alaska $16.50 – beautiful dessert with hokey pokey ice cream. The egg whites themselves however were a bit of a let down.IMG_4221

Chocolate fondant $16.50 – nothing too astounding. We were put off by the rhubarb sauce, which had poor consistency and reminded us of the bright red strawberry sauce you get at Denny’s.IMG_4220

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So we’ve heard The Grill does it better, what do you think?

Jervois Steak House
72 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 

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