Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar
When I first learned there was a new place in Auckland that sold only milk and cookies (plus ice cream and coffee, etc), I knew I had to check it out.
Verdict? Quite honestly, I wouldn’t go back again. I’m not in the city very often, and while I know the prices are high due to the amazing ingredients they use, they’re too rich for my blood.
That said, the fresh baked cookies are out of this world, and the whole aesthetic of this place is too cute.
Flavoured milks, $1.50. Cookies (I think) $3.50.
A reasonably new addition to the Chinese stretch of Dominion Road, this Taiwanese cafe also draws on Korean, Japanese and Chinese influences. The long and narrow staircase may put you off. Persevere, though, and it will pay off.
It’s an adorable little space, where you’re expected to pour your own water and tea, collect your own cutlery, and concoct your own mix of soy and chili sauces/oils from the service station. The drinks menu could rival Momo Tea’s, and are massive (some come in bottles rather than glasses). Choose from the vast range of sides and smaller dishes – soups, dumplings, etc – or the larger set meals, which also come with small bowls of soup, sides of veggies and fruit.
The loveliest, most gregarious and friendly taxi driver I’ve ever encountered posed a series of questions to me as he drove me home from a recent dinner event (one at Okahu, which I’ll talk more about below). Among them was this gem: “Do you feel like you are home when you’re in Malaysia?” I don’t even have to think about it. I may have been born there but New Zealand is my home. Though Malay food is damn hard to beat, and if you’re in the mood for it, you could do worse than visit Mamak.
Murtabak, laksa, kuay teow, nasi lemak – you’ll find all those classics on the menu. As my Instagrammed photo suggests, I opted for a scorching curry (my mouth is watering and palms sweating just recalling it) served up with fluffy rice and a side of sauteed cabbage. Delightful.
Siri Sri Lanka
I didn’t really know what to expect from Sri Lankan food. Turns out it’s not that far off Malaysian/Indonesian cuisine. The lump rice was recommended, consisting of rice, curries, fried chicken, a hardboiled egg, and a strange but tasty dry coconutty mixture for topping (that’s my best attempt at describing it) all wrapped up in banana leaves. Aside from the dry and slightly bland chicken drumstick, it was a great introduction to the country’s cuisine.
I think it’s safe to say The Wharf in Northcote is probably not a cheap eat by any stretch of the imagination, but all the same, I did eat here for nothing thanks to a product launch.
Situated just over the North Shore, out on a little head by the bridge, it enjoys unparalleled views of Auckland Harbour. In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve never been to Northcote Point, and wow, I’ve been missing out.
So, while I didn’t dine at The Wharf, exactly, I did attend a four-course lunch hosted there. The menu was created by Nicholas Watt, a big deal chef, brought on board to design a special menu for the launch of Ora King salmon. It kicked off with sesame crusted salmon paired with a divine smoked eggplant puree, followed by teriyaki salmon belly (I was not a fan of the caviar or the barely poached egg that were served with it) and finally, roast salmon accompanied by miso ruby grapefruit and chili pickled cucumber, which was probably my favourite dish.
Special mention also to Okahu, where I attended another event recently. I actually enjoyed the pork belly served up to us (I’m not a pork fan at all, and definitely not of belly) and could have cried at the sumptuous, creamy sauce that was lavished upon the cod main (it was that good, I even overlooked the heavy-handed mint garnish). I would have licked my plate if I had not been in public. Unfortunately, my phone died, robbing me of the opportunity to capture the beautiful dinner forever.
For now, I’m still working my way through some restaurants that have been on my to-do list forever. This may or may not be helped along by the recent release of the new Metro Eats app. It collates info on the magazine’s 50 best restaurants list, and, more importantly, its top 50 cheap eats (which I’m pretty sure includes most of the places in this blog post). And TheInsider, another new app that directs you toward local happy hours and meal deals, has also found its way onto my phone, though I’ve yet to use any of the offers o nit.
How do you decide where to eat out? D you like trying new places or stick to the tried and true?