A week of wondrous food

Last night I attended a slightly odd event with plenty of canapes and drinks – I was expecting dinner, and indeed at some point about half the crowd disappeared into a side room that had been set for a sit-down meal, while the rest of us milled around. Strange.

Nonetheless, it’s been a week of tastebud tickling, in a good way. food week auckland

It started with a lunch at The Grill, a three course meal that started with uber-fresh sashimi (tuna, salmon, kingfish), served with wasabi, soy and white ginger to cut through the rich, creamy flesh. I chose a rib eye for the main (the steak was served alone, on a plate, and measured about twice my handspan), and went for the treale tart to finish off. Dessert successfully trod the fine line between succulently sweet and sickly sweet, helped along by the strategic and generous accompaniment of vanilla custard.

There was our day trip up to Puhoi cafe in the weekend. While the weather left something to be desired, the hum and warm, welcoming bustle of this small-town mainstay more than made up for it. We sat out on the deck, overlooking the stream, and feasted on a giant lamb roll (basically just a massive gourmet sausage roll) and the beer battered fish and chips. Beer batter can do no wrong in my books, and we were both blown away by the fresh yet firm fish within, to say nothing of the perfectly crisped fries. Mastery.

We picked up a few cheeses to take home, and before hitting the road, gorged on four different flavours of ice cream. I can’t say enough good things about the berry sorbet and lemon sorbet, and while the hokey ice cream was delicious, I really don’t think anything beats a quality vanilla ice cream. It’s all about the ingredients, and it seems Puhoi has only the best.  Definitely a case of “how have we lived here forever and never visited this place?!”

And while it was pretty shameful that it’s been four months since I last saw one of my oldest high school friends (and we only live about 20 minutes away from each other) at least we finally caught up – not least over tagine at Salam, which you’ll find in the Lim Chhour food hall in K Rd. Served up in massive bowls, along with a full plate of yellow rice, the food here is well worth seeking out. You can even pay after you eat. A word of warning, though: the coffee they offer smells of cinnamon and a myriad of other aromatic spices but taste-wise, doesn’t come anywhere near to living up to that fragrant promise.

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