Happy 2012!

To good food and drinks for the new year!!!

My food resolution? Try to eat more sustainable and seasonal produce and healthier!

What's your food resolution? xxx


Friday Lunch @ SIDART

When I first moved back to NZ, one thing I noticed is that long lunches are really not part of the week day agenda...so when I did get a long break on a particular Friday, I jumped at the chance to try SIDART's five-course Friday lunch with E.

As the five course menu changes weekly therefore, they don't have a printed menu. For the life of me, I cannot remember what each and every dish was...

Don't get me wrong, each dish was explained by the well-informed staff but it was just me who didn't take notes as I was just ooh-ing and ahhh-ing the delish food...

Each course had distinct flavours with complementary textures...it's hard to explain how it feels in your mouth when you take a bite but it was definitely very interesting...most of all TASTY without over stuffing yourself (it was ideal lunch time size)!

The perfect Friday it was xxx

For more information about SIDART's Friday lunches: http://sidart.co.nz/

Might try out their Tuesday Test Kitchen which starts end-Jan 2012...


My Saturday coffee place

Having a drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic, whichever you prefer) is just as important as your next meal. 

Hence, here's a tribute to my fave coffee place in Auckland which is always my first choice in getting my coffee even though it is all the way Downtown (the owners started out in Manukau Rd, Epsom but have since sold that business).

Have good coffee, will travel!

coffee o' clock time!

The menu which makes your choice easier - white, black or not so coffee

Nifty coffee gadgets and literature

Our fave corner...and if you run out of seats, you can always use the crates!

You can opt to drink the coffee they make or buy home the coffee beans they roast

Here's a little tip, if you get yourself an environmentally-friendly Espresso Workshop keepcup, and get your coffees in it, you get a large coffee for a price of a small - my savings scheme hahaha

My coffee is ready! *sips*


Saturday Degustation Dinner @ Logan Brown, Wellington

In delayed fashion (as it is a delayed birthday celebration), I decided to treat E to a degustation dinner at one of New Zealand's fine dining restaurant, Logan Brown.

Located in an old bank building on the corners of Cuba and Vivian Sts in central city Wellington, one would think that the restaurant would be full of pomp - but that was not the case. 

We were greeted with warmth and service was true Kiwi-style, with a certain ease and laidback-ness that reminds you what New Zealanders are all about - no pretense, no nonsense (and diners showing up in [smart] jeans!)

We decided on the nine course degustation so we can sample as much as we can (typical).
E studying the wine list...seems like a bible!

Chilled Macadamia Soup with Fried Chevre, Pickled Walnuts & Chorizo Iberico

Sauvignon Vine Smoked Salmon with Cauliflower Puree & Caper Salsa

Grilled Kingfish with Crab, Celeriac Remoulade  & Scampi
Paua Ravioli with Coriander, Basil & Lime Beurre Blanc

Venison Tenderloin with Kumara Galette, Black Pudding & Quince Paste

Rangitakei Lamb Rack with Pirinoa Station Shoulder, Pumpkin Polenta and Lemon Spinach

Gruff Junction Sumner with Karamea Bluffs Raw Honeycomb

Cardamom & Rose Water Panna Cotta with Pistachio Wafers & Rhubarb

Chocolate Caramel Torte with Espresso Milkshake & Candied Hazelnuts

and a personal touch for E

and to close the delicious meal coffee and boxed chocolate truffle which we took home with us as we couldn't fit anymore in!

If I was to choose a favourite (or favourites)to eat by choice (full sized meals) I'd have to pick the macadamia soup,venison tenderloin, panna cotta finishing off with a big glass of cold espresso milkshake...yum...

E's choices are paua ravioli, venison tenderloin with the espresso milkshake as well!

This was my second time at Logan Brown and I must say, the degustation menu is worth every penny and worth a try. If you ever in Wellington, make sure you book ahead to dine at Logan Brown~! It gives you a chance to sample more than what you are used and trying something different.

We were definitely full to the brim and very satisfied with the meal. Not that we are slow eaters, we took about 5 hours to complete the course...so make sure you have time to savour and enjoy!

Happy eating! x


The Toby's Fish & Egg Burger Experience

I've been told by many about the greatness of Toby's and the must try Fish & Egg burger. Feeling a need to have something deep fried for brunch we trekked to Glen Eden for a fix. Boy, was I excited when I saw this:

My journey with the Fish & Egg burger making its way on my fave crave list...

A very happy customer!

I think I polished the burger in 10 minutes...

The burger hit the spot by having a runny egg + crispy battered fish in lightly toasted buns that tasted like fried bread. These are what cravings are made of!

We were also lucky enough to have a brunch show as the aunties working at the Glen Eden branch were pretty classic! One with a moko (face tattoo) who kept calling Ell "couz" and other patrons "bro"  - it was funny to hear them gossiping too! Chur aunties!

Elliot's massive brunch which he ate quite quickly too...fish and chip plus eggs (on top, no less)!

A trip to Toby's is definitely worth it. Remember, whatever you order ask for the eggs to be runny!


Wine Tasting with Yalumba @ First Glass

My first wine tasting experience with one of Elliot's favourite Australian wineries, Yalumba and it was definitely a good one!

We arrived fairly early (for once!)as Ell got the time wrong - the tasting started at 7 but he thought it was at 6. But as we are in good ol' New Zealand, we got a glass of bubbly while we waited for everyone else to arrive.
Wine tasting is serious business here, we were given a clipboard  and a wine tasting form to put our thoughts down of each wine we taste that night.

Taking us on this wine tasting journey was Jane Ferrari, Winemaker, Communications. Friendly, unpretentious, fuss-free and approachable were my first impressions of Jane. She was everything that I thought a winemaker was not (I've not met many winemakers but I always thought they would be quite wanky and pretentious due to the industry). 

She starts the tastings by giving us a history of Yalumba and who Yalumba really is. Well, actually she walked into the room and started talking about her bunions being cut off and how she had new funky cowboy boots that actually fit! Also,the tattoos that went right up her thighs *okay, it really was much funnier when she said it, you had to be there* (See this is why I thought, wow, this is definitely gonna be a fun night!)

True to form, the 12 wines that were on tasting was of exceptional quality but the ones that really sparked my tastebuds were Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2007, Shiraz Viognier 2008, Patchwork Shiraz 2008, The Scribbler Cab Shiraz 2008, The Signature Cab Shiraz 2005, The Menzies Cab Sauv 2006 and last but not least The Octavius 2005. That's 7 out of 12 wines that I liked! Let's put it this way, at the end of the night, I had trouble deciding what I wanted and we ended up with a whole box of goodies 'cos we just couldn't decide *winks*

Jane definitely has a big personality that matches her wine passion. I wanted to sum up Jane as a wine from the tasting but decided she is a blend of all the wines we tasted and no one style can define her.

Peppered with Jane's comedic persona and her Sam Neil story - it was a very good night. 

Other scenes from the tasting:

Deciding which wine(s) to purchase...

With Jane and hopefully our Jeroboam wins! *fingers crossed* Even if we didn't get that, I hope we'll still get our Yalumba beanies! Right, Jane? :)

Elliot making sure he's got his years right to drink his 1998s

If you ever get a chance to go for a tasting with Jane, go for it! It's like going for a good night out with amazing wines and a very good stand-up comedienne with many stories and experiences to share (bonus!). 

Read about Jane Ferrari's trip to Auckland here.

You know it's a good night when everyone is happy like this and everyone is a friend...

Here's to more wine tastings in the future! Cheers! xxx