Two nights ago we battled the sudden downpour and headed out West to The Tannery to attend the August Yelp Elite Event.IMG_4062IMG_4138

We were so very excited, not just because it was ice cream, but because it was Kohu Road ice cream. The tub that sold at $20 a litre, that seemed to sparkle in the fridge. I always believed it was a dangerous purchase not only because of its high price point (I would be eating a gold coin with each spoonful), but also the risk that it would be just plain ordinary or even worse, inedible.IMG_4103 IMG_4067IMG_4102

The night began with Greg, the maker of Kohu Road telling us about his ice cream journey. Starting from the frozen yoghurt he made and gave out at his kid’s ice cream party to creating tubs and tubs at The Tannery and sending it across New Zealand and Australia. He talked about how many ice creams, and food for that matter, often had preservatives and additives in them and quite often we would forget or be misled by failing to read the ingredients list, or not being able to understand the list. Kohu Road ice cream on the other hand uses fresh ingredients, has real chocolate in their chocolate ice cream, and is handmade. It is the real deal.IMG_4079

We sampled just three tiny scoops of Lemon Curd, Salted Caramel, and White Chocolate – but it was enough to convince me. It tasted fresh, clean, and there was no horrible aftertaste. IMG_4095 IMG_4096

We also got the chance to witness the roasting of coffee led by Jacob of Mt Atkinson Coffee. We got to smell the beans at their different stages of roasting. It began with a grassy, hay aroma that reminded us of popcorn.IMG_4117 IMG_4123

We left the event starving having gone straight from work, but more knowledgeable than before. I will be looking out for any E codes, preservatives and additives in my ice cream at my next trawl through the freezer aisle, and possibly most likely pick up some delicious Kohu Road tubs while I’m there (Green Tea and Salted Caramel please!). If you don’t want to take the plunge with the $20/litre, go for the small sample tubs first which sell for $4.50 each. Find out where you can buy it here.IMG_4141

The Tannery
44B Portage Road, New Lynn, Auckland

IMG_2569LOGOMany nights ago we dined at FISH inside the Hilton Hotel down at Princes Wharf. It was a 5-course meal and cost us $55 each with a voucher.IMG_2622LOGO

1 – Mussel and tio pepe cappuccino – probably our least favourite dish of the night. Though bonus points for the cute coffee cup. This was our first encounter with foam for the night.

2 – Pepper cured kingfish with beetroot, crisp rice and crème fraiche – the fish was fresh and delicious with its beetroot friends. The peppercorns were a bit overwhelming purely because there was just so much of it.IMG_2588LOGO

3 – Mushroom and spelt risotto – I enjoyed this dish, minus the foam (sense a pattern here?). It was creamy and rich, and the risotto was cooked al dente. I prefer risotto that still has a little bit of chew to it, so if you like softer rice this may not be your cup of tea.

4 – Akaroa salmon with a herb crust, prawn and spring onion mash potatoes, and spicy pistachio butter – Both my mum and I agreed that the prawn and herb potato mash was the best thing on the plate. Since salmon is relatively rich and oily itself, I didn’t enjoy having it coated in crust. Also, go away foam!

4 – Pepper rubbed South Island venison loin with parsnip puree, roasted carrots & courgettes, and orange citrus jus – there can be no wrong said about this dish. Even our dad couldn’t stop saying how good it was – picky eaters all round. The meat was cooked medium rare and had a subtle honey taste to it. It was simple, but well done.

5 – Buttermilk panna cotta Earl Grey poached figs with hazelnut biscotti and vanilla ice-cream – this was a good way to end the meal. The vanilla ice cream is the refreshing kind, and the hazelnut biscotti perfectly crunchy. Being made from buttermilk, the panna cotta was slightly sour.IMG_2617LOGO

Service was mostly quick and attentive. A lot of the time the hotel can also validate your parking, just make sure you check with the concierge on arrival.IMG_2623LOGO

Restaurant month is almost here, get excited. We have our eye on a few menus in particular Depot serving up clams/oysters with sliders at just $25 all up! Can’t wait. Check out the menus and events here.

IMG_0959 copyThe Auckland food scene caters for everybody. Even those that wake up and vow to eat healthy all day everyday but end the day munching down on delicious burgers (yeah, we’re guilty as charged). Tucked down a driveway in Kingsland is Mondays, the brainchild of Eleanor from Petite Kitchen and Hannah from Health,Yeah. The place is small, very small. It can probably seat about seven people inside, so don’t go on a rainy day? There’s a courtyard but again, space is limited – so you’re best to takeaway.IMG_0935 IMG_0938

We don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on Mondays (but that’s the good thing of having two of us right, there’s a greater chance that one of us may have the same taste as you). While we both loved the salmon salad. I had about two sips of the drinks we ordered. Boni liked both the berry smoothie and the vanilla, honey, almond milk. She is an advocate for almond milk, while I am not. Clearly she is the health-food junkie and I the burger fiend – we cover the best of both worlds.IMG_0977 IMG_0964

When we visited, Mondays had just recently opened and it was a Saturday morning so the line was out the door. It’s best to follow them on some sort of social media (Facebook, Instagram) to get an idea of what they’re cooking up in the kitchen that day before going. As with all healthy wholefoods places, the quality is good but the prices are higher for less. The above three things cost a total of $31.IMG_0926 IMG_0952

Parking – the usual horrible Kingsland scenario.

Oh, and they’re open every day except Wednesday – not just Mondays.

Mondays
503B New North Road, Auckland

A good storm is brewing here in Auckland today, so here’s some greenery to brighten things up.

IMG_7304 IMG_7353 IMG_7351 IMG_7347 IMG_7348 IMG_7339 IMG_7341 IMG_7317 IMG_7166 IMG_7404 IMG_7182Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton East, New Zealand

IMG_1158Have you caught on to the latest burger craze yet? There’s Burger Burger in Ponsonby, Pinky’s at Tyler St Garage, some gourmet restaurant burgers at The Grill, and Better Burger at Britomart Country Club.

BCC have sectioned out one end of their restaurant to house Better Burger. The menu is quite simple, it’s either the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger, or Vege Special.IMG_1166IMG_1159

(Double) Cheeseburgers – at $5/6.50, I’m not complaining.IMG_1171

Fries – these were rather cold, sad and soft. We have heard of others having hot crispy fries though so maybe we were caught in a bad batch.

Vanilla shake – a true thickshake. This was so thick it was like almost like ice cream.

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Better Burger seems to be Auckland’s own In-N-Out (though we haven’t had the real thing before so can’t tell you how they compare). I wish you better luck with the fries. But be here, instead of McDonalds.

If you ask us to measure Burger Burger up against Better Burger, we’d say they’re in different leagues. Better Burger is more of the quick, non-fussy, to-go burger you can buy with spare change that still tastes good. While Burger Burger is gourmet at a higher price point ($10-12), has the worst soda you can ask for, but also the most amazing sizzling hot potato skins.

Personally, we are Burger Burger fans.

Better Burger
Britomart Country Club
31 Galway Street, Britomart, Auckland Central

IMG_1903PRB is one of those restaurants that you hear about often and that is full to the brim even on a weekday. Our first ever Yelp Elite Event was held here and we remember having delicious canapes served with sake, so back again we came.IMG_1901

Both food and service started off well.

Pita sticks with whipped feta and harissa ($12.50) – most of the sticks were crispy and the feta was an enjoyable dip.IMG_1911IMG_1908

Spiced duck and chickpea borek on tabbouleh with herbed yoghurt, tamarillo dressing ($19.50) – this was delicious and lightweight with the tabbouleh. We cleared this out fairly quickly.IMG_1912

Chargrilled steak with chunky fries, garlic-parsley butter – scotch ($29.50) – the steak was grilled just right and the fries were nice and crispy.IMG_1919

Pork belly schnitzel, celeriac-apple remoulade and cress ($33.50) – on first bite the pork belly was very tasty, past that and onto the second slice things started becoming a bit too much with the fat from the pork itself and the fried crumb layer.IMG_1915

Roast lamb rump on borlotti beans, balsamic picked radicchio and anchovy mayo ($35.50) – the lamb was tender but the overall dish was fairly standard and nothing stood out from the crowd.IMG_1921

There was so much promise in the dessert menu, but things went downhill from here. The wait just to order our dessert was terrible, when we had finally waved down a waiter to order he put forward service that was in fact quite frankly, rude. There was then another long wait before our plates came.

Warm Valrhona chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce and creme fraiche ($14.50) – super rich. The creme fraiche however seemed to be a casual passerby and didn’t really go well with the pudding.IMG_1941

Pear and boysenberry crumble with vanilla ice cream ($14.50) – the sweetness in this dessert was overpowering and I found it difficult to finish on its own without the ice cream.IMG_1935

Creme brulee ($14.50) – the sugar layer was much too thick. Let’s just say we still haven’t found THE creme brulee yet.IMG_1934 IMG_1933

I’m a little on the fence as to whether I will return, granted though that they change their menu often – so maybe in the distant future we will try again?

Sorry to those that have been looking out for the food ratings, we felt that the system we have in place now is quite flawed so we’re trying to come up with a new way to do this. Any suggestions on what aspects of the dining experience you’d like to see at a quick glance would be appreciated!

Ponsonby Road Bistro
156 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

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