IMG_8426 IMG_8411 IMG_8304 IMG_8322 IMG_8329 IMG_8352 IMG_8354 IMG_8358-2 IMG_8307 IMG_8308 IMG_8313 IMG_8311 IMG_8382-2 IMG_8395 IMG_8387 IMG_8391 IMG_8399 IMG_8400 IMG_8402 IMG_8418 IMG_8433Two weekends ago I made it to Waiheke for the first time. Shameful, I know. But better late than never.

We started off at Mudbrick for lunch. The restaurant was very beautiful, with brilliant views and interior. I enjoyed the Fish of the Day with Soft Shell Crab, Thai Curry Cream, Mango, and Coriander ($47). It came paired with the Viognier 2014 Waiheke Island which we weren’t particular fans of. The Buffalo Yoghurt Mousse was lovely and perfectly matched with Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough ($18). Oh, and the truffle mash is amazing. Definitely get the truffle mash.

We then headed off to Cable Bay just down the road. Where Mudbrick was the traditional, prestigious brick house, Cable Bay was the large, classy modern house. Walking through the massive double doors it felt almost like a demo unit, like those setups you leaf through in design magazines. There is a large lawn with full 180 degree sea view, a helicopter, beanbags and a courtyard. The courtyard came with a French singer and his guitar, double thumbs up. Since we were well satisfied from the food at Mudbrick, we settled for wine and some shoestring fries.

Our last stop was Little Oneroa Beach before heading back on the ferry home.

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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

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Photos by: Rebecca Ng
Edited by: Kelly

Three weeks ago, I did the Tongariro Crossing with a bunch of friends. We had the most amazing weather, sunny, not too cold, with a little bit of breeze. There had been a fresh dump of snow two nights prior so most of the mountain was covered in snow – which made it more difficult to walk up and that the side trips like Mt Ngauruhoe i.e. Mt Doom from LOTR, were off limits. It took us the full 8 hours to do, 2 hours in I was wondering why I put myself through this. The views are amazing, and you feel great afterwards for having conquered it.

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Taste 2014 battled a change in location and stormy weather. Parking was insane, we went through the usual hope of thinking we would be lucky, then it slowly deteriorated to us trying every tiny spot we could find on the side of a street, to almost giving up and paying $10 to park in someone’s driveway, and finally to stalking a family as they walked up the hill. That aside, this year’s event was was beautifully decked out with florals and green lush signs. Our favourite plates were crayfish risotto from The Oyster Inn, oysters and tuatuas from Depot, and Lucky Taco minis (Taste 2013 food was more interesting and better). You have to be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of money and time at Taste, dishes are usually around 8-12 crowns ($1 = 1 crown) – though there are some odd ones out, like the 20 crown sandwich from Harbourside. See you next year, Taste!

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

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Mt Eden Village has been graced with so many new openings the past few months, including this new number – Scarlett Slimms & Lucky. Scarlett is a gastropub replacing Eden Cloakroom. It’s rather smoky inside so the courtyard is the better option. We had the calamari with chorizo and papaya ($14). It was delicious, refreshing and full of flavour. The battered snapper with soft shell crab and shoestring fries ($28) were surprisingly well done too. The green pea tartare was on point, not too heavy nor too sour. We didn’t enjoy the mushroom risotto ($23), the radicchio (a type of white veined red leaf vegetable) was too bitter for us.

We missed the breakfast menu i.e. Whitebait omelettes with hash browns and creamed spinach, but we’ll make it next time – weekend sleep-ins are overrated anyway.

Scarlett Slimms & Lucky
476 Mt Eden Road, Auckland
Mon-Fri 12pm – late
Sat-Sat 9am – late

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