I risk losing my Wellingtonian status if I say this too loudly, so I’ll just whisper it ever so quickly, through gritted teeth, here in my little corner of the internet: I think Auckland has a better restaurant scene than Wellington. Many in the windy capital would consider that statement a serious act of treason because Wellington has always proudly proclaimed to be the culinary capital of the country but right now, I’m not so sure. The rivalry between the two cities means there will always be a battle about who is the best in anything, but after spending some more time in Auckland recently, I think it is definitely inching out in front when it comes to the food scene. It feels more vibrant, more eclectic… just more of everything!
Aucklanders are seriously spoilt for choice; cheap and cheerful, casual and cool, fancy fine dining and everything in between… you name it, they have it. And it’s not just found in the centre of town either. It goes without saying that areas like Auckland Central and Britomart are bursting at the seams with trendy eateries, but there are clusters of culinary genius in suburbs all over the place. Some are well established, others are just developing as the communities change and grow… this is what makes it so exciting! Our short visit was not supposed to be about food, I had done no research and made no plans, but somehow we still managed to eat extremely well. This is by no means a definitive list, or even a very thorough one at that… just a collection of places that impressed us on our recent visit!
I am the proud owner of a very, very well stocked freezer. That’s probably not the coolest (pun totally intended to add to said coolness) or most glamorous thing to admit but such is real life. And in my life, a well stocked freezer is one key to eternal home happiness. Ridicule me all you like but you know who will be having the last laugh? Me, with my belly-warming bowl of homemade dumplings and broth, ready in just ten minutes. Me, diving into my oxtail stash for a Sunday stew, saving myself the trolley battles in the Sunday supermarket swarms. Or me, wading through my ice cream options for dessert just because I can.
Every freezer should have at least one type of ice cream, but in a well stocked freezer like mine, one is never enough. Oh no, that would be a disgrace! Our current situation involves two staples – a tub of top notch vanilla (because it goes with everything, duh) and a selection of mini Magnums (because I can be sensible in my indulgence), and a new entry… a delectable array of ice creams and sorbets from Simply Ice Cream! When I say there’s something sweet for everyone in that bottom freezer drawer, I really mean it.
A couple of months ago, I joined a club. I’ve mentioned it once or twice but in case you’ve forgotten, here are some hints: it’s got nothing to do with sports, secrets, or fights, and everything to do with dough, cheese, and ovens. Ring a bell now? Pizza. The club is all about pizza and a couple of girls who will travel all over London for a slice of the good stuff!
The last meeting of Pizza Club took us to Zia Lucia in Islington where we enjoyed a spritz with our wood-fired slices on one of the hottest days of the year… now the latest meeting saw us venture a little more central, but no less delicious – PizzaBuzz, a cool and casual pizzeria tucked down Worship Lane, somewhere between Old Street and Moorgate.
As the days get longer and warmer back home in NZ, I have been reminiscing about the great Kiwi summer. My Facebook newsfeed is already fast filling up with updates on the increasing temperature, photos of early alfresco dining, and of course, talk of the first summer barbie. There is something comforting in the hiss of meat patties hitting the grill or covering charred sausages in Watties tomato sauce, all with a beer in hand. Ahh, those were the days… With daydreams like these, coupled with the fact the London summer has definitely left the building, it was no surprise that my heart did little somersaults when I head about Meatopia UK.