I continue to be blown away by the ever-evolving food scene in New Zealand (particularly in Auckland, which is the obvious place for growth and experimentation, given its population). Pacific-rim fusion cuisine is still alive and kicking – but it is the quality of simple ingredients, and the innovative approach to how these ingredients are handled that gets me excited. Vegetables taste like they should – and there are many who strive to create new salads, vegetable combinations etc., to keep cooks and eaters alike on their toes. I mean…how good do kumara (sweet potato) fritters sound or how about this roasted vegetable salad with feta, coriander and yoghurt dressing?
Further to my last blog post about some of the best chips I’ve eaten in a very long while, I had a few other notable plates of food while I was in Auckland.
Dear Jervois – situated dangerously close to my sister’s house, I had brunch here just a couple of hours after arriving in Auckland. I had the Portobello mushrooms & potato rosti stack with slow-cooked eggs, Shiitake mushrooms, lentils, soft herbs, garnished with parmesan & basil pesto – sounds complicated in its long list of ingredients, but trust me, each one of those ingredients added to the final result. This dish was the perfect antidote to an overnight flight from Vancouver, where the need to ‘forget’ the dismal airplane food was paramount!Top tip: according to a waiter at Cali (review below), Dear Jervois’ Kimchi fried rice is delicious. So I will add that to my list of dishes to try when I’m back in NZ later this year! As a further aside, I do love how friendly kiwis are in sharing their top food tips! If you have any to share, please do share them with me in Comments.
234 Jervois Road
Herne Bay, Auckland
Cali – I had lunch here with my sister and my 11 year-old niece, who had just been to the orthodontist for a quick check-up. My sister and I shared two of their taco dishes: the Fish Taco – seared market fish, Kimchi buttered rice, Jalapeno, Napa slaw and Cali mayo – and the Veggie Taco – roasted beetroot, hummus, orange, Cali pickles and goat cheese. While these didn’t sound that great on the page, in execution, they were both excellent. Each was perfectly balanced – salty, sweet, zingy, creamy, vinegary – and just super tasty all around. If you’re in Auckland’s Newmarket area, then this is the place to go for a stylish, healthy lunch.
Cali – All Day Eatery
23/27 Nuffield Street