Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bennetts of Mangawhai

Travel Blog: New Zealand

Today we were walking around department store Smith & Caughey on Queen Street in Auckland, and saw a delightful chocolate stall called Bennetts. The chocolates look amazing and had some very interesting flavors, we couldn't resist!

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It was SOOO good! I'm planning on going back and buy some more, and perhaps get some for friends back home in Sydney too :)

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Euro Bar & Restaurant

Travel Blog: New Zealand

Ever since I've arrived in New Zealand, I was suggested to try New Zealand's own Bluff oysters. As a seafood and especially oyster lover, I HAD to find them.
A friend recommended Euro Bar and Restaurant owned by Simon Gault who is in Masterchef New Zealand.


At the same time, my bestie from Sydney is visiting me for the weekend, so I thought this will be the perfect opportunity. I was slightly worried that booking a table on a Saturday night would be close to impossible, but luckily they had a table available. There are 2 seating times available, either 6.30pm or 8.30pm.
Since we knew we would need time to get ready, we decided for the later.

Good decision because we were half an hour late. LOL!

When we arrived, we were told to head to the other side of the restaurant but was a bit confused as there seem to be no waiter to be found, but a few bartenders behind bars and chefs behind the kitchen. Then I saw Simon Gault standing behind the bar talking to one of the patrons.
So we asked another waiter walking past and he showed us to the Maitre d who finally showed us our table.

We were seated in the open area right next to the water, very romantic. Lucky they had some plastic coverings and a heater blasting above us.

The waiter assigned to us was called Lee (the reason why we remembered was because this waiter was exceptional in his service and overall a lovely chap)

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That's 'Lee' the waiter

Bluff Oyster (Natural, Tempura, Kilpatrick): I guess I had high expectations of the bluff oysters, it wasn't as "special" as I had hoped for. There are also choice of accompaniments to go with the oysters including Smoked Tabasco, Balsamic jelly, Prelibato

My cocktail "Osaka Plum" and yes that is a pair of chopsticks to pick the huge plum inside

Tempura prawns with wasabi aioli: LOVE LOVE LOVE the wasabi aioli, shame it wasn't enough for these prawns, they should've given us more

Long Island Duck with couscous: This was slightly tougher than I expected, but it was still yummy. Not a fan of couscous though, never have and never will.

Dessert menu

Mojito dessert: Rum baba/ Mint Jelly/ Passion fruit & Raspberry sorbet

Mixing the sorbet powder with bicarb soda for an "explosion"

Mix mix mix away..

Pour and watch the foam dance. It really was a sight, we were both oooh-ing and aaah-ing the whole time the waitress was pouring, she probably thought we don't go out much LOL. 

Mandarin tea sorber: Kaffir Lime pannacota/Pistachio crunch/Rasberry yoghurt noodle. I absolutely LOVE this dish. The pistachio is crunchy and goes so well with the sweet Pannacota while the noodle adds quirkiness :)

Affogato with Baileys

Euro Bar and Restaurant
Shed 22 Princes Wharf  143 Quay Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
(09) 309 9866

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Takara Ramen

Travel Blog: New Zealand

So the word on the street is this is the BEST ramen joint in Auckland!!

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I was surprised to find they do the Tonkotsu ramen in a spicy based soup and being a HUGE chilli lover, I was very excited.

Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen with extra eggs and charshu pork... drool!

As you can see the soup is quite thick and oily which I love.. Hehe! But it's actually quite light in reality.
Not the best I've had but it went down very well especially after a full day of work and in this cold weather, Perfect!

Cold noodle salad with Salmon & Avocado


Beef Tataki - so yummy and very different to the other beef tataki that we've tried.

Tonkotsu Ramen with extra Charshu pork and corn


Takara Ramen
4 Anzac Rd, Browns Bay
North Shore City, Auckland
Phone: 09 476 6041

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Petal Cupcake

Travel Blog: New Zealand

I finally got to try the best cupcakes in Auckland, New Zealand.
And they were simply divine :)

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Flavors - clockwise: Mango, Peach, Balsamic Strawberry, and Black Doris Plum


Petal Cupcake
8 Teed Street
Newmarket, Auckland, 1023
Phone: 551 1635 or 551 5731 or 08004petal


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Blue Angel

My date picked me up and said "I'm taking you to somewhere special for dinner". Yes first thought was "what am I going to wear?", but Mr Panda reassured me that casual wear is fine, so I decided to go with a black top and skinny jeans (which later proved to be the wrong choice because the buttons on my jeans were holding on for dear life so it wouldn't snap and take someone's eye out, YUP we ate THAT much)

Blue Angel has long been a favorite of Mr Panda for awhile and I was always curious. As soon as I saw the sign I was really excited.

As we were shown to our seats, the waiter pointed out that the menu is written in Chinese only and that we both might not understand (even though I can a little), but when we were presented with the menu, it was both in English & Chinese, so we thought the waiter was slightly weird.

We decided to go with the set menu and have a bottle of wine to accompany. 

After ordering, Mr Panda took me to the giant aquarium filled with lobsters I was gobsmacked! The owner MARCELLO MARCOBELLO happened to be catching one of the lobsters and took it out and handed it to me, to which I responded with a jolt and stepped back! Mr Panda was happy to take it and we both posed for a photo :) The owner then said "that's yours", to which I felt slightly bad because we were gonna eat this lobster straight after.. hmm.

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Chef preparing our steak

Lobster soup

Squid ink spaghetti

Sashimi set (just divine!)

Owner of Blue Angel MARCELLO MARCOBELLO cooking up a storm in the dining room while being photographed by many patrons

Blue Angel
223 Palmer Street  East Sydney New South Wales 2010
(02)9380 5941

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