Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: La Cigale in Parnell

La Cigale is best known for being the patron of Parnell's French Market, but the accompanying foodstore/dining area also offers dinner Wednesday to Friday: slow-cooked masterpieces served on long wooden tables at attractive prices. We tried it for the first time last week and the food was fantastic, although the service was a little patchy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I'm unplugging from internet and mobile for a week or so after an inspiring talk from John Freeman at last week's Readers and Writers Festival. Normal service resumes on Monday 31 May: looking forward to Jervois Steak House tonight and La Cigale on Friday ...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Best of Wellington Food

I spent eight delicious years in Wellington, and I miss many tasty elements of that city: $2.50 long blacks from Deluxe, paua ravioli from Logan Brown, crèpes from the Manners Mall crèpist (no wait, that doesn't sound right). The best of capital city food can be found documented on a daily basis at the excellent Gusty Gourmet blog, and you'll find a superb mix of gossip, food and political juice on the highly regarded Roar Prawn. Both are recommended reading, as is the following insiders' list, submitted to Auckland Food Blog by reviewer, thinker and good buddy Alexander Bisley.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Review: Bowmans in Mount Eden

The girlfriend and I had a top shelf date night at Bowmans [sic] in Mt Eden on Friday. I don't know much about the history of Bowmans or how they lost their apostrophe, but what I have picked up is that the restaurant is not necessarily hugely in fashion right now. That would explain the several empty tables, and their audio choice of The Best Classical Album in the World … Ever! which, when we arrived, was up to the part where Amici Forever sing 'Unchained Melody' – the perfect soundtrack, really, to a spot of air pottery and a good geez at the wine list.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: The Birkenhead Restaurant with the Confusing Punctuation

Eight.Two, or eightpointtwo, or possibly even 8.2 is a beautiful bistro-style restaurant on Auckland's Northern Shore which I visited last week before attending a musical performance at the nearby Slipp Inn. How you spell the restaurant doesn't really matter as they don't appear to have a website, but how you spell the pub is extremely important – the double 'P' removing any possibility you might mistake it for a sexual reference (although a quick glance around the clientele upon arrival will do an equally good job of banishing erotic thoughts).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adding Jervois to the whine list

My radio buddies and I visited Jervois Steak House for lunch recently, and I was mighty pleased with the food – particularly as I shotgunned the only signature prime rib available that afternoon. But we had a disappointing service experience which rather spoiled the meal.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The French Butcher

Auckland Frenchiephiles will be delighted to welcome The French Butcher, a très rustique new food store in Parnell/Newmarket selling meats, mustards and meals-to-go. The building formerly housed a dressmaking business, and the new proprietor is justifiably proud of what he's done with the place, including some apparently quite substantial renovations he charmingly describes in broken English as “tidying”. You'll find The French Butcher near Kokako at 1 Ayr Street, and he's highly recommended for food now or later, as well as for that special Frenchiness you'd otherwise have to fly halfway around the world to experience.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Neighbourino on Ponsonby Road

Quick bulletin: the north end of Ponsonby Road now has a viable lunch option beyond St Pierre's Sushi and the Hollywood Bakery. In the last month The Food Room has opened, starring a healthy range of delicious counter food, plus the same five star range of pies available at The Fridge in Kingsland. If you ever disquieted by buying your sushi from a Frenchman or your quiche from a family of Koreans, you'll be excellently pleased with this new arrival.