Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two cool new things and the Metro Top 50

Planning a hen’s party can be difficult if the bride’s tastes run to anything more subtle than wandering around the viaduct in a bright pink wig with a giant rubber penis strapped to her forehead. So I wanted to alert you to Sachie’s Kitchen, a cool new Japanese cooking school in Parnell which I reckon would be perfect for a hen’s party, or indeed for anyone stuck with the job of entertaining a dozen women without the help of phallus-themed headgear.

Sachie herself is one of those impossibly perfect Japanese women, who mixes charming faux-befuddlement with sharp wit and style. Her husband Nick is apparently the business brain of the operation, and they’re a great team. Find them at www.sachieskitchen.com.

There’s more communal cooking fun at www.privatediningclub.co.nz, a cool concept imported from New York and launching here in Auckland. From what I can work out it’s part lesson, part dinner party, and although I’ll be away in the US introducing my four month old daughter to The French Laundry degustation menu at the time of their first event, I would have loved to be there to check out the first one. You’ll see they’ve found a pretty exciting venue, too.

Last thing to say in this round up of local food interestingments (who knows when said four month old will give me another chance to blog) is that the excellent magazine I review for, Metro, announced its annual list of the Top 50 Auckland restaurants today. Here they are, with major awards to be announced in the next issue of Metro, out May 31. The full announcement, including some of the big names that missed out are here.

• Antoines
• Clooney
• Dine
• Merediths
• Sidart
• The French Café
• The Grove
• Vinnies

• Cable Bay
• Cibo
• Euro
• Harbourside
• Non Solo Pizza
• Number 5
• O’Connell St Bistro
• Soul
• Te Whau
• Toto

• Café Hanoi
• Cocoro
• Ebisu
• Faro
• Grand Harbour
• Kura
• Moochowchow
• Morita
• Sake Bar 601
• Satya
• Soto

• Bellota
• Eight.Two
• Molten
• One Tree Grill
• Ponsonby Rd Bistro
• Prego
• Pure
• The Engine Room
• Two Fifteen

• Basque Kitchen
• Casita Miro
• Coco’s Cantina
• Delicious
• Ella
• Ima
• Mexican Specialities
• Poderi Crisci
• Sunday Painters
• Thymes Tables
• Winehot