Sunday, June 26, 2011

AA Gill, NZ Roast day and five Auckland food discoveries

English food critic AA Gill was in town recently – while I was in California actually, enjoying a meal at the French Laundry, which I’ll tell you all about in a future issue of Metro. So there I was, feeling quite smug about getting my very, very expensive lunch paid for by the magazine, when little did I know my fellow food writers at said magazine were feeling doubley smug in my absence – eating three courses at Clooney with the world’s most famous, second funniest restaurant reviewer.

So what was he like? I couldn’t give them the pleasure of asking. Luckily Metro head honcho Simon Wilson has written a feature about the meal in the latest issue, out tomorrow. Wow, you’ve really got to read it; it’s quite devastating. And not to AA Gill.

Anyway, there’s no need for you to fear that this blog of mine will just become an online cheerleader for Metro magazine. After all, they have their own website to – oh.

No, I do have another reason for bringing up AA Gill, and it’s directly related to blogging. He made international news last week for implying that bloggers as a whole were not very good, and that they should stop moaning about not getting paid when actually they do quite well what with all the free products and meals which, oh hey, they just happen to review in glowing terms the following day on their blog.

It was a disappointing story to break just the day before I attended the launch of Selak’s New Zealand Roast Day. After stuffing myself with four different types of roast meat and a selection of wines at Euro (see photo) I would have been quite happy to go home half cut, tap out some artless dross about how Selak’s New Zealand Roast Day is on Sunday August 7th and you can win a range of amazing prizes by submitting your own roast recipe at . But now I have to work a lot harder to transmit that same information in a less transparent manner. Fuck you Gill, I want my Sunday afternoon back.

In other news, here are five Auckland food discoveries I’ve made recently:

1. You can buy two dozen Mahurangi oysters for $20 at La Cigale market on Saturdays – if you’re serving them to someone who isn’t a fan, grill them on the half shell for a few minutes until they get plumped up and meaty. Oh and before you put them in the oven, sprinkle over a few drops of lemon juice and a drop each of Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco and sesame oil.

2. For $7, you can get a really good bowl of Thai noodle soup from the caravan next to the grandstand at Avondale market. They even have seats and tables hidden around the back, but dress warm.

3. One tamarillo chopped up and added to your home made guacamole is AMAZING.

4. Meola Kitchen does our favourite cup of takeaway coffee at the moment, especially when the kids are working the counter - the older the staff member, the grumpier they treat you. Also they have a B food safety certificate; what is that about? Even that Thai caravan at Avondale has an A. But yeah, the coffee is awesome so neither that nor Grumplestiltskin is enough to put us off.

5. If you like New York style pizza, there’s a place around Onehunga way that apparently does it very well. Check out, and tell me what it’s like.

Love to know what you think of that AA Gill story in Metro too. Feel free to comment on that below rather than, say, speculating on food safety certificate back stories in a potentially libelous manner.