And now, for something a little different! I’ve been eating out a lot since I got to Auckland (obviously that will tail off once my life settles down a little…), and I thought I’d highlight the better food experiences I’ve had. I don’t claim to be much of a “foodie,” but I’ve had some awesome food since I got here– so if you’re ever in Auckland, check these places out!
The Waterfront Cafe
Right on the harbour, overlooking the docked ships, the view (and the food) from this place can’t be beat. I had the seafood chowder (pictured), and it was amazing– warm, thick chowder combined with a medley of seafood, all served inside a hollowed-out sourdough loaf. I didn’t manage to finish it (and those of you who know me well know I have a crazy appetite), but I would definitely recommend it for the seafood lovers out there. The atmosphere ranges from classy (inside) to casual (outside), and it’s reasonably priced for a waterfront restaurant ($19.90 NZD for the chowder), so you can’t go wrong.
I can’t talk about any of their meat pies, but their vegetarian pie (pictured) was absolutely fantastic! It was filled with vegetable curry (it tasted like a blend of Tandoori spices and butter chicken), and the pastry was flaky and light and delicious. The cafe itself is tucked away on a little side street off Queen Street, and it was a welcome find after a day of wandering. It was also extremely reasonably priced (if I recall correctly, it wasn’t more than $5 NZD for the pie), and if I hadn’t been so full after the first pie, I would have definitely had another one. Someone who eats meat will have to tell me how their meat pies are (95% of the pies have meat in them– and I’ve been spending most of my time here with a vegetarian and a vegan), but based on extrapolation, I’m sure they’re also amazing.
Brew (on Quay)
This brewpub is located on the waterfront as well (on the other side of the road though), and I actually committed a cardinal sin and didn’t have their in-house beer. However! Their beer selection could rival Pub Italia in Ottawa, so I feel justified :P. As you can see from the picture, I ended up having an Old Mout BoysenCider, made in Nelson, NZ. It tasted like a Strongbow combined with some strong red wine. It was quite good, if pricey ($11 NZD). Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of my actual meal (pumpkin cannelloni), but it too, was quite good. Very cheesy! The atmosphere reminded me of the better pubs I like back in Ottawa– that, plus the good food and large beer/cider assortment mean I will likely be back (but not frequently). Good beer is expensive here, which (arguably) it should be, but it also deters me from becoming even semi-regular (i.e. Friday evenings after work) at the good pubs around here.
Bonus: Domino’s Pizza
Yes, you read that right. Domino’s Pizza here is remarkably non-greasy, and they even have some awesome toppings (if you’re willing to pay, of course). Pictured is their Honey Soy Prawn pizza, which ran me about $11 NZD for 6 slices, but was really, really tasty (for take-out pizza). I still have two slices as leftovers for tomorrow. It’s worth mentioning that you can get the “classic” toppings (i.e. pepperoni, Hawaiian, etc.) on a pizza for $5 NZD, so it’s a popular choice among those staying in this hostel (it’s around the corner).
There you have it– some really cool places to check out the next time you’re in Auckland! And if you’re staying around this area (Queen Street and Darby), definitely check out the Domino’s– it could provide you with a couple of meals for under $15 NZD.
I’m heading off to Tiritiri Matangi tomorrow, which is mainly a bird sanctuary– it’s about an hour’s ferry ride out of Auckland. Unfortunately this means I need to get up early– the ferry leaves at 9am sharp. Yikes :(. But seeing the birds should be awesome (there’s also a light hike involved), and I will hopefully also get some cool pictures out of it. I haven’t got a chance to go through my Real Camera’s pictures yet, but I guess that will be my evening either tomorrow or Monday.
Have a great weekend everyone!