Awesome Auckland Food: The Urban Turban, Eden Cloak Room, The Crown

Hi everyone,

Just in case you thought I was tailing off… I was! Bad Tamara. Now that I’ve moved and I’m doing more in the evenings, I haven’t been making the time to write up posts, so there’s a bit of a backlog. More posts to come! šŸ™‚

I’m still eating out a fair amount, but I’m getting better! Suppers especially are tough, because the last thing I really want to do after working is cook… but that’s also getting better because my roommates cook and I feel a little like a bad person if I don’t :P. That aside, here are some awesome places I’ve eaten out at recently:

The Urban Turban

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I, for one, can’t believe I’ve never run into an Indian restaurant called the Urban Turban before. It’s such a good name!

This is one of the restaurants located in the Viaduct, on the harbourfront, in what looks like a large shipping container. Really nice place– the atmosphere was casual but trendy and a little hipsterish (see the chairs in the middle picture?). I didn’t have a curry, because I really wasn’t in the mood, but they have all-you-can-eat curry bowls. I’ll have to go back and try that. The food I did have (squid rings with dip) was very good, and it was served with what tasted like mint chutney. Interesting combination! What I really liked about the squid rings is that they were not chewy– you know that rubbery feeling you get when you’re eating squid? There was none of that here.

I had a Monteith’s crushed apple cider with it. Honestly, I’ve had Monteith’s products a couple of times now (ale, pilsener, and cider), and I’m not really liking any of them. The cider especially– it tasted like apple-flavoured soda. Maybe it’s supposed to be incredibly light, but it didn’t taste like cider to me… along the same lines, their ale was a bit tasteless. Last time I asked for the bartender’s beer choice in a different bar here (where almost everything on tap was Monteith’s), they gave me a Sol– which is Mexican, not Kiwi! I suppose that says something about bartenders’ opinions of Monteith’s…

The only downside I found at the Urban Turban was that the service was not great– I’m not sure if it’s because I was on my own (this seems to weird out some servers), but I found the guy didn’t really know what to do with me, and kept alternating between periods of ignoring me and hovering nearby too much. It might’ve been just that server, who knows– maybe he was having a bad day or something. Otherwise, it was a really good experience.

Eden Cloak Room

I love, love, loved this place! It’s in the middle of the Mount Eden village, which is a bit out of the CBD (the Outer Link bus goes past it), and it just had the best feeling… we went on a Friday night, and the weather was nice, so we sat out on their patio. It’s got such a chilled atmopshere– there was live music playing, and the patrons were clearly there to enjoy both the place and their food/drink (and their companions), and not to get drunk. That’s the major difference between a bar like that in the CBD and being out in the ‘burbs a little. I’m definitely going to go back at some point when I’ve got a night to myself and don’t have to get up early the next day.

The food– I ordered what I thought was going to be a plate of pita triangles and dip, which went by the innocuous name of “Turkish bread” under the heading “Bar snacks” on the menu. It was $8, and my experience in bars had been that $8 would get you enough food for one person. What we got was a good half-loaf of warm, soft, crusty (and gently spiced) bread served on a wooden board, with dips of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s a good thing there were 4 of us, as we barely finished all of it. I wish I had got pictures :(. It was absolutely delicious! I’m really curious about the rest of their so-called “Bar snacks” now… we saw some other people getting pizzas, which also looked amazing.

(I had a cider with it, but don’t remember the brand– it wasn’t notable)

The Crown

This is a CBD brewpub/microbrewery located on Customs Street East, in a really hipsterish part of town. I wandered in around suppertime on Saturday, and it was really quiet (they said it was unusually quiet), so I perused their tapas menu and sat down with a glass of their in-house English Bitters beer and my Kindle (yes, sorry, I bought a Kindle to avoid carrying my library across the world). Firstly, the English Bitters! If you like Big Wheel, English Bitters is its darker cousin– it was really smooth, but with a nutty/coffee flavour which went down nicely (and contrary to its name, probably had a medium-low IBU). I could’ve had a second glass of that, easily :P. Instead I opted for their Pilsener, which was actually much more hoppy and with a bit of a strange aftertaste. Still quite good though!

Food-wise, I got a plate of their squid tapas (I’m always intrigued by squid on the menu– we don’t get a lot of it in Canada), which was amazingly good. The squid was dusted with what tasted like cayenne pepper, so it was spicy, and it was covered with either basil or parsley and bits of peanuts. The dipping sauce tasted like a mix of soy sauce and maple syrup; I’m not entirely sure what it was actually made out of, but it was delicious. I can make my mouth water just thinking about it! I will go back soon.


There you go, some more places to try whenever you’re in Auckland next :). I have started amassing a list of eating places people recommend to me as well, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to head to some of those in the next couple of months.

Good night everyone!

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