#NzFoodTour – Part One

Hokitika

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When you travel to New Zealand you cannot help but be amazed at the outstanding scenery of this beautiful country. From the rugged coastline, the lush bush walks and the awe-inspiring mountain ranges, it is at times overwhelming. Mother Nature holds her head high here.
I was lucky enough to spend 5 weeks in this country recently. Everywhere I went I was not only struck by the amazing sights but the friendliness of every single person I interacted with. Kiwis truly are a great bunch of people. And one thing I can tell you about kiwis is that they love their food! Whether it is a burger from a burger bar on the beach or a fine dining restaurant in the city, it is well-made, tastes so fresh and looks fantastic. With this in mind I am sharing with you some of the places I visited should you ever be fortunate enough to go.

Café Hanoi
Britomart, Auckland

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A last minute choice but a successful one! Food is served for sharing so 4-5 dishes, including rice, for 2 people is a decent amount. A little bit of a wait to order but it was full so understandable. Dishes were quick to come out and tasty and the wine selection was pretty decent. Can recommend the prawn and squid dishes. Nice ambience, good, friendly service and a special mention to our barman who made an exceptional old-fashioned! 4/5 stars

 

Little and Friday Café

Belmont, Auckland

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A great find for an impromptu lunch, this place is well known around Auckland and people travel for miles to come here. When we arrived it was nearly mid-afternoon but this place was still packed and so we joined the queue. We didn’t have to wait too long though and we were soon tucking in to our delectable lunch. The quiches were generous in filling and tasted great. And as for the cakes? Well, you can see for yourself, they were almost too pretty to eat…… almost! Filled with an eclectic mix of shabby chic furniture, it was a great place to unwind over coffee and fabulous food which is all baked on site daily. The dishes are beautifully presented as well as tasting amazing. You can see some in the photos above – chocolate, gin and lemon cakes with caramelized onion and feta cheese/pumpkin tart. 4/5 stars

GPK

Albany, Auckland

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Came here on a rainy weekday. Was pretty quiet but it really shouldn’t be. We had the lunchtime special – 2 courses for $29.50 including a decent tasting glass of wine. The starters were good but the mussel fritters were exceptionally tasty. Our mains were of a generous size and although my steak wasn’t originally cooked to my liking it was soon rectified and I enjoyed it very much. The wait staff were attentive but not obtrusive (my favorite kind) and the decor is clean lines with a nice fire. All in all it was an enjoyable lunch and I’m amazed more people haven’t discovered it yet. 4/5 stars

 

Momento

Hamilton

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Came here on a spur of the moment. Nice setup and good number of outdoor tables. Ordered a burger on the first visit and the mushroom stack on the second. The menu is pretty varied and offers a combination of classic burgers, deli counter, breakfasts and daily specials. Food was tasty on both visits although I like my potato cake crispy rather than mushy and it was also pretty garlicky. Service was a little slow second time around but still a good visit. Not one if you’re in a hurry but great if you’re after some good, solid plates and want to sit around for a while catching up with friends. We also had a child with us on the second visit and were pleased to see that there was a toy box available which was put to good use. 3.5/5 stars

The Cook Café and Bar

Hamilton East

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Came here on a Wednesday night and it was pretty busy! Luckily, we had a reservation. This place is well presented with its wooden chairs and tables, high ceilings and trendy looking bar. Service was a little slow to take our order but the food and drinks arrived in good time. My 1st guest and I had both chosen the stuffed chicken breast (an oldie but a goodie) and it was huge! I tried not to think about how the chicken had been able to have such large breasts as I ate it. Whilst the chicken was delicious the accompanying potatoes were not. Undercooked and flavourless, disappointing to be honest but the chicken was so big we couldn’t, either of us, finish our meals anyway. My 2nd guest had the chicken salad and it went down very well and looked great. Again, another generous portion.The food was overall pretty good and the value for money was excellent. Nice atmosphere, would definitely come back for some good, honest grub! 3.5/5

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It would be remiss of me not to share some of my scenery photos in this blog so I have selected a few that I love. Enjoy!

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