Liquid Molten Saturday, Nov 27 2010 

In the bustling little suburb of Mt Eden, Auckland (New Zealand) is a restaurant/bar that has captured both my fancy, and my wallet. This great little place is called Liquid Molten.

On one side, you will find Molten – a higher end dining experience where the food is matched only by the superb service and wine selection. On the other, is Liquid – my home away from home. A classy little bar that opens up at the back to a private courtyard that boasts not only ambiance and style, but funky music and blankets for those cooler nights.

Open until late, this hidden refuge is where my friends and I go for coffee, wine, dessert and a good old gossip. The staff are fantastic, the coffee strong and the food divine – need I say more? I spend at least two or three nights there every week, either leisurely sipping coffee with girlfriends or stopping in for a quick drink before heading elsewhere.

So, my recommendation if you are looking for a quiet, classy coffee spot in central Auckland? Go to Liquid, it will be worth your while.

Vitaminwater Friday, May 28 2010 

When it comes to something to drink, I have always been one of those weird people who just prefers water. Not the kind of water that has a lemon twist, or anything like that. Just plain old water. Most of what’s out there (sodas, juices etc) just don’t really do it for me. Which is why I was surprised when I tried Vitaminwater and became… well… addicted!

Vitaminwater is a product by Glacéau, and was launched in 2000 as the first enhanced water on the market. It comes in a 500ml bottle and is available in six great tasting varieties: glacéau vitaminwater power-c (dragonfruit), glacéau vitaminwater essential (orange-orange), glacéau vitaminwater xxx (acai-blueberry-pomegranate), glacéau vitaminwater super-v (lemon), glacéau vitaminwater energy (tropical), glacéau vitaminwater revive (fruit punch).

Now, I seriously go through like two or three of these a day when I am at work! The local cafe sells them, and I go with everyone when they are getting their morning coffee and buy my drinks in bulk for the day. They are actually that good! The bizarre thing is, I absolutely loath those water drinks that have been tainted by some kind of flavour to give them “pep”. But the Vitaminwater isn’t like that! And it’s so refreshing, I feel fantastic while I’m drinking it. It is like having an icy glass of water after running around in the sun all day – it’s that thirst quenching.

Yes, I am sure it’s not going to make me any healthier, and it definitely has a high sugar content. I am not debating that. What I am saying at that I, the pickiest person I know when it comes to drinks, thinks Vitaminwater tastes great. Yum! I might go have one now…

Power-C Vitaminwater

Delicious And Easy Chicken Salad Tuesday, Apr 6 2010 

This is the kind of salad that is so delicious that you forget you’re actually eating healthily! Quantities are based loosely on feeding two people only, but you can work it to fit your numbers.

You will need:

1 ) 2 x chicken breasts

2 ) Lemon juice (100 mls)

3 ) Garlic pepper

4 ) Half a head of iceberg lettuce (or whatever kind you prefer, of course!)

5 ) 2 x tomatoes

6 ) Half of a telegraph cucumber

7 ) A 50g bag of pine nuts

8 ) Feta cheese (I use about half a block, but you may like more/less)

9 ) Capsicum/Peppers (either red, green or yellow)

10 ) Soy sauce

11 ) Honey

12 ) Cajun spice

13 ) Red onion

Cut the chicken breasts up into bite-sized pieces and put them into a bowl. Marinate the raw chicken in the lemon juice, four tablespoons of soy sauce and a drizzle of honey. Put into the fridge for a few hours if you have time, as this will help the flavor absorb, but if you don’t have time you can just cook the chicken straight away.

While the chicken is finishing marinating, cut up your salad items (lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum, red onion and cucumber) and put into a salad bowl.

Panfry the chicken pieces, sprinkling with the cajun spice and garlic pepper, until fully cooked and then put on a plate to cool. While you wait for this, very lightly panfry the pine nuts with a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to turn a light brown. Add the chicken and the pine nuts to the salad mix and toss together. The last addition is the feta cheese. Cube the cheese and toss through the salad just before serving. Easy peasy.

Bon apatite!

Chicken Salad

Quick Nando’s Update Tuesday, Mar 23 2010 

This is just for New Zealand Nando’s fanatics!

As of this week, all of the Nando’s restaurants will be selling their peri peri salt (the very same stuff they sprinkle on their hot chips!) in glass shakers for home consumption. The price (so sayeth a nice employee) will be approximately NZD$5.00. Not bad for such a delicious addition to my spice rack!

I have been waiting for this for a long time – even emailed Nando’s direct to ask when little old NZ would be able to purchase this addictive powder. America has it (you can buy it at Tesco’s) but as per usual, New Zealand often comes last with these things.

But, lets celebrate the fact we can now buy their world famous peri peri salt and add it to EVERYTHING we eat from now on! 😀 I just hope that, like other countries, we get the peri peri salt in different levels of spiciness! I want extra hot! *Fingers crossed*

Nando's Peri Peri Salt

Peanut Butter Nutter Sunday, Feb 28 2010 

This post will be a short one with a very direct message – the importance of getting the right peanut butter! 😉 I have always bought crunchy ETA peanut butter and loved it… until now.

Recently, I wasn’t paying attention and I bought the wrong brand of my chosen spread. Instead of ETA crunchy, I bought Kraft smooth. Well, I have never looked back!

The Kraft peanut butter is absolutely addictive and delicious. When I tried my old brand again, it tasted bland, unsatisfying. YES, the Kraft version is just that much better! If you are a peanut butter nutter like me, go buy! Go try!

Kraft Peanut Butter

Jolly Me! Wednesday, Jan 6 2010 

My lovely sister, who happens to live in the states, sent me a parcel filled with American candies. YUM-O! And to my utter surprise, the one I got hooked on was the Cinnamon Jolly Ranchers! Talk about delicious. They are a hard candy with a real spicy bite to them, which okay, isn’t what you usually look for in a sweet. But my friends and I couldn’t help but keep eating them. Totally moorish.

They aren’t available here in New Zealand but if you live overseas – go try them if you haven’t already! 

Cinnamon Jolly Ranchers

Easy Pasta Recipe Monday, Jan 4 2010 

So here’s my recipe for a tasty pasta that’s good for feeding lots of people:

Ingredients:

  * Chicken Breast (one breast per person)

  * Bacon (two strips per person, or more if you like)

  * One lemon

  * Pasta (I prefer pasta spirals) 

  * One can of tomato and garlic pasta sauce

  * One jar of garlic and spinach creamy carbonara sauce

  * Chopped up, fresh mushrooms

  * Lemon pepper seasoning

  * Sweet Chili sauce

  * Olive oil

  * Salt

Put a saucepan of water on an element to boil, adding a teaspoon of salt to it, waiting for the pasta to be added. Cut up the chicken breast into small pieces and throw into a frying pan with a splash of virgin olive oil. As it’s starting to cook, quarter a whole lemon and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Sprinkle with a good amount of lemon pepper seasoning (a tablespoon) and let the flavours soak in. When the chicken is about half way cooked, throw the pasta into the saucepan of boiling water. Now add the bacon to the fry pan of chicken, also cut up into small bits. Drizzle about two tablespoons of sweet chili sauce over the chicken and bacon, mix it all in and let it cook. When the chicken/bacon is cooked, and the pasta is about ready, throw in the mushrooms to the fry pan for a quick searing. In a separate saucepan empty both the tomato pasta sauce AND the carbonara. This will only take a few minutes to heat up.

Strain the pasta and empty into a large bowl, then pour the heated pasta sauce on top. Mix the sauce through the pasta, and then add the chicken/bacon. Toss the mixture together and serve!

Filling, delicious and so darn EASY.

Pasta

Nando’s! Friday, Dec 18 2009 

If you are anything like me, you’re getting sick of cheap fast-food burgers and greasy chips. So when I need a quick, scrumptious meal because I’m too lazy to get off my ass and make myself something, I go to Nando’s!

Nando’s restaurants are situated all around the world – 26 countries so far including good ol’ New Zealand – and the chain originated out of South Africa. The menu is made up of Mozambiquan/Portugese-style dishes, and the main focus is their specially marinated chicken. The marinades (In New Zealand anyway) are either BBQ, lemon and herb, medium peri peri, hot peri peri or extra hot peri peri (my personal fave!). The sides are anything from chips (with a peri peri salt which is deliciously addictive!) to spicy rice or marinated corn on the cob. 

The food is absolutely wonderful, great for people who love spicy food or want Halal dishes. (Halal is meat specifically killed and prepared for Muslims due to their religious beliefs) It’s not particularly cheap, but it’s not fatty, its delicious and the servings are HUGE! They also sell the sauces and marinades so that you can make your own cooking taste wonderful at home. 

Mmmm, my mouth is watering as I write this… Okay, must – keep – writing… Get food later…

The food doesn’t look like much, but the taste – oh the taste! If you go, and I’m sure you will at some point, I advise you order the Peri Peri Chips. They aren’t spicy, just scrum-diddly-umptious! 

Nando's Logo

 

Nando's Peri Peri Chips

Longroom Saturday, Dec 5 2009 

So tonight I went to longroom, a cafe/club/bar on Ponsonby Road (Formerly Safari Lounge) due to the fact my friend was having an engagement party that moved on from dinner to drinks. Now, at the moment, I’m a bit crippled. Was in a car accident a few months back and now hobble around on a crutch due to a broken femur (I’d have two, but my left arm is broken too – yeah, life sucks, eh) so I’m sure you’d understand that I haven’t been to a club in a while!

It was raining – hard – and the club was packed. All I could think about was either slipping over in front of a massive crowd of people, or getting taken out by a tipsy club-goer who didn’t have the coherency to be careful around me! But I bit my lip and went in – and although there were a lot of idiotic tipsy people that were quite close to taking me out, thanks to the great staff at longroom I was fine.

I was so impressed with their help. The club was packed and I’m sure they had much better things to do than to take care of me, but they walked me in with an umbrella, walked me through the crowd and creating space around me so that no one walked into me or hit me with their handbags, and even cleared a table in the corner for me and my peeps. Once there, they kept coming and checking on me, seeing if I needed a drink as I couldn’t go the bar and carry one back for myself. And even when I left, they helped me out, unbrella whipped out again.

The club is gorgeous, the music great, the service phenomenal. But what I really want to rave about is how absolutely wonderful the staff are. I was so grateful to them for making my night safe and easy, and for taking the time to be decent human beings. Longroom obviously hires well, and I will certainly be going back! (Especially when I’m all better!)

Thanks longroom!

longroom

All Thai’d Up Monday, Nov 30 2009 

When it comes to food for me, the spicier the better. So it will come as no surprise to anyone that my food obsession is Thai! I go out for Thai at least once a week, and quite often try new restaurants. So many people say to me, “Oh, Thai is nice but I don’t know where the good restaurants are”. So I thought, why not blog about some of my faves! 🙂 (In Auckland of course!) 

1) Pattaya Thai Restaurant in Mairangi Bay – This restaurant is the food equivalent of the love of my life! It’s not super fancy but it has an A Rating for food hygiene, its clean and decorated nicely, with super friendly staff and an extensive menu. And the food – Oh, the food! Everything is fresh, they make it exactly the way you want it and it’s done in record time despite being made from scratch. Special tip: The satay chicken skewers are done in a sweet peanut sauce which is the chefs special recipe and it is DELICIOUS! The curries are also to die for – and when you ask for things to be “HOT, THAI HOT!” they grin at you and do it! It’s a wonderful little restaurant, you never regret going and it’s so inexpensive. Love it.

2) Ruan Thai Restaurant in Mission Bay – This restaurant is next to Reef Bar in Mission Bay, and has a beautiful view across the water. The staff are lovely, the hygiene rating is A and the restaurant is beautifully decorated in Thai art and decorations. This particular restaurant is a bit more pricey than most of the other Thai restaurants around, but it has great ambiance and yummy food. It can get quite busy and you mostly have to book, especially during the weekends, but it is worth the effort. The food is fresh and scrumptious, the meals quick to arrive. Special tip: The Gai Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa (I’m serious!) is a chicken dish much like a curry but thicker, a bit different. It is absolutely beautiful, spicy as all hell, and a dish I dream about often!

3) Thai Me Up in Ponsonby – This is such a fantastic little restaurant! The staff are so warm and friendly, the food is SUPER cheap (As in, mains for $12), the food hygiene rating is A, and the meals are WONDERFUL! Seriously. Fresh, tasty, with a massive selection of anything you could possibly be craving. You always have to book here because it’s always full, a good sign, and the food is quick to arrive and come with a friendly smile from your waiter/waitress. Special tip: The Tom Yum soup is really yummy here. A spicy-sour tangy type soup with either seafood or chicken, it’s not for everyone but I adore it. It’s an unusual flavour but definitely one to try! 

4) Thai Village Restaurant in Remuera – An extremely nice looking restaurant, spacious with great decor and flow. The food hygiene is an A rating, they have options for Gluten free diners and their service is great. Often you don’t have to book (It’s a large place to fill!) and though the food is a bit pricier than other restaurants, it certainly is worth it. Great ambiance, great flavours (also caters to those fussy european taste buds that don’t want anything too Thai) and has a large selection to choose from. Special tip: The Chicken and Cashew nuts is really well done here, fresh and tasty.

5) Thai Archer Restaurant in Royal Oak – This has been a family pick for years, and they more often than not impress. The restaurant is lovely, a converted house decorated and designed into a dining place. The staff are usually great, the menu is extensive and the prices are reasonable. It’s best to book as they are quite popular, and they even make great deserts. (Ollies is down the road though and I often end up migrating there after dinner!) Special tip: The entrees are wonderful here. Try the Curry Puffs and Spring Rolls – just delicious!

There are many more Thai restaurants I could list here, but these are my top picks. Hope it helps anyone looking for a nice dinner out…

Mmmm… Might go have Thai now……

Thai Food

Next Page »