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.

RENT the Musical Saturday, May 8 2010 

When I saw that the musical RENT was playing at the Civic in Auckland, I thought “Hmm, might be interesting.” I soon forgot this little inclination, to be perfectly honest, until one of the girls I work with piped up and said “I want to go to RENT – anyone else keen?” So we got together a group and bought tickets. Well. Best decision EVER!

RENT is an avant-garde rock opera, based around a group of young, down on their luck creative types living in New York and trying desperately to survive (and pay their rent, of course!). This story could very easily tip towards being quite depressing, as it touches often on poverty, death and HIV. And yet… it is woven together in such a way that it becomes a story of hope, endurance and love, without becoming overly sentimental. You fall in love with the characters, you understand that their mistakes are what make them so wonderful and offbeat. You are sucked into their world, and even though you know there can’t be a fairy tale ending, you sit there desperately hoping for them to be touched with happiness even for just a moment.

And the music… ohhh THE MUSIC! Beautiful, haunting, catchy… Obviously, many actors/singers have played these brilliant parts all over the world during different productions of RENT, but the songs themselves are pure gold. And the New Zealand cast of Rent? Didn’t let the show down at all. They were exceptional.

When I got home, I went straight onto iTunes and downloaded the album (from the film that was made based on the musical) and I have the film itself on order, too. This musical left me buzzing… It just was so riveting, dark, honest and thought provoking. I recommend anyone, anywhere in the world, to go see this show if the opportunity presents itself. It isn’t light and fluffy, but it is utter brilliance.

Can you tell I really enjoyed the show? Haha 🙂

Watch a few scenes here from the musical RENT!

Topshop comes to New Zealand! Friday, Mar 26 2010 

For as long as I have been shopping online, I have lovingly poured over the purchase options at Topshops website and wished that I could try on the copious amounts of amazing clothes and shoes, jewellery and accessories that they have to offer. With the cost of shipping being so steep, I haven’t purchased anything from the site as I just can’t justify paying NZD$30.00 for courier fees.

Topshop is a British department chain that houses some of the worlds best designers, at fairly good prices. Some of the designer ranges that will be coming to good ol’ NZ is the Karen Walker range (well, they just had to!) and Kate Moss’s amazing line, amongst other things.

The store will be opening in Takapuna, on Aucklands North Shore mid-April 2010, and the stores stock will be fully complete in about September 2010.

I am so excited it’s not funny! And every girl I know is on the same “OMG OMG YAY!” bandwagon as me! Brilliant! So next month, I plan to be broke, after visiting Topshop Takapuna and spending all of my hard earned cash! Whoop! 😀

Topshop: BRITANY2 OVER KNEE BOOT

Topshop: STUD ARMY JACKET

Topshop: SEQUIN CHAIN SHOULDER DRESS

Topshop: WAVE STONE RING

Topshop: ZIPPED JERSEY DRESS BY UNIQUE

Topshop: SQUARE STUD ELASTIC BELT

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