Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Big 29

For those of you who know me, I celebrate my birthday for the entire month of May.
It all started out so innocently. I enjoyed a lovely Thai foot massage, made some cupcakes, and had some great food down at the Viaduct. The sun was out and it was a great day to ring in my 29th Birthday.


My toilet paper and band-aid wrapped birthday shots. Thanks Romain!!

The evening celebrations began… A night out at Wildfire.

My favorite bartender Steve creating me a flaming birthday drink.

It was a good one...and I was sure glad that Jeff made the yummiest Peanut Butter & Nutella French Toast the next morning - I needed it.
Happy Birthday to me, and to my last year as a "twenty-something"!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Auckland and Area Restaurant & Bar Guide

As you can see we love our food. We love going out and experiencing new things, but if we find something good we will return!
Jeff has outlined a few of the places you should check out if you make it to this side of the world.

Mezze is a Mediterranean Tapas/Wine bar that has the best atmosphere and general vibe out of all the places we’ve gone. We have breakfast, appetizers, and full meals here without being disappointed. It is a great people watching location and the food is mouth-watering.


Similar to Mezze Tasca is another Mediterranean Restaurant that has great breakfast/dinner options. The serving sizes are a little lager than Mezze and it has a more formal atmosphere.


Located on the same block as our apartment and open 24hrs Chargrill is the standard late night pig out joint. They have fancy burger options as well as wood fired pizzas. Jess is obsessed with the Camembert burger… it is roughly the size of your head and dripping with cheese.
The Conservatory

The Conservatory is a great harbour front restaurant/club. We usually wander down the viaduct and grab a spot outdoors and get a one of their thin crust pizza’s - always makes us think of Italy.
That’s Amore

Tucked in an odd corner of a shopping/dining area a couple blocks from the apartment this place has authentic Italian pizza. It is not wood fired but you will not be able to tell the difference.


A Chinese restaurant that is in the building next door and open until 4am. Mandrin is another late night favourite. There is no need to order off the menu… you can just drunkenly order things that they will promptly prepare and bring to you. You also get to enjoy the view of all the other packs of drunks wandering up and down Hobson street. Great people watching.


Near The Conservatory, Gelatiamo is a great place for gelato on a hot summer day or a post work coffee and cake.
The Muddy Farmer

This Irish pub is located in our Hotel and is a great belly to the bar pub with cold beer and live entertainment on weekends. As a Canadian it is a requirement to request any song by Bryan Adams whenever there is a band. So far we have had some hilarious versions of Summer of 69, including a reggae version.


A short ferry ride will take you to Devonport where you can find Manuka. This place is a busy weekend brunch locale that will impress you with high quality food.

Wild on Waiheke

This brewery/vineyard caters to corporate events with archery, skeet shooting and giant chess. The food has a bunch of local ingredients.


A traditional Korean BBQ that is guaranteed to be an experience. After one of my co-workers at home got me into Korean BBQ I am always on the lookout for somewhere to drink my weight in Hite and Soju. My embarrassing story from Faro was that I drank too much Soju and started thanking our server in Italian. Grazie!

Food Alley 
This food court is licensed so you can pick any international food item and pair it with a good drink. It is fun to mix and match. One day we had spaghetti bolognaise, garlic naan, Malay soup, spring rolls, Chinese buns and Wor-Wonton soup.  The Indian place always asks if I can handle how spicy it is, i'm going to see if they will teach me to make garlic naan.


This place is our cheap drink Sunday afternoon standard. Five dollar drinks is affordable and makes sure you hate Monday morning. Watch out though it is pretty easy to get out of control. Some of Jess’s coworkers ended up swimming in the harbour after a night at Provedor - they will have scars forever...
Danny Doolans

This “Irish” pub has live music seven nights a week and has a younger rougher crowd than most of the other places. We’ve almost been in a couple fights here. Keep a close eye on your things because there are people that prowl for purses and other unattended possessions. You will lose track of time and end up singing and dancing until 5 or 6 am. Thankfully Chargrill is open 24 hrs. (see above).

Andrew Andrew

Andrew Andrew is a small bar with nice outdoor seating by a big fireplace. It is a great place to start an evening or to just chill and have a drink.


This place is always packed on the weekends and has a younger crowd. The pizza is cheap and good on a slower night. They have the friendliest doormen that actually look out for people outside the club as well as inside.

Sale Street

Sale street is a couple blocks from the apartment and has a great out door patio as well as a large interior space. It is fun and quirky. There is a micro-brewed beer that goes down smooth. I had a "chili" beer that gave a little burn out as you continued to drink it. We haven't eaten here yet but the food looked good.
The Cyprus Tree

The Cyprus Tree isn't really an "Auckland" area restaurant, but we literally walked across a swamp in the rain to celebrate New Years here. The food was tasty and reminded me of Italy.


We stumbled across Olaf's in Mt. Eden after climbing to the rim of the volcano and down into Mt. Eden Village. The calamari on the left was the best calamari we've had in New Zealand.

Well I'm hungry...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Toasted Asian Subs

If you have ever been out for a night with me in Calgary you will know I love Toasted Asian Subs. My Dad can be credited with getting me to try one years ago when he would bring random “scary” foods home for the family. He convinced me once that a jalapeno was a type of pickle with disastrous results… me running around the house screaming my head off foaming at the mouth like a rabid banshee. As I get older it turns out that I really enjoy “scary” foods.

My lunch opportunities are pretty limited at work so I decided to make a bunch of subs on Sunday, and then eat them over the week. It was a good plan at first, but the subs ended up being too good to resist and my rations immediately depleted.


-         Beef or chicken
-         Baguette
-         Peanuts (crushed)
-         Chilli Pepper
-         Sriracha Hot Sauce
-         Teriyaki
-         Lemon Grass Paste
-         Garlic
-         Onion (white or green)
-         Garlic Lime Aioli
-         Cucumber
-         Cilantro
-         Grated White Cheese- We used Edam
-         Carrot
-         Cooking oil

It turned out to be really easy to make an amazing sandwich with little effort. I marinated the meat in lemongrass paste and teriyaki sauce. While the meat was marinating I shredded the carrot, sliced the cucumber, smashed up the peanuts and tore up the cilantro.
In a pan I heated up some cooking oil and added some chopped garlic and the chilli pepper. This cooked for a bit and was then spread on the sliced baguette. In the same pan I cooked the meat. I would prefer to BBQ the meat but we don’t have these luxuries in our apartment.
Spread the aioli, hot sauce and cheese on the bread, (over the garlic and chilli), and toast it in the oven. The rest is really easy…throw all the ingredients on the melted cheese bread. This is guaranteed to be more impressive when you pull it out for lunch instead of PB & J.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Takapuna - North Shore

Sorry for the delay in blogging recently, we've been busy with the 'work' component of our working holiday visas... To make up for it we have started this blog with a lovely make-out photo of ourselves. Inappropriate??? Oh well, it just shows how awesome it was to be on Takapuna Beach!

Takapuna is a lovely spot on the North Shore with lots of shops and a small town feel. It is also a quick and easy place to get to from Auckland. We didn't go stand up paddle boarding this time, but this seems to be a calm and cool place to do so. We shall return!

Another great view of Rangitoto Island