Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harbour Light Bistro Nelson - something special

The Harbour Light Bistro - located on Wakefield Quay in Nelson has lovely food... and the world's most Romantic views.

It is a place - to take someone special - and enjoy great food... and bask in a fantastic atmosphere.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moa Beer

I was reading that Moa beer has had some investment from Geoff Ross (42Below) - and that Geoff has been scouting around New Zealand's craft brew market.

What - reportedly - Geoff saw in Moa - was:
  • A cool name,
  • Use of aquifer water - as opposed to treated tap water,
  • A good story - a) the water comes from Moa land (i.e. Blenheim where there are apparently heaps of Moa fossils)... cool spin.... b) a winemaker is making the beer (more spin!)
  • Also Moa beer has managed to get a small following in the USA - a market Ross understands - and also the fact the beer is in the USA - means a good years worth of paperwork has already been done,
  • There is an opportunity - to make an iconic NZ beer brand.... as all the large brands have largely decomposed into a ubiquitous global mush - and most craft beers don't have the means or maybe even will... to take it to the next level (i.e. get bought out by an American Company... or Japanese).
  • Moa can be sold at a premium!
  • AND finally - Moa needs more investment.
You can tell Ross is on board (please someone tell me if I'm wrong) - by the first radio commercial for Moa... very 42below humour.

Having said all of this... I'm going to try some.... I like the bottle they use.

Radio ad here:

Kiwifruit Jam Fiona's

Pete Lamb Fishing Trips

Although you can't say that a Pete Lamb Charter is a gourmet experience - the results can be.

In fact I went out on a Pete Lamb charter - out from Mana several years back with the father and law - it was dam rough - but everyone went back home with some Grouper steaks.

There is not much better than Grouper - washed in sea salt... then barbecued with garlic butter the same day... well nothing in my opinion.

I thought I would recount my experience - some of it.

Basically we got up early in the morning and went to Mana - to the boat.

It was already blowing a bit.

There was me - the father n law - and what looked to be a corporate team building thing... all guys... so no doubt IT. There was also a couple of Indian fullas.

It was really rough over the Mana bar.. my god it was rough... so rough that two of the corporates had already crawled into fetal position up the front of the boat on the way out. The miserable thing... sorry guys... errr were actually just on our way out... your suffering is just in its infancy.

We got to the fishing spot... and chucked the lines in... it was so rough you could not stand on the deck.

I managed to tangle my line with a couple of people... and hauled all their sinkers to the surface... I'd though I'd caught a fish.... nah just lead.

The father n law snagged a nice Grouper.

Several other Grouper also came on board.. and some large shark things - Tope? and some red cod.

The fishing method was to sort of drift.. each drift talking half an hour or so.

Each drift - meant more people retiring sea sick to the cabin.

After a few drifts... Pete asked "So shall we do another drift - or head into Mana Island - for shelter".

The sea sick - looking - much like Gollum by now... pale... desperate... cuddling pudding bowls and the like.. crawled out from the cabin... surprisingly they voted to go in... they were out voted by the Indian gentleman... nah lets have another crack at it.... and out we went again... the dim light of hope visibly vansihing in the eye's of the sick.

They returned to their sick poses/stations.

One man - I swear - chucked up continuously for two hours straight. I asked him whether he had taken his "sea legs" - he just looked at me as if I was taking the piss.

The funny thing was - when we eventually moved to calm waters and lit up the barbecue... that he tucked into the barely cooked... fatty ginormous snaggers!

So - the food on the boat not gourmet.... it was a macabre buffet... in a cabin filled with Gollums hugging pots and pans.

But fresh Grouper steaks that evening - defiantly!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Te Horo - Jam


Welcome to Te Horo Foods Ltd

At Te Horo Foods we make our jam from 100% pure New Zealand fruit. Only New Zealand fruit and only from growers that we know and trust. 

And because it's our favourite, we grow our own plump blackberries right here on the fertile Te Horo plains.

But we do a lot more than that.  We do everything to ensure our jams are simply the best it is possible to make. So that's pure NZ fruit, natural sugar and a trace of butter to help the cooking process.
Nothing else except a little love in each pot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oamaru Jersey Bennies - Otago Potato

Ask any south islander - where the best potato's come from ... and they will say 'Oamaru Jersey Bennies'.

It is almost a religion... the Jersey Bennie is bought in boxes - and must be fresh.. you tell this by gently scrapping the potato with your finger nail. The father in law - also squeezes them to make sure they are firm... he is very particular with his Bennie's!

Basically gently wash off the dirt with warm water - and boil with mint - and you too will be a convert.

By the way Fisher and Paykel (believe it or not) have a smashing recipe including Bennie's below:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Zealand King Crab

New Zealand's own 'Deadliest Catch'.

Really tasty... amazing if they were served up here.

Article here:

Edesia Restaurant Christchurch

Absolutely delicious experience!


Confit Akaroa Salmon with sourdough mayonnaise, ruby   21
grapefruit gel and almonds

Clevedon Coast Oysters with citrus ceviche     24

Braised ox tail tortellini with capers and broccoli    18

Seared Scallops with crisp prosciutto, baby peas and a Caesar  21
salad foam

Warm goats cheese with beetroot vanilla relish and hazelnuts  18

Classic Mains 

Coq au vin, braised chicken leg with red wine, button mushrooms  27
and bacon

Porcini and Portobello mushroom risotto with rocket   27

Pappardelle with braised venison, Belgium chocolate and   27

Paella, saffron pilaf with chorizo, chicken and mussels   27


Black Angus sirloin and braised cheek with spiced carrot purée,  37
roasted tomato, saffron couscous and carrot cannelloni
Leg fillet of Venison and braised shin croquette with    39
almond milk gel, mushroom purée and baby onions  

Canterbury duck breast with Puy lentils, roast baby beetroot,  37
mandarin gel and parsnip

Caramelised pork belly, fondant potatoes, braised cabbage and 35
apple purée      

Pan seared Groper with sage gnocchi, pumpkin purée   33
and chestnuts  


Polenta Fries         7

Green Salad          7

Broccoli with almond beurre noisette      9.5

Potato purée with black truffle salt      8.5

Roast Beetroot with Swiss Chard      9.5


Lemon meringue pie, raspberry sorbet and mascarpone   15

Carrot cake, frosting sorbet, walnut brittle, white chocolate   15
mousse, candied carrot and orange purée

Dark chocolate fondant, milk sorbet, espresso gel, caramel   15
roasted peanuts

Apple crumble with lavender ice cream, rhubarb gel and    16

Roast pineapple bavarois with coconut sorbet, mango and lime  16
shot w/ coconut & ginger foam and a lychee and paw paw salad

Cheese plate         15

Delamain XO Cognac chocolate truffle     5 

Fish Mousse

Delicious dish - that will impress.


1 x 1 kilogram Tarakihi
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups cream
3 teaspoons salt
Pinch cayenne pepper


2 cups water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 onion
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
3 peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
50 grams butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup strained fish stock
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Crayfish meat or prawns
2 or 3 hard boiled eggs

Mousse: Skin the fish fillets and remove bones. Save the trimmings for the fish stock.

Mince the fish. Place in a bowl standing in a large bowl of ice.

With a wire whisk, beat in the unbeaten egg whites a little at a time, until a smooth paste like mixture has formed. Gradually beat in the milk, salt and cayenne pepper.

Turn the mixture into a well buttered mold of about  cup capacity. Cover this with a piece of buttered paper fitted closely and neatly to the mixture.

Stand the mould in a dish of hot water, and put in a 10 degree c oven.

Cook in this way for about 45 minutes or until set.

Sauce: Take the skin and the bones of the fish - add water - wine - sliced onion, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt, and simmer for 1 hour - strain and keep stock.

Melt butter in saucepan - and stir in flour. Add stock and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

Blend in milk and tomato paste - season.

When ready to serve - unmould the mousse - arrange crayfish or prawns around the mould - and carefully spoon the sauce over it.

Ground Culinary Center - Lyttelton Christchurch

Lyttelton - has always been one of the coolest parts of Canterbury - slightly alternative... a weird mix of freaks living in the surrounding hills.. cool cafe's... seedy bars...

GROUND is more than a deli or cafe, it is
  • a purveyor of fine wines and boutique beers
  • a cheesemongers 
  • a gelateria
  •  a norcineria 
  • a Middle Eastern souk, trading in whole and hand ground spices a grocery store a dairy featuring organically produced milk, butter and yoghurt. 
It also offers:
  • Cookware 
  • Cookery books, and
  • a sense of community where advice on food and wine is available from people with knowledge and a passion for food and cooking.

Open: Monday to Friday .8.00am - 7.30pm, Saturday 9.00am - 7.30 pm and Sunday 9.00am - 6.00pm.


Mussel Chowder

12 large or 24 small fresh mussels, or 250g mussel meats cooked
500g potatoes, peeled & finely chopped
3 cups boiling water
Salt to taste
1 tsp grated lemon rind
4 Tbsp cream
Freshly ground black pepper
If using fresh mussels, follow directions for cleaning & cooking.  Remove meat from shells.  Chop cooked meat finely or mince.
Cook chopped potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender.
Add chopped or minced mussels, lemon rind, cream & black pepper.
Simmer gently for 5 minutes, do not boil.

Kingfish steaks on the barbeque

This is on of my favorite summer dishes - Kingfish steaks on the barbecue.

  • 4 large Kingfish steaks
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Lime 
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Fresh Coriander (chopped)
  • Fresh Parsley (Chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of Turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • Knob of butter.
All the ingredients go into a plastic bag (minus the Coriander and Parsely) - remember to also finely grate the lime - don't waste that!!

Put the steaks in the bag - and slosh - gently the marinade - over them.

Grill on a mice hot barbecue - 3 minutes first side turn.

Then mix the herbs with butter - and place a knob on each steak - the herb butter will dissolve into the fish

Serve with a mango chutney.

Real nice!

Blackberry Jam - Wild

Although too early - there is nothing better on the planet - than wild blackberry jam. Make sure you are picking from areas that have not been sprayed.

You can tell the spots - generally avid blackberry hunters will have trodden paths through the tangled mess of blackberry and grass.

The recipe simple:

500 grams of Sugar
500 grams of wild Blackberry

Mix the sugar into the  blackberry's - and bring slowly to the boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes.

Make sure your jars are sterilized in hot water!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Smoked Roe Dip

Another yummy summer recipe - in New Zealand - you can get smoked Hoki Roe, Mullet Roe etc...

  • Smoked Roe
  • Sour Cream
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Chives

Mix the smoked roe and sour cream together in equal amounts, and season with a dash of lemon juice and a scattering of chopped chives.

Chill until ready to serve as a dip or with crackers.

Sherried Kumara

Another old classic recipe for our favorite Kiwi Potato.

  • 1 kilogram Kumara
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Sale and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Cook the kumara in boiled salted water until tender. Drain, allow to cool, and peel off the skins. Mash until the kumara are smooth and creamy. Add the butter and sherry. Season with salt and pepper. Spread into a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Place under a grill until the top is slightly browned and the sugar is bubbly.

Captain Cooker - Manuka Beer

Captain Cooker Beer seems to be doing rather well.

They sell it in Nelson - though I have not tried as the original labelling - didn't look very appetising. However the new labelling and cool bottle above looks fantastic - I've got to try it.

As an update I had a pint of Manuka Beer down at Mapua Wharf yesterday. And actually it was really good - I was expecting something - I guess herbal and bitter - but it was very palatable. You get that oily manuka tea like - flavour coming through - but in a balanced way. Captain Cook was definitely not roughing it - when he drank Manuka Beer - a fine drop. By the way - dam it is lovely down at Mapua Wharf.... some guys were catching Snapper off the wharf (at low tide!!) - there was a band playing... it really is a magic spot.

Seems like the are doing really well overseas - particularly in Belgium.

Captain Cooker is made from New Zealand Manuka - as opposed to hops. Manuka is also known as the tea tree - and indeed makes a lovely cuppa.

Captain Cook - used to drink Manuka Tea.

Captain Cook also made a beer from Manuka  thus Captain Cooker. 

Captain Cooker - uses his original recipe.

As for the "Cooker"... a captain Cooker is a small dark pig thought to be introduced to the pacific by Captain Cook. 

Recipe: Cold Snapper Casserole

A cold dish - for a hot day with our favorite recreational fish - the Snapper.

  • 2 Onions
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Shake Pepper
  • 1 cup tomato pulp
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 to 6 pieces of snapper steak or fillets

Peel and chop the onions and garlic. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until tender, but not coloured (glassy!). Sprinkle in the seasoning, add the tomato pulp and simmer the sauce for five minutes. Add the wine and cook for another two minutes.

Lay the fish prices into an oiled oven dish and pour the tomato mixture over them. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degree C or until the fish is tender.

Chill in the fridge.

Serve with fresh parsley.

The Hangi - New Zealand

No New Zealand Food Blog could not mention the Hangi.

The Hangi is made by placing food in a pit filled with hot rocks. The food is covered in tin foil trays (these days) - or covered in bark and large leaves - or sacking. This is to prevent burning of the food.

Apparently the type of rock is important - as some rocks shatter in the heat (something you don't want).

For a comprehensive guide see

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Interesting site.

Good place to source New Zealand indigenous ingredients.

NZ Drinks

Bitter Lemon with Horopito is totally an NZ drink - made with Organic Lemon and Organic Horopito.

Horopito - is a plant found only in New Zealand - some call it the New Zealand Pepper Tree.

Horopito - has a floral/spicy taste - very unusual.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

8th Tribe Liquor

Interesting looking stuff branded 8th Tribe. Lovely packaging design - which has won awards etc...

Sometimes I wonder what the fascination in NZ is with numeric liquor brands - like 42Below Vodka.. 26000 Vodka.. Seven Tiki Rum...Roaring 40s Rum....

The flavours are:

  • Dark Spice - with Horopito amongst others
  • Feijoa
  • Kiwifruit
  • Kiwi Gold
I am also intrigued by the heavy featuring of the Zespri Brand - as opposed to the use of "kiwi fruit". I am guessing this is because the product has been designed for export.

All in all looks - like a big production!
    The website is here:

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Fire Dragon Chilli Sauce

    I have not tried Fire Dragon Chilli sauce myself - the labelling looks cool though huh!

    Its got some great reviews from Chilli freaks on the website.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Cloudy Bay Oysters

    Had some Cloudy Bay Oysters a couple of days ago - from Guyton's Seafood on Haven Road. I hadn't seen them before - and was intrigued by the name - i.e. heard of Cloudy Bay wine anyone.

    The oysters - were delicious - not as meaty as the bluff oyster - fresh - like pacific oysters.

    They were good - not - cheap though - I think the dozen was about $20 bucks (cheaper than bluffies but only just).

    Even Google did not dredge much info on the Cloudy Bay Oyster.

    There were several seafood sites selling it though like:

    All I found was:

    These guys sell cockles - not Oysters.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Blueberry and Horopito Sauce

    Man - though I have not tried it - this Blueberry and Horopito sounds tasty.

    It is described as:

    Delicious with lamb, venison and beef. Blueberries underlaid with raspberries and spiced with NZ herb horopito.

    Looks like it would be ideal with Venison!

    That reminds me - I saw this sauce (Delmaine) - that apparently is Manuka flavoured. I looked on the back of the bottle - there was no mention of Manuka - bizarre - I guess a flavour is used that is - approximately what a Manuka spice would be - or in fact whether there was a real manuka flavour... ???? Who knows....

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Asparagus Tips - Maggi Soup

    There is a farmer selling fresh Asparagus at the Wednesday and Saturday Nelson markets.

    It is totally delicious..... tender - and full of flavour.

    He gave me a couple of tips.

    Basically he cooks the asparagus in pre-boiled water with a smidgen of salt - for <2 minutes. He cuts off the ends (about 1 inch) basically he sticks in a fork to test... the asparagus .. should pop... under the pressure of the fork (like when you bite into a perfectly cooked prawn).

    Then with the left over water he adds a sachet of maggi chicken soup - and cooks with the discarded asparagus ends... the last step is mashing in the asparagus ends... amazing.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Pete's Lemonade - Nelson

    Pete's Lemonade is made in Nelson - from real lemon juice - is low in sugar.... and it tastes like it has been made 2 minutes ago - it is that full of natural flavour. Achieving and capturing that flavour.... no easy task. It is also lightly carbonated... which means you get soft small bubbles - some call them champagne bubbles.

    I recommend buying a box or two for the summer....

    Whilst the adults are supping on gin and tonic... you can imagine... their lovely children drinking Pete's Lemonade - the children enjoying feeling like they are one of the adults ... as they drink a high quality beverage filled with goodness... their parents safe in the knowledge that they are drinking 'the good stuff'.

    I also see it as a great options for adults who want to drink something that is quality - enjoyable - but also non-alcoholic.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Yealands Estate - Sauvignon Blanc

    I think I have written in previous blog entries - about the dropping standards of Marlborough Sav Blanc - to me - a lot of the producers are making 'acceptable stuff' - that is more at the lollie water end of the spectrum. Nice - un-challenging - summer wine. Perhaps this is what the Pom's and Safeway's et al - like - perhaps this is what has happened!

    However last night I supped a bottle of Peter Yealands - 2009 - Sauvignon Blanc.

    Man it was good - it had the classic Marlborough gooseberry flavour - giving it a thirst quenching tartness. I'd thought the classic Gooseberry flavour - had all but vanished - but no Yealands - has brought it back - a dam fine drink - incredibly tasty - and totally recommended - I wish other wineries would also re-discover - what made Marlborough great in the first place.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Should beer be treated like wine?

    Interesting Stuff article about how supermarkets categorize beer.

    It seems that beer producers are categorized by things such as: mainstream - micro - import as opposed to by the grape varietal - like wine. Who cares really... micro brewers  - are so GOD DAM serious.... they need a GOD DAM serious section for it I think - with pages and pages of serious tasting notes per product. Good on them... but they remind me - of the sort of person - who builds replica models... BORING!!!

    More interestingly are the comments about Ranfurly Beer - sounds bad. Ranfurly Beer is being re branded - so it can move into the "mainstream".

    A real means - brand.... and good tie in with the Ranfurly Shield.... aimed at blokes!

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    New Zealand Lamb

    Poor old New Zealand - we've already had an Ozzy journalist - calling us the rip-off country - now a new article - reads that it is actually cheaper to buy New Zealand lamb in London than where it is produced.

    There are lots of industry excuses - although you'd think it would be more expensive due to the shipping etc....

    However - basically London orders Lamb by the container.... Kiwi's don't - and our fragmented hilly Island is a pain logistics wise - much easier to ship whole containers - with guaranteed and predictable demand - than deliver to Kiwi's who are mostly broke - gouged by utilities - a and 45% tax rate etc... etc....

    It's a shame though - you'd think that there would be some perks - associated with living in NZ - where clean green and tasty food is produced - but no! We are the global factory hands - we wrap it - pack it - and send it off- and eat the shitty old meats covered in preservative laced bread crumbs - or marinated in glop - or tenderized by the tread of a tank (by the looks).

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Mainland Cheese - New Zealand

    I didn't realize that Mainland was owned by Fonterra... our dairy bemouth.

    Regardless... credit where credit is due - Mainland Cheese - particularly the "Tasty" Cheddar is great stuff.

    One of the things you notice as a Kiwi when you first move to Australia (reason for the move - being that after tax and the gross and greedy utilities in NZ - nothing is left from your pay check!!!!) - is that Aussie cheese is bloody awful. Sort of spongy, plastic and devoid of flavour. And then there are the bizarre brand names that Aussie gives its cheese... I won't say which one.

    You can get the cheaper varieties of NZ cheese in Aussie - sometimes... but vintage tasty can be a rarity.

    So here's a toast to New Zealand cheese - WAY BETTER THAN AUSSIE CHEESE - and that bizarre spongy processed stuff that comes from Scandanavia and the US of A.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    A meditation of mince - and - preservatives....

    Mince - that amazing food,
     Was once fatty beef off cuts...
    Now a wonder good.

     Red and and fresh on the outside
    Brown and stale on the inside
    A marvel of preservatives
    Staple food of the recession

    Years ago
    cheap mince...
    was complete with the odd grisly bone
    crunch would go the teeth..
    mince the $$ dentists friend

    Mixed with tomatoes and cheese in any cooking style
    dreadful raw
    worse as an ice cream flavour.


    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Stoke Beer - Nelson

    Had the pleasure of trying of few of the Stoke beers made by the McCashin's in Stoke.

    The flavours are:

    • Gold
    • Amber
    • Dark

    My favorite was the the Dark... smooth and moreish... with a lovely and accessible rich flavour - without being overly complex and fussy. The sort of beer you can have a few of - while chilling out with friends. It reminded me of some of the beers I used to enjoy in London - so I would guess you could probably drink the Dark at close to room temperature - and it would still be enjoyable.

    I know these aren't technical beer review terms - but you know... I'm of the school if it tastes good - it is good.

    Being - into packaging these days - I just love the bottle and the labelling - particularly the use of the gold text.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    The Nelson Market

    The Nelson Market is held every Wednesday - at Fashion Island (downtown Nelson!!). I think it operates from 12-4:30PM

    It's cool - basically the market is in a sheltered square - surrounded by trendy shops.

    And the food is cool too!

    The favourite being the barbecue ribs!

    It has a very laid back atmosphere - which is nice - and the people are great - and there are certainly heaps of treats.


    Bratwurst Grill CLICK HERE

    Honey & Herbs CLICK HERE

    Lowes Orchard CLICK HERE

    Lynda Barnett Free Range Eggs CLICK HERE

    Pic's Peanut Butter CLICK HERE

    Shortbread House CLICK HERE

    Willow Sands CLICK HERE

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    The Shortbread House - Nelson

    All they're biscuits and crackers - are Gluten Free.

    My fav is the Chickpea and Sesame crackers - tasty... and good for you. Lovely with humus.... cottage cheese with cucumber etc....

    Totally delicious!

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Chocolate Fish Shelly Bay - Wellington

    Went to Chocolate Fish on Shelly Bay today... an idyllic spot - the weather.... as usual for Wellington a freezing southerly.

    The interesting thing about Chocolate Fish - is the menu..... lots of yummy seafood sandwiches.

    The had the crayfish sandwich (sort of like a white-bait fritter - but with crayfish)... and greedily also had a paua fritter.

    The sandwiches... come with white bread.... a little wedge of lemon... and a simple green salad and aioli. The salad was lovely and fresh.... and not mixed leaf... so to my mind elegant....

    All I can say is YUM!!! its so nice to get to a place that has interesting food.. New Zealand food.

    A lovely spot.... and it was quite busy.... which is a good sign... even though it was icy cold outside.

    Also as a PS... to my previous article on the lack of Good Food at Taupo...

    .... what could be more simple than a sandwich with fresh steamed trout.... a dill sauce.... with a rocket and Parmesan salad....

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Founders Brewery - Organic Beer (Nelson)

    Wow... you can really taste it - when people make a product... and care about that product.

    Such is the beer from Founders Brewery.

    Smooth, delicious and bursting with flavour. And once you have finished drinking it....... it is like yeah... that was GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The beer is also Organic... but not in a he he its Organic sort of way.

    The beer is brewed by fifth and sixth generation brewers... and it tastes like it... the complexity, flavour perfectly balanced.... Founder Brewery is not the type of place than makes 100,000 bottles a time... and that is why it is special.... a real treat!

    And their beer passes the warm test.

    That is - try the beer room temperature - is it still good? Freezing cold beer - can cover many sins.

    Founder Brewery is on-site at Founders Park... all sorts of cool things there... including a train ride for the kids.... and some amazingly well restored machinery.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Stuff: Kiwi Drinks!!


    CHEERS: Nelson couple Debbie and David Wright with their range of Wai-Kawa mixer drinks, from left, Bitter Lemon with Horopito, Kiwi Cola with Kawakawa and Tonic Water with Horopito.

    A Nelson couple have launched a new line of soft-drink mixers infused with extracts from native plants kawakawa and horopito.

    ..... more at Stuff.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Provisions - Central Otago

    Quite a cool brand name "Provisions"....

    Check out their website for their yummy treats.

    Apparently they make “Cromwell sticky buns”- and sell them at the local farmers market. Dam... I want to try these.... how far is Cromwell from Nelson again?

    These guys are obviously a great team.

    Kipdale Farms - Clevdon

    Kipdale Farms specialize in Organic Free Range Chicken.

    Info from their website here:

    Kipdale Farms Premium Certified Organic Free Range Chickens

    Our chickens are grown under AsureQuality standards and are more than just a label. Our chickens are housed in mobile homes which ensures that they have
    access to lush green pastures. They are raised in small flocks and are fed
    on certified organic feed which is based on a vegetarian diet.
    Our chickens are happy, tasty and juicy.
    Kipdale Farms goes back to the basics,
    because healthy food starts with natural farming.
    Quality is in our nature.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Honey InfusionNZ - Active 6+ Manuka Honey

    Tried this at the Auckland Foodshow 2010.

    My favorite - the Cinnamon - dam tasty on a piece of toast with some butter.

    The website describes it as:

    Honey New Zealand’s Active 6+ Manuka honey with Cinnamon combines
    to create an aromatic honey with a unique flavour.
    Available in 250g & 500g

    I describe it as dam tasty.

    Koura - New Zealand Fresh Water Crayfish

    The Koura is a native New Zealand - Fresh Water Crayfish.

    It is actually quite small - up to about 80cm. It lives in fresh water such as streams, lakes and ponds, and even in swamps.

    To cook - chill in freezer - for about three hours (humain!!) - cook for about 3 minutes on a barbeque (and then douse in cold ice water - to stop is cooking inside).

    Serve with herbed butter etc....

    So where can you get Koura from (i.e. buy):

    Probably best to source your own .... somehow... ask some local farmers - who have streams etc.....

    No trout at Taupo?

    Man - it is fair to say - surely that Lake Taupo - is almost entirely surrounded by junk food chains.

    I guess that - with the amount of people driving though - that this is justified - the long distance driver wants something familiar - something that does not mean trying your luck - at some - unknown greasy spoon.

    Sometimes I do feel sorry for the tourist.... the travellers who come to New Zealand - after a taste of something new.... something that you can't get at home - something that isn't ubiquitous in our global village.

    Ok to the point - there should be a joint in Taupo - that serves up fresh cooked - Rainbow Trout - be it fresh or smoked - or even pate.

    I know - there can't be a wholesale - commercial slaughter (as lets face it - our industry would trawl the lake - and a year later it would be empty - much like our coastline) - but perhaps a license could be issued - to one place and one place only.

    So people who visit - can taste something from the lake - something fresh.... something iconic.... and tell people about it.

    Imagine - people being able to taste the freshest rainbow trout... served up - right next to the amazing lake Taupo!

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Kawa Cola - press release from Wai-Kawa


    Wai-Kawa releases world class mixers made with native New Zealand ingredients Nelson New Zealand - August 10, 2010 - Wai-kawa beverages, have produced its first run of carbonated mixer drinks - all containing extracts from New Zealand Native Plants.

    Wai-Kawa is bottled in Nelson, using the finest natural artesian water.

    The products are targeting high end cocktail lounges and restaurant's both locally and

    The drinks are -Tonic Water with organic Horopito, Bitter Lemon with organic Horopito and Kiwi
    Cola with wild Kawakawa.

    The investigation into the native flavours was part funded by the Foundation for Research,
    Science and Technology.

    The drinks were launched at the Auckland Food Show, and generated great interest, both with
    the public and trade organisations.

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Bad Economy hitting Wellington's Bar's and Cafe's

    Everyday - you hear how Wellington Bars and Cafe's are struggling.

    There is a thought - that by the time we get to the glorious Rugby World Cup - that 20-30% of these businesses will no longer exist - a boon - to those that survive I guess... for the relatively short duration of the Cup at least - remember the last British Lions Tour... and all the expectations... mostly the Lions were coralled into booze tents hastily erected in various car parks around the country... the local publican saw nought....

    Obviously the recession has had a huge effect.... but it should not hide .... the massive drop in standards that have occurred in these sectors - and the total lack of innovation.

    Point one - people who like panini - god forbid - now own their own panini makers. They can make it fresh -with nice ingredients - straight out of the fridge... in short a panini made at home is way better than the stale (7am in the morning made) panini that you get at the coffee shop - complete with the gently decomposing - unwashed bagged salad - oozing out from its sides.

    Point two - stale muffins - that are ..... stale and horrid... are stale and horrid.... people watching their $$$ are not going to buy them... and if they do... will need to sleep off the experience.

    Point three - Cafe's have milked the above for way to long.... a lot of people are plain.... bored shitless by this repetitive format.

    Point four - hot deep fried chips... and soggy spring rolls - and not the be and end all - in terms of trendy bar food.

    Point five - serving staff that are more interested in bossing around other serving staff... than serving... wipe the smile off the customer! The customer feels ripped off.

    In some ways I think the recession has really just double whammied establishments that are shit - and have milked a mediocre boom time format - for way too long.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Sovrano - Limoncello - KeriKeri

    I had the great pleasure of supping from Sovrano Limoncello - at the Auckland Food Show.

    Apparently you can pour it over icecream to finish a meal - sounds like a great idea to me.

    Unsurprisingly it comes from Kerikeri - the citrus capital of New Zealand.

    Sovrano takes 76 days to create by the way.

    Two Rooms - Tokyo - Japan

    No - its not an NZ restaurant - and to get to it you are going to have to fly to Tokyo - but before you do - make sure you have booked well in advance.

    One of the business partners of Two Rooms - is a Chinese New Zealander - and he has delved into his knowledge of Kiwi land - to add some lovely touches - that are much appreciated by the Japanese.

    The touches are:

    • An extensive and first class New Zealand wine list;
    • 50,000 year old (swamp kauri) tables;
    • A dash of 42Below.
     I believe these special touches - have added the dollop of class - that has quickly made Two Rooms - the place to be - for those for are fortunate - in Tokyo.

    Horopito Mustard - MustardMakers - Puhoi

    This one interests me - basically a mustard - with added Horopito.

    I would love to try it - and will keep a look out for sure.

    The website describes it as:

    This beautifully balanced mustard is ideal to use with lamb or beef, game or sausage. Great with steak!

    How to make Kawakawa and Manuka Honey Tea

    Cool video showing you how to make a Kawakawa and Manuka Honey Tea.

    Features Chef Charles Royal.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Auckland Food Show Stars

    These were the stars of the Auckland Food Show (according to Laurine Jacobs).

    • Heilala Vanilla Syrup — a new product made from the vanilla grown by the Ross family on their plantations in Vava’u in Tonga. It’s sweet and luscious with strong vanilla aroma. Gorgeous on fruit and ice-cream.
    • Lighthouse Gin — a truly aromatic gin made in Greytown, Wairapapa that will convert any serious aficionado of this spirit to NZ made.
    • Galactic Gold cheese — a wash rind cow’s cheese made by Over the Moon dairy in Putaruru. I brought some home tonight and we consumed it immediately. Gorgeously pungent and rich.
    • Piako Frozen yogurt — From the makers of that creamy mango or passionfruit yogurt that’s completely addicitve, three delightful flavours for dessert. I loved the lime best.
    • Spice n Easy — a newcomer with packages of Indian spice mixes complete with recipes. I have now cooked with four of the different packs and swear it is better than most Indian food in specialty restaurants.
    • Wai Kawa — soft drink mixers from Nelson. Bitter lemon, cola and tonic, infused with native New Zealand botanicals. Brilliant and none are too sweet. I hope they give the traditional companies a real run for their money!
    • Ti Point Rosé 2010 — the newly released soft pinky blush wine made from Merlot grapes that really does have the aromas of strawberries and cloves described on the label. Wine maker Tracy Haslam at her best.
    • Marama Organic lamb and beef sausages — all the way from Southland and quite the meatiest sausages I have had in ages. Love the way they say the sausages are made from old sheep! Gluten and preservative free.
    • Paneton’s custard filled croissant — their bread, pastry and buttery treats are all heavenly. I love that little Madeleine who may be the best marketer and client relations person in NZ. And she’s still at school!!
    • Silver Fern Farms venison range — from the grass pastures of NZ comes this easy to prepare, healthy range of venison cuts, complete with recipes. My favourite to date? The venison meatballs with tzatziki, a spicy idea on the back of the pack from Dunedin cooking teacher Judith Cullen.

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    iPad - Restuarant Menu's

    Well - this is my first tech style - blurb - but still with food in mind of coarse.

    As everyone in New Zealand knows (lets face it the whole world is in synch with Apple PR these days) - the iPad is now for sale here.

    Variously described - as a really big Ipod touch - but with a book store etc...

    However the uses of an interactive tablet - have been science fiction for years. Although not the first tablet (there have been heaps!) in the market by any stretch... it is the one that has caught people's imagination - it's release perfectly timed - thanks to the groundwork laid by the iPhone, iPod, iTunes etc...

    Interestingly a restaurant in Melbourne is going to be using an iPad application to present its menus. The idea being that - say you - the customer - is interested in a particular ingredient - you could - with a few clicks (presses... touches??) - instantly find out more.

    If you wanted to find out why - that dam bottle of red wine is sooooo expensive - a few touches - and yes - the wine was from a good year - when the wine yield was incredibly low - and the wine has won X number of awards - and a raft of wine critics love it - and with one more touch - a video of the actual critic waxing lyrical.

    Does - an interactive menu mean - hey the waiting staff don't need to know jack about the menu anymore? Probably not.

    Personally I like the paper menu - but I like reading - physical books as opposed to digital books - so possibly I don't get it. There is something about a digital menu - that suddenly seems - as if I have taken my workplace - into the restaurant - when really I wanted to get away from it.

    More about the restaurant here:

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Horopito Tonic Water

    A New Zealand take on the classic Tonic Water.

    Instead of the usual Quinine - Wai-Kawa Tonic Water uses Horopito - or more precisely Horopito essences.

    The taste - well - its definitely unique - sort of tangy and herbal - like you would imagine a soda with Angostura bitters would be. It is definitely very classy and light - an awesome mixer.

    New Zealand Horopito is an interesting - strong medicinal properties - and also it is a plant that is little changed in 65 million years. So when you mix in a Horopito Tonic water with a Gin or a Vodka - you will be experiencing - i guess an ancient flavour - a flavour unchanged - from the time when Dinosaurs were roaming the planet. The reason Horopito is unchanged - is that it is bursting with anti-oxidants - these have made it very resilient.

    Of coarse using such rare ingredients it is not the cheapest.

    She Chocolat - Christchurch

    She Chocolat - take the science of chocolate to the next level - the next spiritual level.

    I just love the tag line - "sacred chocolate alchemy".

    The question is - are males allowed to partake - or is She Chocolat - just for girls?

    These guys are seriously into chocolate!

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Kiwi Cola

    Well its pretty safe to say that Kiwi's are Cola fans..... big time.

    In New Zealand - Coke - has definitely won the Cola wars (Pepsi versus Coke). Lion Nathan recently sold its rights to Pepsi - to Frucor - Pepsi just didn't happen here - despite MC Hammers best efforts (remember his ads?).

    Although Coke has low sugar offerings - it is the high sugar one - that still tastes the best - the others - well you can sort of imagine - that they give a test-tube in some far away lab - a good workout.

    However now we have "Kiwi Cola" a very very classy Cola indeed. It has kept its sugar (cane sugar that is) - but to this has added an extract from Kawakawa leaves.

    Dam this cola is smooth - and it leaves a lovely after taste (if that is the correct way of saying it - flavour on the mouth?). It is not cheap though!

    So finally New Zealand - land of Cola lovers - has something their own - Kiwi Cola.... made in lovely nelson new zealand.

    The best dam cola in the world.

    Horopito Crackers

    Here's a slightly crazy food -"Horopito Crackers".

    From their website:

    "Horopito Crackers are flavoured with the tips of the leaves of the native pepper tree. The leaves are used like a herb, and impart a peppery taste. The taste is not so much a "hot", as a "sharp" mouth experience. The flavour isn't overpowering, it is rather gentle and slow food like.
    Do give the Horopito some time to develop in your mouth. The crackers can be used like any cracker for cheese boards and dips, or use them as a base to put toppings on.
    A fresh cold glass of Witbeer or a Pilsner style beer will work well, or a young Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. Perfect as a conversation starter at your next dinner party."
    mail:Quakebake Ltd.
    Attn.: Robert Haas
    19 Napier Tce
    New Zealand
    phone:(06) 833 6446             (06) 833 6446 

    Wai-Kawa - First Class Mixer Drinks

    Wai-Kawa offers premium mixer drinks (carbonated) - and I guess would be defined as an adult soda drink - or premium soda- along the lines of Schweppes - but using ingredients only found in New Zealand.

    For instance the "Tonic Water" uses Horopito (a native New Zealand plant) in place of Quinine. The properties of the Horopito are very similar to Quinine - however are said to be even stronger. Horopito is aromatic - the flavour reminds me of a more subtle Angostura like taste.

    Its Kiwi Cola - uses leaves from the Kawakawa Tree. The Kawakawa is related to the "Kava plant - of which the leaves are used to make a relaxing broth - usually shared around the fire". I would expect that the Kiwi Cola - would be great after a hot curry.

    All in all Wai-Kawa offers very unique drinks and are targeting up-market bars and clubs.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Auckland Food Show - 29 July to 1 August 2010

    Well the Auckland Food Show starts next week - and is a big deal. Talk about massive - at least 40,000 people are expected to attend.

    Is is held at the ASB Showgrounds and runs from 10am till 5pm.

    The first day - is the special day - which is limited to 4000 people - and focuses on trade, restaurants and media - the aim to make things a little more relaxed.... a day when buyers can talk to stall holders - without being jostled by the food and wine crazed masses.

    There are hundreds of exhibitors - all in one place.

    Saturday is the "big" day with the hordes swooning around the wine displays - guzzling with gay abandon.

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    The White Lady - Auckland

    The White Lady in Auckland - is world famous - for ridiculously big and delicious hamburgers.

    Enough said!

    The White Lady is to be found here (see below). It has even had a mention on the Lonely Planet travel guide.

    Check it or..."be still my beating heart".... or "hangover cure" !

    18 Commerce Street
    Auckland Central
    Auckland City
    09 379 5803


    • Mon – Thurs 6:00 pm – 4:00 am
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