Monday, May 31, 2010

Nikau Cafe - Wellington

Located in Wellington's Civic Square -next to the ... Art Gallery is the Nikau Cafe. It's a great place - for a cultural treat.

First eat a sumptuous lunch - then walk through the Gallery and appreciate the art!

Nikau food - is first rate - fresh delicious - though generally the servings are tending towards low tide - if you know what I mean.

What I really like about Nikau - is how it weaves New Zealand produce into classic Cafe dishes.

I am quite a fan of the kedgeree.

menu for early may 2010

warmed marinated olives 5.00

panfried haloumi,lemon and grilled bread 11.00
and with beetroot and dill salad 17.00

persimmon, cress fennel and feta salad, picada 16.00

smoked roe crostini, celery, radicchio, olive salad 16.00

carrot and leek soup, walnut parsley pesto 12.50

nettle pasta, pumpkin sage and chestnuts 20.00

panfried fish, leeks, romesco sauce 24.00

fairtrade kedgeree with house smoked fish 20.00

panroasted organic chicken, tomato salad, crème fraiche 24.00

beef and mushroom pie 23.00

stone valley olive oil 1.50

more bread 2.00

green leaf salad 5.50

sautéed potatoes lemon, garlic and parsley 6.50

savoy cabbage, apple and chestnut slaw 6.50

affogato 9.50

apple and quince strusel tart 6.00

roasted figs, sherry zabaglione 10.00

chocolate prune brownie, pear and crème fraiche icecream 12.00

  • Location: Downtown Wellington - Waterfront
  • Address: City Gallery Building , Civic Square, Wellington
  • Phone number: +64 4 801 4168
  • Fax number: +64 4 801 4185
  • Email Address:

Dukkah classic New Zealand food?

I am not sure whether I would classify Dukkah as an NZ food hero.

However I have an amusing story.

I was at the Te Hunanui Camp in Nelson - when I met a couple of ladies from Canada.They were really interested in sampling some classic Kiwi food - and had yet to find a restaurant that served roast lamb - or Pavlova with kiwifruit.

However, some Nelson locals had convinced them that most Kiwi of foods is the Dukkah dip. Basically Dukkah is a spicy mix made with seeds and nuts that is used for dipping, olive oil tastings or for seasoning meats or vegetarian equivalents.I disputed the Dukkah - I implored them to focus on our seafood and lamb.

New Zealand does seem to make quite a few Dukkah products though!

Anyway we had a good old chat. Later my wife accused me of flirting with them.

As is turns out - the girls were lovers - and later had a huge tiff - with one sleeping in a car that night.

I saw them the next day at an Internet Cafe - being very cosy - but - this time avoided conversation.

Actually an NZ camping ground - has an interesting mix of Kiwi apple pickers -and European backpackers. It is fair to say that often apple picking money - is converted into booze money.

I heard one conversation go like this:

"Am I the only New Zealander here!!!! So where are you from?" - said a very large Kiwi larger lout.
"I'm from France" said the French backpacker.
"How do you say f**k off in French?" replied the Kiwi.

All very interesting!

But what is it with New Zealand and Dukkah - I just don't get it!


What is New Zealand food exactly?

Searching Google for ideas - I stumbled upon

I guess I was expecting - possibly some lamb dishes - definitely seafood - and perhaps some pacific fusion style cooking.

But actually is selling frozen curry and Italian pasta dishes.

The marketing makes the linkage between New Zealand - clean and safe - therefore although all the ingredients for the frozen meals seems to be imported - they are cooked and mixed in a clean Kiwi kitchen.

Quite funny really.

I guess the hygiene in an Indian commercial kitchen is not so good?

I always thought clean green - referred to the water - the air and the soil - not the QA procedures in place in a commercial kitchen.

However, the humour, of the above does make me contemplate the simple question - What is New Zealand food exactly?

You never hear of anyone picking up a lamb and pavlova takeaway - but everyone certainly loves their Thai and their Indian.

Is New Zealand food - really only a list of nostalgic experiences?

  • Seafood caught whilst staying at the batch,
  • Ducks shot in lake Ellesmere,
  • Pavlova and sav's at the family barbecue;
  • A crayfish tail - from the next door neighbour - who happens to be into diving,
  • Shearers sandwiches - thick cheese lettuce and marmite?
  • Hokey Pokey icecream - melting over your hands at the beach,
  • Whitebait fritters - made for dinner - after a freezing day in the surf.
Or have our food experiences always had a strong international flavour - I'm thinking the early Chinese gold miners - the Opium den's in Wellington - and no doubt Chinese restuarants?

So what really is Kiwi tucker?

What are pure New Zealand Foods?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Toheroa Soup - County Woman's Institute

I found this old Toheroa Soup recipe and thought I would post.

It calls for a dozen Toheroa (no wonder there are not many left).

I would substitute tuatua's 1:6 to recreate. Yes that is still a lot of Tuatua - please make sure you comply with all fisheries guidelines!

  • 1 Dozen Toheroas
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 1/2 pints fish stock
  • 1/2 pt milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

  1. Open Toheroas
  2. Mince finely and put in saucepan with stock
  3. Add finely chopped onion - and simmer for 1 hour
  4. Make thickening with flour, curry, cinnamon and a little milk
  5. Add remainder of milk to Toheroa and bring to boil
  6. Add thickening and stir until creamy
  7. Add parsley and salt
  8. Serve with toast

Pavlova with Kiwifruit Topping

Don't listen to those dam Aussie's - Pavlova was invented in New Zealand - just like the airplane. They can have Russell Crowe though.

Here is the quintessential recipe:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 8 oz castor sugar
  • 2 drops lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

  1. Beat egg whites, vanilla essence, salt and lemon juice until stiff
  2. Add sugar gradually
  3. Beat until mix stands in stiff spikes
  4. fold in vinegar
  5. Bake 1 1/2 hours on 250 degrees
Cover with fresh whipped cream and kiwifruit slices.

Main Street Deli - Greytown Wairarapa

The Main Street Deli is just awesome - the staff lovely - and the food - simply great.

This is one of those places - that - you just know is going to be a foodies paradise when you walk in - the sort of place where they understand good food.

To cut to the chase - I had a chocolate cake - which was just ridiculously good.

The real star was the wild boar pie.

My god it is good.

I took a large one home - and had it with mashed potato and organic cabbage.

It was bursting with heavenly filing - wow - its worth the journey - just for that pie!

South Wairarapa

88 Main Street

Greytown 5712

06-304 9022

Lighthouse Gin - Greytown

Lighthouse Gin is made in Greytown in the Wairarapa.

According to those in the know Lighthouse - is a fantastic quality product that is just flying off shelves. This is great to see - nothing like a world class local product supported by locals.

Like South Gin - it has unusual botanicals such as Kawakawa (Kawakawa has an earthy - peppery/fruity flavour).

Lighthouse™ Gin is made by hand in the classic ‘distilled dry gin’ tradition, utilising nine botanicals in their natural state. Neil creates the gin in a 200-litre copper still, which he designed himself, and had specially built by local craftsmen at 2K Design in Masterton.

The Lighthouse brand was inspired by the spectacular Cape Palliser Lighthouse at the southernmost tip of the Wairarapa and the southernmost tip of the North Island of New Zealand.

You can contact Lighthouse™ Gin at:

Greytown Fine Distillates

PO Box 113 Greytown 5742

New Zealand

Ph: 0800 800 999

Frute - Cider

Frute made by McCashins in Nelson is an extremely interesting - and easy to drink - cider product. The packaging is also fantastic - the four pack a work of art.

Frute comes in two flavours:

  • Orange Vanilla and
  • Berry.

The Berry is made from raspberries, boysenberries and blackcurrants (plus the cider base).

It is my favourite of the two and is indeed very frute!

Nelson Coffee Shops - Need to Step Up

Look I love Nelson - and I love the coffee its the best - and it is made with a real passion.

However, the food - so far almost everywhere (Zumo excepted - as they don't do food!) - is not good.

The best mid range food - in Nelson - seems to be the fish and chips and Guytons - and then at Mapua.

Perhaps there just needs to be a blanket ban on stale panini, dry or doey muffins and tasteless fudges and slices. The Phoenix perhaps removed the fridges. I think Nelson needs to start again.

Even in the supposed - best cafes there are problems - uneven food - a few too many flies - too slow to tidy up tables etc..

The bars are no better - dog meat burger patties - nothing original or interesting!

Perhaps the entire Nelson needs a Gordon Ramsay to come in - and help out a bit.

The gourmet kebab shop is an exception - I guess I would like to see more.

Horopito Cooking

A quick post - some excellent Horopito recipes from "Ricky" here:

Recipies are:

  • Horopito Crusted - with Duchess Sweet Potatoes (Maori Pepper)
  • Horopito Vinaigrette 
  • Rack of Lamb with Horopito Mustard  

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weka Cider VS Montheiths Cider VS Rochdale Cider

We'll I've been trying out a few Cider's these days - apparently they are bursting with antioxidants - and are actually good for you. Hmmm but perhaps it is actually the apple cider vinegar that is good for you - not the alcoholic beverage? - VERY HARD TO TELL after a few bottles.

We'll now I have sampled three little stunners - and I can tell you that all of them are nothing like the cheap stuff I used to drink as a student. In those dark distant days - cider was added to beer - with a dash of raspberry cordial(fake and bright red of coarse) - and called a snakebite. A night of snakebites = worst hangover ever!

Fast forward to today - cider is now the fastest growing alcohol category in New Zealand - and yeh it tastes really good - dry and fruity as opposed to insipid and sickly.

We'll I focused in on three ciders as of late:

  • Rochdale Cider - Nelson
  • Weka Apple Cider - Marlborough
  • Monteiths - Crushed Apple Cider - West Coast/Auckland/hard to tell these days

All three are excellent - but the Montheiths is still a little sickly sweet for me - so the Rochdale and the Weka are the finalists!

The Weka (which is a blend of pear and granny smith) - it light - easy to drink - and delightful it is fair to say. It also comes in a super cool 4 pack box - which is an artwork in itself. It really makes me wonder at the margins these guys are making - i.e. the cost of the bottles, cost of label, cost of 4 pack box, cost of ingredients, cost of transport, the supermarket cut etc... etc...

However, the winner has to be the Rochdale - it is dry - and has a real autumn taste - you can almost sense the harvest - golden leaves - delicious and juicy red apples.

So ends the cider challenge!

Commonsense Organics - Wellington

My how this place has grown since I have been overseas.

I used to go to the shop on Wakefield Street - I think that was the first.

Now they have three other stores.

A third of their produce comes from Common Property, their own Bio-Gro certified market garden in Te Horo.

Commonsence Organics was ahead of its time when it was first built - I guess their concept - was to create a full service Organic Supermarket - and orientate towards the mainstream (as opposed to being a  Hippy vibe organic shop - complete with Yoga self help books etc..).

Obviously this works.

I remember years ago I bought some organic juice from them - it had actually fermented and proceeded to foam all over the floor of my car.

I took it back - and they duel refunded me - for a time the fizzing wonder was left in their car park - should it EXPLODE!


260 Wakefield Street, Wellington 6011
PO Box 9206, Wellington 6141
Tel: 04 384 3314 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              04 384 3314      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: 04 385 3383 (for deliveries)
37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt 5010
PO Box 31592, Lower Hutt 5040
Tel: 04 566 4783
Fax: 04 566 4784
Tenancy 4, New Tenancy Building, Coastlands, Paraparaumu 5032
PO Box 580, Paraparaumu 5254
Tel: 04 298 7205
Fax: 04 298 7215
7 Bay Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6022
PO Box 14636, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6241
Tel: 04 387 1751
Fax: 04 387 1752

Te Horo Olives (Te Horo)

Te Horo Olives began in 2000 - and are grown on the stony soils of the Otaki River flats.

I saw this oil in Harris's Garden Center Cafe - and it caught my interest.

It is great that the Kapiti Coast is knocking out gourmet products - this needs to be increased!! Instead of worrying about building grotesque whale statues - the council should instead be promoting local fare. The Kapiti Coast/Horowhenua has a real natural wild vibe - that could produce some standout produce.

Address: Te Horo Olives
1081a State Highway One
RD 1, Te Horo
Otaki South 5581
New Zealand
Phone: 06 364 3579 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              06 364 3579      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: 06 364 3580

Kelp Pepper

I'm definitely into "alternative" peppers - such as Horopito. Kelp Pepper is a delicious alternative as well. 

The product is certified as organic - but dam - it's from the wild sea - how organic can you get!

Valere Kelp Pepper is made from harvested  Kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera (giant kelp). It is naturally air dried. Nothing is added to it and only water is removed. Kelp Pepper is a very rich source of iodine. 

Best used with seafood's and chicken - kelp pepper recipie ideas are here:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Crupples - Dried Apples and Blackcurrants

Hmmm no I had not heard of crupples either!

Basically they make dried fruit - from a special drying machine that sits in the orchard.

There are no preservatives - such as sulphites used.

They come in chewy or crunchy!

Farro Fresh Food - Auckland

Located at 80 Lunn Avenue, which borders Remuera, the Eastern Bays and Mt Wellington - Farro's looks to me to be Moore Wilson's for those who live "North of the Bombays".

They also have an excellent website - also provides some delicious looking recipes

Contact Details:

Ph: (09) 570 7071
Fx: (09) 570 7076

Physical Address:

80 Lunn Avenue
Mt Wellington
New Zealand

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:30pm
Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday 9:00am to 6:00pm

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ruth Pretty Whitebait Fritters

Even though I have done an article on Whitebait - Google is telling me that people are interested in Ruth's recipie only!

So here it is!

Yes it is the same recipie as the TVNZ site - but at least I stripped out the windows characters!
Whitebait Fritters 

(Makes 30 cocktail-size fritters or 5 entrée serves) 

Whitebait fritters remains one of the most asked for fingerfood items.  People can't get enough of them. Ruth Pretty catering also frequently serves (as an entrée or lunch dish) whitebait fritters with asparagus and hollandaise sauce.

7g (1 tbsp) flour
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
250g West Coast whitebait (drained and gently washed)
salt and freshly ground pepper
clarified butter or ghee (to cook in) *
juice of 1 lemon
Sieve flour onto beaten eggs and lightly whisk together.
Stir in whitebait and seasonings
Heat a small amount of clarified butter in a heavy frypan and using a teaspoon (for cocktail sized fritters) drop fritter mix into hot clarified butter.  For entrée serves divide mixture into five and cook 2 or 3 serves at a time.
Fry quickly on one side, only until egg mixture sets.  (Do not wait for whitebait to go white.)
Turn fritter and quickly brown on other side.
Drain fritters on paper towels and squeeze lemon over fritters.
Season with salt and pepper before serving.
* Clarified butter or ghee is great to use when frying (or barbecuing) as it doesn't burn.
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
(Serves 10 )

750g asparagus (prepared)
Hollandaise Sauce


Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add a pinch of salt.

Plunge asparagus into boiling water and cook (uncovered) until tooth tender but not soft. 


If you need to keep asparagus warm:  line a bowl or container with folded wet but cold teatowel and place asparagus in the bowl wrapped in the tea towel.
Serve drizzled with Hollandaise Sauce.


Place egg yolks and water into a large heatproof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water, whisking continuously until mixture is light and fluffy.

With water still only just simmering, drop by drop and very slowly, pour melted butter*, into egg yolk mixture whisking all the time to ensure its incorporation.  When you have used up all the butter the sauce should be silky and smooth.

Gradually whisk in lemon juice and season to taste.  If you are not serving the Hollandaise Sauce immediately, keep it covered with a heavy teatowel, for up to say 30 minutes, placed in a warm part of the kitchen but away from stove top.

* Discard sediment and liquid at the bottom of the melted butter.

Antipodes Water Stockists

Antipodes is another excellent product that is getting quite a few searches on Food Heroes.

In particular people are searching for stockists - so here is a small list that I will grow!


  • Moore Wilsons (Wellington) - both the bottle store and variety.
And well last that I know of ....

However you can order directly from there site - the Internet solves the problem of finding a bricks and mortar store - just reach into cyberspace and you shall be provided with.

The link to order is here

Still loving that design! - I wonder which agency they used?

Gamboni's Deli - Karori

I have had quite a few searches on food heroes for Gambonis in Karori.The owners have provided some details in the comments section - and I have included their facebook and twitter links below.

A temple to Karori foodies!

Contact details are here:

(04) 476 5960
Parkvile Rd Karori Wellington

They also stock the award winning Buffalo products (Cuisine 2010 Artisan awards). So wander over and buy some of the yogurt - is is unreal.

They also supply spices from

If you know any more about Gambonis - write some comments and I will update the article from more - Food Heroes is proud to provide web traffic to local deli's!


Tarakihi - Cooking

Tarakihi is one of the mainstays of New Zealand - particularly if you live in Wellington - where along with the Grouper/Hapuka it seems to be one of the most consistent commercial catches.

I used to catch them out at Kapiti Island's north end.

They are a lot of fun to catch - and fight hard.

Generally the technique was to use squid bait on 2/0 hooks - and to wind the line up half a dozen times when it hit the bottom.

Tarakihi, when they are there can often exist in huge schools - hovering over reefs etc...

When they are on the bite - there is non stop action.

The best way to cook the Tarakihi is is fillet and then pan fry.

For an awesome meal - homemade chips - zucchini fritters plus vast quantities of Tarakihi.


New Zealand Natural - Ice Cream

This is a real success story.

Take our clean green "New Zealand" name - add to that the word "Natural" - and too top it off make an excellent ice cream product - from New Zealand's second most famous ingredient "Dairy". I guess lamb is first - right?

It is an interesting and typically entrepreneurial story. New Zealand Natural began as a small shop in Christchurch in 1984 - making ice cream with no artificial flavours or colours. In 2005  New Zealand Natural was purchased by New Zealand Based Emerald Food/Diane Foreman.

Using a franchise model - the ice cream is now served in 700 branded stores in 22 countries.

Now that is what I call a big success!

I really like it when Kiwi's - make a value added product (not just containers of powder) - create a brand and take on the world.

Diane Foreman won the 'Entrepreneur Of The Year', at the prestigious Ernst and Young awards in Auckland 2009

I get the feeling she is a force of nature!

Ps: these dairy fed Kiwi beef boys are way to big for that car!

First Knight Ambrosia Honey Liqueur

A short article.

The main thing of interest are the use of gold flakes in this Manuka Honey wine.

Pretty luxurious stuff!

I'm pretty sure I saw a similar product on a Traders TV program many years ago. Basically this NZer was trying to sell the product to a group of Chinese.

There were some serious language barriers - mostly he was just shaking the bottle to show off the glimmering gold flakes.

Mostly people in Asia like to drink cognac in any case!

Karengo - Edible Seaweed

The Karengo is related to the Japanese Nori seaweed - but of coarse is twice as delicious.

The first time I heard of Karengo was in a story book my son's bought home one day. Basically the story - went from the harvesting of the Karengo from a rocky shore - through to its cooking - and the family chowing down - very interesting.

Dried karengo was sent to members of the Māori Battalion in the Middle East during the Second World War - so it does have a significant cultural lineage.

Karengo is rich in iodine and protein.

More can be read here

Karengo products can be purchased here:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wild Thyme Honey - Waikerikeri Valley Central Otago

J.Friend & CO New Zealand Artisan Honey were recently runner up at the cuisine artisan awards.

I have not yet tried the honey - but the labelling is exquisite for a starter!

Grove Avocado Oil - infused with Horopito

Continuing on our Horopito theme - another interesting Horopito flavoured product is Grove Avocado oil flavoured with Horopito.

Grove is located in the Bay of Plenty.

I have taken this from their website:

"Horopito is the indigenous native New Zealand pepper tree, often known as Bush Pepper. The dried leaf of this shrub delivers a subtle but complex herbaceous flavour with a hint of pepper as an aftertaste. Try it as a deliciously surprising dipping oil, or create a truly unique dressing. The unique flavour of this product is a perfect compliment to pasta and makes a superb marinade for your favourite cut of steak. Grove Extra Virgin Avocado Oil infused with Horopito makes a uniquely New Zealand gift for your overseas friends."

I have a bottle of this - the Horopito adds a beautiful spicy pepper flavour. It also smells just delicious. It would be interesting in a Basil Pesto - I'll have to try it.

LEMON Z Limoncello - Kerikeri, Bay of Islands

LEMON Z Limoncello - comes from Kerikeri - the cirtus capital of New Zealand.

According to the website it is "A spirit with the purity of sweet lemons, the traditions of Italian limoncello, the sacred waters of Waikimihia and an undeniably divine taste."

Can't argue with that!

Stockists are:

  • Bhana Bros, 129 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
  • Dida's Foodstore, 54 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay
  • F.A.V. Parnell, 64 Glasdtone St, Parnell
  • Farro Fresh. 80 Lunn Ave, Mt Wellington
  • Fishmart, 22 Jellicoe St, Viaduct Harbour
  • Garnet Station Cafe, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere
  • IE Produce, 1 Barry's Point Rd, Takapuna
  • Moore Wilson Wholesale, Tory & College Sts, Wellington
  • Moore Wilson Wholesale, Kenepuru Dr, Porirua
  • Moore Wilson Wholesale, Eastern Hutt Rd, Lower Hutt
  • Moore Wilson Wholesale, Dixon St, Masterton
  • Nosh Food Market, 135 Apirana Ave, Glen Innes
  • Nosh Food Market, 136 Greenlane East, Greenlane
  • Nosh Food Market, 422 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden
  • Nosh Food Market, 254a Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
  • Ripe Deli, 172 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn
  • The Essential Deli, 455b Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden Village
  • Zarbo, 24 Morrow St, Newmarket

Contact is:

Lemon Z Ltd
5 General Gates Ave, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands
PO Box 172, Russell, Bay of Islands
Ph: +64 9 403 7027 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +64 9 403 7027      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Moore Wilson - Wellington

As New Zealand's main two supermarket groups - slowly reduce their product ranges - and expand their "house brands" - Moore Wilson - goes the other way - constantly adding new and interesting product ranges - delighting their customers in the process.

Being overseas for the past 4 years - on my return to Wellington - I of coarse went back to Moore Wilson's on Tory - to find it has significantly expanded - and been refitted. It really is a world class foodie paradise these days - basically stocking the best of the best - and in some ways I think it significantly supports New Zealand's rapidly growing artisan food production industry.

Moore Wilson's has also expanded with stores now operating in Porirua, Lower Hutt and Masterton.

If you are a Wellingtonian - then the coolest card to own is not an Amex - but the Moore Wilsons customer card.

The best Saturday Morning - for me - is generally brekkie at Cafe L'Affare - followed by shopping at Moore Wilson's.

Nelson Coffee

Nelson is a town of coffee drinkers.

We have talked about ZUMO in the previous article but to be fair we thought we would list out several of the great Nelson Coffee houses all worth sampling and all with interesting stories:




Zumo Coffee Roasters - Nelson

One of the first things you notice about the Nelson Coffee scene is the words "Fair Trade and Organic" - this is the  benchmark. There are various competing brands in Nelson all off which tick the above mentioned pre-requisites.

The second thing you notice about the Nelson Coffee scene is Zumo. It is incredibly strongly branded - and if you look down the main shopping street in Nelson - you see the brand - dead center - they have perfectly positioned their sign!

According to the wife  - Zumo makes the best coffee in Nelson - and the world. They also are completely customer focused i.e. you can tell them what sort of coffee you feel like - say strong, full bodied etc... and they will essentially match your mood with the right coffee blend.

They roast the Coffee right in front of you - and they provide great seating - a warm friendly atmosphere  - and plenty of coffee table style reading such as "Global Gypsy".

It is also child friendly.

They don't do food  (you can bring your own along) - they do Coffee and they do it well.

Forrest Wine - Riesling - Marlborough

Another great winery in Savi territory.

However, I have always loved their Riesling's best - dry yet delicate.

Actually - the story behind this was - I went for a tasting to Forrest(with my cousins) - and really liked the Riesling. So I bought a couple of bottles - only to end up leaving them in my cousins car.

Without any form of remorse - they informed me the next day that they had drunk both bottles of Riesling - and that they tasted "really nice".

Oh well - at least they were appreciated!

SERO2 - Serotinic Spring Water

Yip - this is a strange strange drink that has hit the shelves - bought a bottle at New World Waikanae today. Not cheap - about $3.50 bucks per bottle.

Even more strange is that the website seems to be down - and has been for ages.

The bottle design - has won awards - for agency

According to the bottle we have:

  • A dietary supplement,
  • Something that supports diet control,
  • Mood balance,
  • Improved Sleep,
  • Something that will de-stress you.
So yeh not your average soda pop by any measure. But I guess all food chemicals have effects - like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, vitamin C, tannin, chocolate etc..

This product focuses on Serotonin plus l-tryptophan.

The scary bits on the bottle are:

  • Max Daily Use: One bottle
  • Not recommended for children <15 years old
  • Not for pregnant or lactating woman
  • Not for serotonin sensitive people
  • Consult a physician if on prescription drugs
Again I guess all sorts of substances - could fit in a similar camp - however this is a really complicated drink.

Looking at the wiki for serotonin is also no help - unless perhaps you are an organic chemist.

Apparently the Serotonin naturally occurs in the spring water they use.

All in all a very curious and interesting drink - almost in the realms of science fiction - makes you think of a future where drinks - are tailored to our particular DNA - to ensure long life or an amorous sex life.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mandys Horseradish Sauce - Christchurch

Mandy's Horseradish Sauce - recently won an award - Cuisine 2010.

What a breath - of - hot - fresh air - with Burgess Horseradish Sauce difficult to find these days (and the main supermarkets often only offering poor imitations) - this is a product that should be in any pantry.

Like our friends at - these guys own Horseradish.

I have to admit - my favorite way to use Horseradish sauce - is with Roast Beef.

A particular favorite - is seasoned medium rare roast beef - with caramelized onions - lashings of Horseradish on a buttered french roll.

However it actually goes really well with smoked eel too.


North Island




Aussie Butcher - Newmarket
Zarbo's - Newmarket
The Neat Meat Company - Parnell
FAV- Gladstone Rd, Parnell
Remuera Gourmet Meats - Remuera
Auckland Fish Market - Viaduct Basin
New World Victoria Park
Sabato - Mt Eden
Butlers Banquet - Kohimarama
Nosh - Glen Innes, Ponsonby
The Italian Country Market
Farro Fresh Food Ltd
Karaka Country Market
The Produce Company (Distributor) -
Champers Hampers -
Little Karoo (Distributor) -
              John & Gillian Millward Ph: (09) 415 9658 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (09) 415 9658      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Dantes Fine Foods


Monk Street Market - Whitianga


The Merchant of Taupo


The Merchant of Tirau


The Village Pantry
Culinary Council

Havelock North

Bolderston Urban Food Store






Main Street Deli


Moore Wilsons

South Island


Meaters of Marlborough


Shop 35


The Rocking Frog


Akaroa Salmon
Rare Fare - Papanui
Johnson's Grocer
Cashmere Cuisine
Elite Meats Bush Inn
Halswell Butchery - Halswell
The Salty Pig Deli - Sumner
New World Fendalton
New World South City
Fresh Choice - Merivale
Traiteur of Merivale
Peter Timbs Butchery
Elmwood Fine Meats
Petrini - Ferrymead
Ground Culinay Centre - Lyttelton


Provence Fine Foods
Akaroa Cooking School


Dunsandel Store


New World Ashburton


Primo E Secundo


Whitestone Cheese Deli


Everyday Gourmet - George Street


The Fridge

Queenstown and Wanaka

Mediterranean Market
Mandys Horseradish :
81 Hussey Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8051.
Tel: 03 360 3513, Fax: 03 360 3514, Cell: 021 323 973

Clevedon Valley Buffalo Company wins the 2010 Cuisine Artisan Awards

We have mentioned the Clevedon Buffalo company in a previous post - and the crazy lengths they must have gone to - to import 18 pregnant Water Buffalo from Australia.

Now they have won the 2010 Cuisine Artisan Awards - for their Yoghurt - which is described as mind bogglingly good - sounds tasty right!

The product PDF is here


North Island

Bhana Brothers - 129 Ponsonby Road, Auckland
Didas Food Store - 54 Jervois rd  Herne Bay, Auckland
Didas Food Store Takapuna - 178 Hurshmere Road, Takapuna
Didas Foodstore Victoria Park - 118 Wellersley Street West,Auckland
Farro Fresh - 80 Lunn Avenue Mt Wellington, Auckland
IE Produce - 1 Barrys Point Rd  Takapuna, Auckland
Jones the Grocer - 143 Carlton Gore Rd, Newmarket, Auckland
Karaka Country Market - 439 Papakura - Clevedon Rd, Auckland
La Cigale -  69 St Georges Bay Road Parnell, Auckland
New World Eastridge - 209 Kepa Road Mission Bay, Auckland
New World Remuera - 10 Clonbern Road Remuera, Auckland
New World Victoria Park - No 2 College Hill Freemans Bay, Auckland
Piaggios - 9 Cook Street, Howick Village, Auckland
Pyrenees The Deli - 87A Vauxhall Rd, Cheltenham, Devonport, Auckland
Sabato - 57 Normanby Road Mt Eden, Auckland 
Waiheke Fruit and Vege - 110 Ocean View Road Oneroa, Waiheke Island
La Cave - 51A Riverlea Road, Hamilton
Vetro Hamilton - 538 Anglesea Street, Hamilton
Monk St Market - 1 Monk St, Whitianga
Tastebuds Gourmet Foods Ltd - 225 Kapanga Road, Coromandel 3506 
Okere Falls Store - 759 SH33, RD4, Rotorua     
Bolderson's Urban Food St
- 4 Donnelly Street Havelock North, Hawkes Bay 
Fresha Food Store - Crn Morley & Devon St, New Plymouth 
Main Street Deli - 88 Main St Greytown, Wairarapa
Cultured - 185 Jackson St, Petone Lower Hutt 5012, Wellington  
Gamboni's Deli - Karori Mall, 256 Karori Rd, Wellington    
Island Bay New World - Medway St, Island Bay, Wellington
Moore Wilson - Cnr Tory and College Streets, Wellington
Waikanae Butchery - 42 Main Road Waikanae, Wellington 5036      

South Island 

Mediterranean Fresh Foods - 50 Reece Cresent Wanaka
Mediterranean Market Q/town - 53 Robin Road, The Junction, Queenstown
Taste Matters Ltd - Shop 1, 28 Windsor St Windsor, Invercargill        
The Canterbury Cheesemongers - 44 Salisbury Street Christchurch      

St Andrews Limes - Hawkes Bay

These guys are situated at 164 St Andrews Road, Havelock North, Hawke's Bay - and are currently waiting for the next Lime season - July.Thes e guys do limes - no they OWN limes - and the domain name.

The product range is extensive to say the least - no gaps no grey areas here!

Lime and Mustard Seed Dressing 300ml
A deliciously lime-driven dressing for salad or fish... Ideal on seafood.

Lime and Date Chutney 195ml
A bursting, big flavour with a touch of chilli on the end. Use with camembert or blue cheese on a platter, on the side with a curry or slapped on a sandwich. Use in canapés or as a dipping sauce for meatballs. 

There are 19 products in total.

In 2006 they were voted by Cuisine Magazine as one of New Zealand's top 100 food products.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Old Busman - New Zealand Spirits - Levin

I think "Old Busman" is located in Levin.

Basically they have created a Bourbon that satisfies the following:

  • No hangover.
  • Mild flavour on the palate.
  • Full strength ie 40% al by vol.
  • No artificial ingredients.

They are at the Paraparaumu market - rain or shine - I'll be there to try some!

Might even make a pilgrimage to their shop in Levin.

Sids Sauce (Worcester) - New Plymouth

Another goody in the Mothered Goose Pantry (Bulls).

Sids Worcester sauce.

Actually Sids Sauce is made by Paul Garvin of New Plymouth - I guess Paul's Sauce didn't have the right "universal ding" vibe.

Sid is a cool name of coarse - think Sid Going - and Sid Vicious.

When was the last time you met a bloke called Sid who did not have street smarts - for instance.

Anyway anyway - one day Paul had a brainwave - "Goddam I'm making me some Worcester Sauce" - and good on him.

Actually there is an extensive product range going on:

  • Sids Smokey Garlic Sauce
  • Sids Raspberry Vinegar
  • Sids Plum Sauce
  • Sids Hot Worcester Sauce
  • Sids Boysenberry Vinegar
  • Sids Feijoa & Chilli Sauce
  • Sids Raspberry Mint Vinegar

He also makes a Smokey BBQ rub and Hickory Smoke.

Yum - life goal NO.1 - get invited to a barbecue at Sids!

Lemon Fresh - Kerikeri

Another treat in the Deli of Bull's is the Lemon Fresh juice pouches - they look very cool.

Lemon Fresh is based in Kerikeri which is famous for citrus - particularly oranges.

I stayed in Kerikeri once - when I decided to have a go at hitchhiking around the country with a friend from Denmark. We ran out of money in Kerikeri - and we both had to do chores in exchange for accommodation - I had to weed the garden!

The Lemon Fresh range is:

  • Lemon Pouches
  • Lime Pouches
  • Lemon Zest - (for use in Marinades etc..)
  • Lemonade Mix
  • Preserved Lemons.

Zespri Brand

Zespri - is one of those brands that I don't really like - the product is fine - but the brand name - well I am surprised it has lasted this long. Sometimes I wonder if it has lasted because the original decision makers are still on the board.

As a kid growing up in New Zealand - initially it was the Chinese Gooseberry - then it became the Kiwifuit - a fantastic name.

I remember the fanfare when the Zespri brand was created - and all the marketing hype that explained why such a silly sounding name - was actually really really good - apparently zesty - and full of energy. The general public reaction was WTF actually.

I have never once, ever heard anyone say the word "Zespri"... ever.

For instance:

  • 42Below - has a Kiwifruit Vodka - not a Zespri Vodka
  • Whittakers - has a Kiwifruit Chocolate - not a Zespri Chocolate.
Look I know the reasoning - a competitive market - required an internationally trademarked brand (I guess kiwifruit was not possible).

I think the major mistake with this brand "Zespri" - is that it is a synthetic word - promoting a natural product. It is probable that a natural name - should promote a natural product.

For instance, even though Charlie's is a guys name(maybe even a girl's) used to promote fruit beverages - it sort of works. Its a name we have all heard of - it conjures up an image of a typical kiwi guy - a larakin- making juice from the fruit growing in his 1/4 acre lot - the sort of guy to have a tool shed as well.

It just works.

But Zespri - no no no.

"What a Load of Bull"

Product No. 3 featured in the Mothered Goose Deli.

This one has some personality - one with a strong handshake.

Basically these guys make sauces - the first bottle I saw in the Deli had "Bull's Cream"!. I immediately picked up the bottle - it was one of those - WTF moments.

So the sauces they make are:

  • Bulls Eye - Chilli Sauce - tested on Bulls
  • Calf Custard
  • Bulls Semen Salad Sauce - taken from Bulls with their consent
  • Bulls Blood - Tomato Sauce - Freshly Squeezed from Bulls
  • Bulls Hit - Worster Sauce - Bulls are full of it

Alcoholic Drink:

  • Genuine Bulls Cream - Cream from Bulls

Beef Jerky

  • Raw Hide Beef Jerky - not suitable for vegetarians
  • Hann-a-bull Beef Jerky
Quite a product range! I love the humour - can't say when I will be covering a salad in bull semen though!

The Damson Collection

No. 2 product at the Mothered Goose Cafe - "The Damson Collection".

These guys specialize in Damson Plum products (if you don't already know the Damson is a perfect sweet and sour combination in one fruit - makes a great plum sauce for Chinese style duck.

The Damson jelly looks intriguing - I have been making Damson Jam for years from a tree on my section. The main pain with the Damson's- is that the fruit all seems to ripen at once!

The Damson Collection consists of:

  • Damson Paste
  • Damson Chocolates
  • Damson Liqueur
  • Damson Jam
  • Damson Jelly
  • Damson Vinaigrette

143 St. Georges Road
Havelock North
New Zealand        
Havelock North
Hawkes Bay 4157
New Zealand

Olivo - olive oil from Martinborough

Ok - Mothered Goose Deli product No. 1 - Olivo olive oil - which is produced in Martinborough - itself within the Wairarapa - an amazing dam place.

I have not tried the Oil as of yet - however I am really liking the bottle (It makes 200ml's look huge!) - and next time I am in the rapa I will check it out.

So buy some - it will be fantastic.

The story behind Olivo looks a little sad - the founders maybe running out of $$ and having to sell their baby.

But such is life.

Mothered Goose Cafe - Bulls

Well I went for a drive up to Bulls today - Bulls is a small farming town - with an amazing rural vibe.

It is also the junction between - going to Taupo and Rotovegas or going to Law's Town (Wanganui - interestingly if you do a spell check on Wanganui - it suggests Wanking!).

A bit of advice - if you are doing a long hall trip - and need a huge feed - go to the Rat Hole and order a Rump Steak. They are huge - and what goes better than a salad bar complete with curred egg salad (answer = nothing).

The two highlight of today's trip where - the "mothered goose" cafe - and an antique shop where I bought $10 bucks of marbles for the kids (and me!!). A real rural experience - complete with horse racing belting out of an old radio (for sale for $50 bucks by the way).

The Mothered Goose cafe is located in the old BNZ building - and has beautiful polished wood flooring. It also has a Deli fill of goodies (with a fantastic black and white check marble floor) - that will each be featured in the next few blogs.

The cakes - we had some chocolate caramel fudge thing - are just delicious and the coffee is just great.

The Mothered Goose is a bloody delight!

We were there about 2:30 ish - some farming types sat in the far corner on the comfy couches - some rich babe (who drove a Red Beemer) in between - and we sat near the counter.

I really like Coffee Shops that extend their brand into additional gourmet products.

For instance they had home branded such treats as:

  • Sage Apple and Onion chutney;
  • Spicy Apricot Sauce;
  • Pickled Ginger;
  • Maple Mayo;
  • Passion fruit Vinaigrette...
And some bottles of interesting alcohol products (think while berries floating in Vodka).

All in all - Bulls is an enjoyable experience - and I really appreciated the efforts the City Council have made to brand this amazing little town.