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.