8 Foods You Must Try in Auckland

New Zealand landscape
New Zealand landscape

Besides being famous of having the most beautiful landscapes and magnificent shorelines, New Zealand is also famous for its diverse and flavorful cuisine.  But which dishes are the best of the best? Here are just eight you’ll definitely want to try during your visit down under.

1. Whitebait Fritter

There are hundreds of New Zealand dishes made with whitebait, a fish easily caught off the coast. The fritter, however, is one of the only meals that can be eaten any time of day. It’s made with eggs, flour, butter, whitebait and occasionally a dash of spice, so it’s a suitable dish for a quick breakfast, a tasty lunch and an easy dinner.

2. Hangi

While technically a method of cooking, you’ll see hangi food advertised in restaurants all across New Zealand. This is because it’s an important and carefully-preserved tradition from the Maori people. It involves digging a pit, filling it with flat stones and then slow-cooking a variety of meats and vegetables over a period of several hours.

3. Veggie Stack

Vegetarians, this one is for you. “Stacks” are New Zealand slang for multiple ingredients piled high on a bread foundation, and veggie stacks are a great way to enjoy New Zealand cuisine without ruining your diet. The typical veggie stack will include things like tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, spinach and broccoli served under a hearty cream.

4. Chicken Laksa

Laksa is one of the many “melting pot” dishes you’ll see in Auckland hotels and restaurants. Usually prepared with both light and dark meat, it combines noodles, chicken chunks, coconut flavors and chile oil for an amazing and entirely one-of-a-kind taste. You won’t find it anywhere north of the equator, either, so enjoy it while you can!

5. Kumara Wedges

A popular appetizer, kumara wedges are made from kumara, a local kind of sweet potato. They can be dipped, soaked and fried in everything from vegetable oil to aioli, and their texture is to die for: Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they’ll keep you coming back for more every time.

6. Focaccia

The Kiwis love their bread! This dish was originally an Italian one, and it consists of a thick, hearty bread cooked with a variety of meats and spices. Many people report its texture to be like pizza dough, but it differs from pizza in the sense that the ingredients are internal, not stacked on top, and it can also be cooked with everything from lime to lamb.

7. Beef Rendang

If you like tender, juicy meat, you won’t want to miss this New Zealand spin on an Indonesian classic. The Kiwis prepare it with sauces that include everything from lemongrass to coconut cream, and the result is a dish so savory that it can almost be eaten with a spoon.

8. Lamingtons

Once you’ve eaten your vegetables, it’s time for dessert! Lamingtons are sponge cakes that are coated with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. Some also have fruit or cream fillings for an extra kick. You can find cheap packaged versions in any grocery store, but the best come freshly and traditionally prepared in restaurants and hotels. Check in somewhere like the Whangaparaoa Lodge Motel to learn more.

These are just eight foods you’ll want to try while you’re in Auckland, New Zealand. Don’t forget to wash them down with a great NZ beer!  And while you are there, explore the beautiful mountain scenery in New Zealand.

Party In Savannah

I went to Savannah this afternoon to attend a baby shower hosted by a friend.  I took Hwy 380 all the way.  On the road, everybody seemed to be in a hurry.  The speed limit is 60mph and I was running plus five on that.  But cars and trucks passing me.  Well, maybe they were going 70 or so.  Anyway, I was very watchful and paying attention because somebody was tailgating me.  Whoever is in that vehicle thought I would panic and ran as fast as he/she does, but no.  I just let him pass.  I was not in a hurry and I am not a racer.

My friend always host a party very well.  She cooked most of the food on the table.  When I got there, she was still cooking.  Because I am naturally helpful, I offered some help.  My friend requested me to get more pans from the enclume pot rack by the kitchen wall.  She will stir-fry a big pan of noodles.  I wonder how she manages to replace her pots and pans on the enclume potracks because they’re a bit high.  My other friend in Plano has enclume pot racks in her kitchen and those are elevated too.  Geez, I won’t be able to handle that, I guess.  But surely those are very nice for organizing the kitchen’s pot and pans.

Because there were lots of  eating going on, the party did not start until a few guests including me were about to go home.  My friend gave me some noodles and mung beans to go :).  I love parties!

Lunch At Sbarro

It is really nice to go out and give yourself a treat sometimes.  When the day gets tough in the house, it is best to go out and have a little fun.  You may go to the nearby park, to the mall, to the movies, or just go for a snack with friend in a food chain in town.  It is healthy for us to go out and see the world outside more often.

I go out once in a while even if I am not bored or pressured at home.  It is one way to give myself a little time to unwind and see people.  I went to the mall with a very precious someone and hung out there for a couple of hours.  Although shopping is one of the good therapy for me, we didn’t do it because I don’t need anything so far.

We ate lunch at Sbarro.  And sure it was good!