Sashay for Satay!

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We were just about to order an Ekim Burger when hubby decided he wanted to try Satay Malaysia instead. It was located right next door on Cuba St. Ekim don’t despair as you are still on my list. I’ll be the weirdo asking for the bunless burger with extra greens.

Cuba St has such a cool, grungy, hip vibe with an ecletic mix of people. It makes for great people watching when you’re perched at the window table of Satay Malaysia.

When it comes to Malaysian food, I’m generally a creature of habit. It’s either Nasi Lemak or Chicken or Beef Rendang.  I just adore the combo of peanutty and coconut flavours with that lingering spice.

On the lunch menu naturally were satay skewers, prawns/squid, murtabak, laksas, rojak, lovely sounding salads, noodle dishes and various curries. They cater for carnivores, pesceterians, vegeterians and glutards (apparently this term was coined by a Seatoun restauranteur to describe  those painful people who choose gluten free options!). So in a nutshell there’s something for all.

Dinner would definitely command the obligatory mix of chicken and beef satay skewers for starters, however for lunch we only needed a main. We were hungry as we’ve had just done an 11km walk. Nasi Lemak it was. It came beautifully presented and was ever so tasty, however was a little on the small side with regards to the protein, so I  reluctantly chose to eat some rice to fill up. Unlike KK Malaysia’s generous portion, there I can easily park the rice as their meat portion is substantial. Hubby had the spicy seafood mee goring which he really enjoyed.

This place was empty at noon and then in a blink of an eye quickly filled up, which is a very good sign. The service was very friendly and efficient. Why would it be anything else? Malaysians are such beautiful people and great with service and good food.

They did have a great selection of wines and beers and that was good to know if we return for a cheap and cheerful dinner or me with my gal pals. I need to now visit Satay Village on Ghuznee St, to do a comparison of their Nasi Lemak or Rendang. I’ll certainly let you know.

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A French hottie and smoothe Italian on Waiheke Island

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Not having been to Waiheke for a weekend for a few years, it was fun to return to visit friends and family and to see what foodie surprises were in store. I flagged a vineyard this time, as I felt like a leetle French something. You know I adore anything French. Continue reading

The Thistle Inn

 

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I would never have contemplated eating at The Thistle Inn in a million years and was so grateful for an opportunity to do a mystery shop here. Simultaneously I got a history lesson.

Wellingtonians we house New Zealand’s oldest public tavern! Built in 1840 and rebuilt post a fire in 1866, the Thistle Inn still operates from its original site. No sign of wild plants or Scottish kilts here. This beautiful old building steeped in history still looks great today. Regular punter Maori Chief Te Rauparaha used to park up his waka and drink whiskey here for free, as well as poet Katherine Mansfield drank her favourite tipple here.

We were pleasantly surprised with the lovely, warm ambience that greeted us. The place was flooded in natural light with such a nice buzz.. There are are many places to house yourself, either in the main dining room, outside in the covered verandah, the private dining room or you can scale the stairs to three other private areas.

This is not your average pub grub. This is awesome tucker. The wine list was extensive and affordable and we ordered a lovely Otago Pinot. Both hungry, we dove into our entree of monkfish and prawn brochettes with a cress and lemon dressing. The fish was so fresh and just melted in your mouth and combined beautifully with the prawns and citrus flavours. It was also really attractively presented. We were tempted by the paua fritters or scallops but passed as not wanted to spoil our mains.

Both of our waitresses were friendly and knowledgeable. I was torn between the lamb rump and venison loin but opted for the recommended latter and so was not disappointed. It came with all my faves; roasted beetroot, vine tomatoes, artichokes, rocket and feta and each mouthful had the right sweet, and salty flavours and was just sensational. I didn’t want this meal to end. Hubby chose lambs fry, bacon, potato, jus topped with onion rings. He really enjoyed it but he did say mine was better. We were going to order a side of truffle fries but then forgot, darn it. Not that we needed them but I am wooed by anything truffle-related.

Each main had a beer or wine match even with the burger or fish and chips. Believe me, these are not your stock standard pub mains. The desserts that whisked past us looked amazing and brought great smiles to the clientele, especially the affogato and cheesecake. We just couldn’t do it, so lived vicariously through their bites.

This is a convenient local for politicians and govt workers for lunch or dinner. They also cater for special events and boutique conferences. We were advised the menu was changing for Autumn, so we certainly would not hesitate to swiftly return. It’s classy and elegant with food, wine and service to match. It helped me immediately get over my pub snobness. I left whistling a happy Thistle tune!

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day!

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It’s refreshing to find a healthy cafe that serves nutritious food that caters for the GF, vegan, dairy-free and Paleo/primal followers amongst us.  This is more upmarket compared to your Tank, Kapai or Habitual Fix salad/smoothie places. I make all this food at home but do have more protein, however this hit the spot perfectly when I was stood-up for lunch today! Continue reading