What’s new? New Plymouth

PetitParis

This is only my second visit to New Plymouth and man there are some great places for wining and dining. My first  stop was just by chance. As my corporate lunch was cancelled last minute, I had to quickly hunt for food before my next meeting. The lovely warm caramel smell of coffee and French music lured me into Petit Paris on Currie Street. They have a fab selection  of delicious French patisseries and tarts made by their talented patissier and these scream “pick me” from the cabinet. Their equally talented quality baker makes artisan breads and talented chefs make amazing European breakfast and lunch dishes. They also sell their own branded coffee beans.

I chose the chicken quiche with homemade chutney. I needed some greens so I asked for a some salad on the side. A good portion arrived gratis served with a very tasty vinaigrette. Lip smacking good. My latte was delish also. I was tempted by all the French treats but restrained myself for my next visit.

Service was very friendly and efficient and your table number for delivery of your food, is on a wee Eiffel tower. Tres Parisienne. They even do corporate catering.  www.petitparis.co.nz

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Next stop Social Kitchen. This received a great review in Dish magazine so this is how I discovered it. It became my first choice for pre-dinner drinks with friends. They were locals so they were just as excited as I to check out this new joint. The wine list was great and I quickly decided to stay on for dinner and sample the wares, instead of settling for a hotel meal.

Situated in the former Salvation Army Citadel, this bistro is set up for shared dining;  as in plates and seating although if you get there early you can nab your own table or booth. The decor is really cool with their art depicted in deerheads mounted on the wall, along with gorgeous wooden bench tables, and and a visible glass encaved meat safe with hanging salamis. It’s loud and buzzy and this adds to the social aspect.

I would describe the cuisine as Mediterranean. Small plates  ranged from charcuterie, empanadas, black bean fritters, oysters and roasted bone marrow (mmm very Paleo). I chose free range chicken as a large plate and didn’t realise it was actually half a chicken so the other ‘alf served as my lunch on the run the next day. All mains whether fish, chicken or various cuts of steak are served with chimichurri and this really enhanced my dish. Their special charcoal oven truly helps seal in the natural flavours. My side of chargilled zucchini with melted mozzarella was divine.

I browsed the dessert menu but declined and just delighted in reading what was on offer; chocolate lime torte, affogato, cheese board or sweet empanadas. Yum.

Their byline is “Meat dreams are made of this”, so who am I to disagree?  http://www.social-kitchen.co.nz/

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I drove past the Federal Store, three times whilst travelling to meetings. I finally managed to pull over late afternoon, as I was trying to checkout the opening times, without having to get out of my car. The lovely waitress who was clearing tables outside, could see me peering over and so she offered me a takeaway menu to peruse in advance. Sweet.

The Federal Store is a stunning brightly coloured cafe which reminded me of an old fashioned American candy/icrecream store. This was my ultimate favourite New Plymouth café and I didn’t want to leave. From breakfast quesadillas, pancakes, mince on toast with poached eggs, ugly bagels to eggs bene, muesli or a friand and coffee, there is something for everyone. My eggs and bacon with substitute spinach instead of toast was beautifully presented and tasty, although I do get annoyed when I get charged for this, when I’m actually asking for greens instead of grains not as extras. I let it go this time.

I arrived at 7am and within 5 minutes the place filled up with local  ‘mature’ sporty spices and lots of corporate blokes fuelling their addiction for their daily cup of java. I’m told that the next wave of peeps is the yummy mummies.

The lunch/brunch offerings of popcorn chicken caesar salad, fish tortilla, open steak sammies or pulled pork quesadillas sounded gorgeous also. Mmm I’m coming back here for sure.

I was dying for a coffee but held off, as friends said I just had to visit Ozone Café before I left town. Having two consecutive coffees when you’re driving long distances I’ve learned, just becomes an inconvenience, so I just waited it out.

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Lucky I had my GPS to find Ozone Coffee Roasters in King Street, as this truly was a hidden gem. Housed in a funky warehouse container, this place was really popular and unique. I thought the toaster, crumpets, muesli and bowls were just for show but I noticed one punter taking a muesli packet and bowl up to the counter to pay, as well as order her coffee. Such a simple, self-serve brekkie. Such a novel idea!

Meanwhile a little girl waits for her latte. It took  what seemed like ages but it was so worth the wait. It was so delicious and had such a smooth caramel taste and smell and was made with so much love. I was indeed in coffee heaven.

What started out as a boutique roastery in the suburbs of New Plymouth, Ozone Coffee Roasters  has now become one of New Zealand’s largest provincial coffee roasteries, supplying many cafes around New Zealand.  In March 2012, Ozone Coffee Roasters London opened at 11 Leonard Street, Shoreditch. There are plans to expand into the States and who knows where else.

Yes we do have a big hole in our Ozone layer and it’s just going to get bigger from a coffee perspective!   Go Ozone coffee you good things. http://www.ozonecoffee.com/

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