Craving a visit to Auckland CBD, I booked a solo flight on Labour weekend. As my foodie haunts list is huge, I had to narrow it down and plan logistically, so I could fit in as much as possible. Boy did I do well.I met a friend for brunch at Orphan’s Kitchen in Ponsonby. This is a small, quaint retro café elongated in space with rustic European décor, and there is further dining upstairs. I moved nearer the window on the large bench table to watch the beautiful people running or walking by. Great people watching I must say and another world from Queen Street.
The menu is quite trendy with unusual offerings and kindof but didn’t really speak to me at 10am; crumpets, buckwheat granola, halloumi, duck egg and asparagus, brisket, pickled mackerel etc. The drinks menu offers buffalo milk, yummy sounding teas, coconut affogato, masala chai; super trendy wendy. We chose the house kombucha which was was delish. I decided on the slow poached eggs on spelt with anchovy and meyer lemon. It was divine. No substitutes though and small portions for the price. Bestie had the smashed avo with harakeke, karengo, habanero on rye. Try saying that fast and knowing what those all are! Service was very good. Their wine list was very extensive and I think I’d maybe go back for dinner.
As foodietraveller had done 25,000 steps, and ate at 10am, dinner was early at White & Wongs, on the viaduct. It was a stunning day and the view was gorgeous. I chose an inside window seat which was superb. The décor is gorgeous and I realised I’ve developed a new obsession for lights.
The menu was overwhelming but in a good way. I wanted to order about ten dishes and I would say there are about 50+ options to choose from. I’d be here all day trying to list them all. They do offer a banquet menu which can be customised and is reasonably priced per head. I’m coming back for that. The food is a mix of Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian and Indian cuisine with no msg; so they promote real food with fresh ingredients.
Once I was seated, I had about 4 staff attending to my needs so service was good then. However when I arrived it was not. I had to holler to get someone’s attention! Young ones oblivious to customers as they are so busy chatting. Grrr. After about 15 minutes, I chose the Bang Bang Chicken and it was absolutely sensational. It was spicy and extremely satisfying and went well with my glass of bubbles. I skipped dessert however I will try next visit. This is an absolute must.
As I wandered back up Queen St to my hotel, I bumped into some Welly friends about to see the musical Priscilla. As I bade farewell to them I spotted the Giapo gelato next door. I’d seen this several times in the past and read about it so decided to go check out the hype. I’m so glad I did. This is a tiny gem with a stunning exterior and it’s a real treat. Here you choose gourmet flavoured gelato, sorbet or icecream which is made fresh daily. You can test flavours first and have a standard cone or a gourmet coated chocolate cone with a donut hit on top of it. The flavour names are awesome e.g. afghan cookies, giapo buono, hokey pokey, on my way to KeriKeri. I had the Siamu Popo which was like a creamy salted caramel on a waffle cone with Cacao sprinkled on top and two dark chocolate buttons. It was out of this world. Everyone was so excited so strangers oohed and aahed over each other’s choices and took photos. The Italian staff just added to the ambiance. Nothing under $10 and you can pay up to $25 for super gourmet cones. It’s so totally worth it.
My last stop and one of my faves was Sunday brunch at Odette’s Eatery with my cousins. The open dining atmosphere was fabulous as was the French décor and lovely staff. Booth seating with comfy cushions and I’m in heaven. The table setting, lights, protea flowers and food presentation were just stunning and even the toilets were immaculate. There is also a beautiful tree covered area outside with bench tables which is reminiscent of France.
We all chose different meals which I love as it’s an opportunity to showcase their wares. Girl cousins chose the chia pudding which looked gorgeous. My scramble on halloumi with date/apricot salsa and Midnight Baker buckwheat toast was divine. Boy cousins chose the braised lamb shoulder (very small portion for the price though), full breakfast and the Tongan Vanilla crepe. Coffees were good but they also have a range of smoothies, fresh juices, teas or a cucumber fizz made with Prosecco (yum). They are open 7 days and also open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday. This peeps is an absolute must and was a fab finish to my Auckland visit. See ya soon Dawkland!