Address: 3 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden
We entered a venue which was a hive of activity and had excellence ambience. Once a community hall, the venue was strategically chosen as we were told that it is common for locals in the Pacific to gather for meals as a group in community halls. We were especially taken with the décor. Chairs were mismatched, as was the crockery. Whilst immaculately clean, some crockery was chipped (on purpose) and this was all to give the impression that you were in a community hall where locals had come together to have share a meal. Our first impression of service was impressive and the majority of wait and kitchen staff seemed to have South Pacific heritage. This was very helpful when it came to menu selection.
The restaurant was at capacity and because of this, the room was loud. If you struggle to hear, it’s worth keeping this in mind during peak times and asking for a strategically placed table.
Exciting and a real experience! There was a great summary on the front page of the menu which outlined the history of the restaurant and how it came about (we’ll leave you in anticipation). As we turned the pages, we felt as though we were in for a real experience. The menu lists dishes from a number of islands – Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii and the Cook Islands to name a few. Fresh seafood was very prominent, especially in the Starters section, and options included “Poke” which consisted of raw salmon, sesame, ginger and soy, and “Fish Cakes” which included apple crisps and mango aioli. The “Magiti (mains)” section provided a larger array of meat dishes in comparison to the Starters section and meats on offer included goat, fish, lamb ribs and brown sugar chicken. There were various traditional dessert options on offer and the drinks menu was adequate and contained a great selection of cocktails.
For starters we ordered the “Seafood Platter for 2”. We ordered this because it contained a number of traditional dishes within the Starters section of the menu which really took our fancy. The platter consisted of “Mussels” with miti and fresh chilli, “Poke” as mentioned above, and “Kokoda” which is a raw Fijian fish dish. Each dish was served cold and we devoured the Poke – this was our favourite. The other fish dishes were equally as delicious however were very coconut heavy – so if you aren’t a coconut fan do keep this in mind. For mains we had the following:
A fantastic experience! If you’re looking to experience something a little bit different, and taste flavours which really represent the beautiful South Pacific, do pay Kai Pasifika a visit. We will definitely be returning and are already looking forward to our next visit. Thanks to our follower Joy for the recommendation!
Address: 82 Gladstone Road, Parnell
Forever busy on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the day that we visited was no exception. Amidst the fantastically intense aromas coming from the kitchen and coffee machine, we were lucky to get a seat and whilst somewhat cramped, we were promptly served sparkling water (which was on tap).
The "day menu" which we were presented with consisted of mouth-watering breakfast and lunch options. From "keffir fermented porridge with rhubarb", to "smoked fish omelettes" and "charred ox tongue", the menu presented dishes which were inventive, with the majority combining unique flavour combinations and ultra-fresh ingredients. Rosie is licenced however we couldn't go past the smoothies and sodas on offer which included a pear and ginger soda, and a kale, pear, citrus and celery smoothie. Also, the iced teas were extremely appealing - especially the jasmine and elderflower option.
We ordered the "pork sausage" which included savoy cabbage, sultana relish, poached egg and sourdough bread. The sausage was flavoursome and lean. It was somewhat salty however the sultana relish really balanced this. The dish was a really interesting (and healthy) take on the traditional big breakfast and we were certainly satisfied. The serving sizes were very generous - keep this in mind. We accompanied our meal with a fresh juice which contained pear, celery, kale, apple and lemon. We enjoyed it however would advise that you steer clear should to not be a kale fan.
An excellent brunch spot and clearly a local favourite. Be prepared to wait for a table on the weekends as every man and his/ her dog is there (literally). We loved the sparkling water on tap and the fact that the majority of the produce used comes direct from the farm ran by Rosie's owners. Treat yourself to "Rosie" one morning, we'd be surprised if you were disappointed.
Address: Lower Hobson Street, Auckland CBD
“Love u long time” greeted us on the ground tiles outside the entry and as we walked through the doors, we were teleported to somewhere in South East Asia! The Asian inspired décor was a real mix cultures and the restaurant had an excellent vibe. Asian influenced aromas filled the air and we especially liked the large tables that were placed spaciously throughout the room.
Our friendly waiter presented us with the menu and it contained a mix of Asian favourites. There was a separate allergy menu that listed vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and non-seafood dishes. If you have a dietary requirement, this separate menu really is impressive. We ordered from the main menu and from sticky pork belly to shaking beef, this Thai/ Indonesian/ Indian/ Malay/ Vietnamese inspired menu is sure to satisfy the fussiest of eaters. We were very impressed.
We ordered the “imperial lettuce cups” and “Billy Tong’s wontons” to start, and followed these dishes with the “soft shell crab” and “butter chicken” for mains. Our dishes were accompanied by a bottle of the “Cupcake” wine, which is a four-way mix of various grape varieties. Whilst we really enjoyed the wine, it is worth noting that it was very sweet… so look for an alternative should you not be a fan of sweet wines. The imperial lettuce cups did not disappoint and are a really tasty entrée option. Lettuce leaves are provided and you fill them with a mixture that consists of wok fried chicken, soy, capsicum and spring onion. The standard butter chicken was by far one of the better butter chicken dishes we’ve sampled in Auckland and to accompany this dish, we ordered some garlic naan bread and coconut rice. We think we would have preferred plain rice instead of the coconut rice however in summary, we were very impressed with the flavours and were very satisfied with our choices.
If you’re looking for a restaurant that serves well known Asian favourites, has a great atmosphere, is in close proximity to the Viaduct and provides a fun and casual environment, we’d highly recommend Monsoon Poon. We couldn’t fault the service and left very satisfied. One final tip though… if you’re on a date night, we’d recommend that you avoid the garlic naan! Whilst absolutely delicious, the chunks of garlic are quite large and we think we still smelled of garlic two days later.
Yours in adventure,
Address: 7/15 Faraday Street, Parnell
Whilst you may not be able to see Baruhlo from St George’s Bay Road in Parnell, the fairy lights outside certainly tell you there is life after COB on Faraday Street! As we approached the establishment, we were very impressed with how the owners have made excellent use of the space available. Seating is provided outdoors and blankets adorn the chairs. The ground floor (street level) is occupied by the kitchen and service area and indoor seating is provided upstairs on the mezzanine level. There is a small outdoor area which leads to the bathrooms and we suspect that this space will be utilised on a beautiful summer’s day. We were escorted upstairs to our table by the waitress and we really felt as though we could have been in Europe. We were very impressed with the décor!
We were presented with the menu and whilst it contained approximately five meal choices which you could have as either an entrée or main size serving, there was also the option of tapas which were written on the chalkboard on the ground level. The tapas options change regularly and on the night that we visited, the options were mussels with romesco, sticky pork skewers with crackling, empanadas and coxinhas which were like potato croquette’s only filled with cheese. Each dish is $4 per plate and charcuterie and cheese platters are also on offer. If you’re after a quick meal, or want to settle in, there is an option for everyone. The menu also specifically states that most dishes can be adapted for vegans, vegetarians and those that are gluten intolerant. The beverage list is impressive and includes a large array of red and white wines as well as beers.
There were three of us and we decided to order a plate of each of the tapas on offer as well as a side of crispy potatoes which were served with saffron aioli. When we ordered, the waitress looked at us as though we had four heads and we weren’t sure why… after asking her whether we should be doing something different, she informed us that she didn’t think this would be enough and recommended we order three of each dish. The dishes were served at the same time and were absolutely delicious. The mussels were the pick however the pork belly came close and literally melted in our mouths. As for wine, we can’t write highly enough about the Rioja on offer and highly recommend that you sample a glass should you visit.
Baruhlo is just what the residential streets of Parnell needed. Service throughout the evening was questionable and we would have appreciated guidance up front rather than strange looks. Importantly though, the food flavours were sensational, we loved the ambience and we loved the menu selection.
On another note, ensure you grab an alfajore on your way out! Even better, grab an apricot flavoured one in white chocolate…. Absolutely delicious!!!
Yours in adventure,