One Night In Auckland!



On Friday night I was a foodie fan girl and went up to Auckland for the night, the purpose was to see the great man, Jay Rayner. He was in Auckland as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. If you are one of those people who doesn’t know who Jay Rayner is, find out. He has written some excellent books and fabulous restaurant reviews. His talk was about The Ten (Food) Commandments and very amusing.

Whilst up there I had to eat! I travelled with my good friend and fellow foodie Lily, you may know her from NZ Masterchef? It was lovely to travel with someone else who mainly thought about food and the next meal.

Our first stop was for High Tea at The Stamford Plaza, it was a lovely treat and you can read my review for The High Tea Society here. This High Tea was our lunch.

In the evening we headed to Depot Eatery and as we were feeling rather full still we had a big ponder what to order. We decided to eat all the meat. I would recommend the NZ Meat Board, it was all good. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the rabbit. Not because it was bunny but it was just not my thing. It went especially well with my beer which was served in a little jug with a little glass in a very European fashion.



After our dinner we wandered around and ended up at in Lorne Street, I think Lily may have had secret plans to get me to try a Taiwanese Dessert. We went to Meet Fresh NZ and I let Lily do the ordering, she wasn’t sure how I would react. The dessert was very different but I liked it. I couldn’t eat a full portion but the black grass jelly, sago, ice and kidney beans were a very nice change and far more edible than they looked. OK, I freaked a little when I dropped a bit of black grass jelly and it looked like a slug. It was great to try something different and be with someone who knew what they were doing.



After dessert we went to see Jay Rayner, had a walk around night time Queen Street and went back to our room at The Rydges. Yeah, I know, Old.

For breakfast we headed to The Fed. I have been there several times before and do have a bit of a soft spot for the place. We both had the same bottomless coffee, grapefruit with and the excellent Griddle Cakes. I have had the Griddle Cakes 3 times now and each time they have lived up to my memory and been excellent. I  have tried copying them but haven’t got the fluffiness yet, this is my recipe.

I had a lovely night in Auckland and it was lovely to fly home Wellington and the snow capped ranges, the first snow of 2017.





Eating Auckland, OK it was work really but I did eat rather a lot.

*not a sponsored post*

In my other life I work for a major Australasian bank. Training for a new role took me up to Auckland last week. This was for 4 days with a rather nice hotel room and a fairly decent expenses budget. My first thoughts when booking the trip all involved food and eating out. I wasn’t keen on the idea of eating out alone and so I asked for company. I used social media and soon got myself 3 dates and some locals food knowledge. I love social media and I love food. Work is pretty great too.


My lovely view.

Sometimes being the oldest in a group of people is a good thing. I had the foresight to join the club of the hotel I was booked in and give my club number when checking in. I also got to the hotel first and that may have influenced my excellent room. I was on the 13th floor, with a king bed and a city view with glimpses of the harbour. I stayed at Rydges Auckland and found the location fantastic. I felt safe walking around the area by myself and the hotel is a nice size.

So ….. the eating.


I had what was probably my favourite meal of 2016. It blew me away. Back in July I went to Ottolenghi’s and I did love it but thought the portions could have been a lot larger. This meal in Auckland was more what I imagined and so very good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This is what I wrote on Zomato.


The atmosphere, surroundings and service were spot on. The food was incredible and even the bathroom is nice.

Between two of us we had the Afghan bread, smoked yoghurt labna, fattoush, wedding tabbouleh and the slow braised goat. Every dish was full of individuality , taste and flavour.

Next time I up up in Auckland this will be my first stop. I now have a new food aim, to eat their breakfast. In an ideal world I would try all of both menus. My one regret is I couldn’t fit pudding in.

Thank you for a lovely evening out Sarah, it was lovely to meet the real you.

The Federal Delicatessen


Love this place and I just couldn’t resist a return visit. OK, so I went twice.

My first visit was for dinner with Wendy Wings and her lovely daughter. You can’t book so we waited for a table at the bar where you get to watch the kitchen, it is a pretty fab spot. I love the diner feel of the place and it has a happy feel. This visit I had a hot dog, poutine and New York Cheesecake. It was all spot on and I also loved the Black Cherry Soda.

My second visit was for breakfast and I just had to have the Griddle Cakes – blueberry buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon butter & strudel nut crunch. They were as good as I remembered from a past visit and I could see them being carefully cooked and the blueberries in the top being individually popped. The coffee was good too, I do love a bottomless cup.



White and Wong


I met another social media friends here who works for the same bank as me. He choose the place and it is a lovely location. We sat outside watching the harbour. White and Wong is good but not the cheapest Asian. The food was lovely and so is the location. I rather loved the steamed pork buns and the custard buns we finished with were rather fab.

Thanks for the company Andrew and Greg.

Heaven Scent


I have to admit that I didn’t get the chance to try a pie from Heaven Scent. I did however have two breakfast (not at the same time). This place is right near The Rydges but if you weren’t looking for it you wouldn’t know it was there. It is upstairs in a loft space and it light and airy. My first visit I had the lovely muesli and the second time I had a delicious apricot and walnut brioche. The coffee was good too.

Federal and Wolfe


This cafe is not far from the hotel either and rather lovely. I had a great start to my day as you can see above. Yes, I ate the lot and still managed lunch. The whole pile was delicious. You seriously can’t beat a good NZ avocado. The ricotta was lovely too, everything was great.

That was my main eating. I also went to the Albert Street Food Court because you have to, got a take away cake for Milse, a sneaky slice of Sal’s Pizza which was spot on and a healthy lunch from The Little Bird Unbakery. I mustn’t forget Mexicali Fresh, that is my kind of fast food.

Oh how I love food.











Blueberry griddle cakes with cornmeal – Nearly as good as yours, Al Brown!

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When we went to Auckland, as mentioned on my Eating Auckland post, we visited The Federal Delicatessen and I had their very lovely  –

GRIDDLE CAKES-  blueberry buttermilk pancakes w/ cinnamon butter & strudel crunch
I haven’t got as far as replicating the strudel crunch but haven’t done bad with the griddle cakes. Mine didn’t have buttermilk, just normal milk, but were very close to The Fed’s version. I think cornmeal may be the key here?
This time I followed a recipe, next time I will tweak this to include buttermilk and use 50/50 cornmeal and flour. I think I won’t be far off. I will leave the strudel crunch as something to look forward to on a future visit. I am hoping that they open a branch of The Federal  in Wellington. We have Grill, Meats, Beer and it is great and an actual Deli would be a great addition.
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The reason I chose this recipe is because it contained cornmeal and isn’t too sweet. I love the texture of cornmeal and you can see in the photo  that they don’t look like ordinary pancakes.  I used a 1/4 cup to scoop the mixture and tip into the pan, I think The Fed used crumpet rings to get theirs in neat little packages. Might give that a go.
This is the recipe as I will make it next time, the original can be found on PopSugar. I served mine with maple syrup, lemon curd and yoghurt.

Blueberry griddle cakes with cornmeal-

  • Servings: 8 large pancakes
  • Print
1 cup ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk ( or buttermilk)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Mix together cornmeal, flour baking powder and salt
Whisk together milk, 1/3 cup honey, oil and eggs in a separate bowl
Fold wet ingredients into the dry
Fold in blueberries.
Heat nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
Spray lightly with cooking spray and dollop 1/4 cup batter for each cake.
Turn when bubbles appear.
Remove from pan when both sides are browned
Serve with the usual and lemon curd is a good addition.