Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Kingslander, Kingsland

The Kingslander is a really hip bar/restaurant located in Kingsland. Some of you may have heard about their deals on daily deal websites such as GrabOne and Daily Do. I've had the chance to dine here a couple of times because of those deals and I must say I really like it.

This bar/restaurant is very big and split into sections. It has a huge flat screen on one side for those sport lovers to come in and watch the game complete with high tables, couches and fireplaces. On the other side is a higher platform with tables and chairs for dining. I really like the set up of the place. The kitchen closes at 9pm after which time most people spend the night drinking and listening to the band play.

The upstairs of the Kingslander used to be an extension of the place where they would have more tables and seating. However it has now changed into a more separate area for men to bring their dates so they can impress them with their awesome-ness (this is what the waiter told me... lol).

Now down to the important stuff. I am never disappointed by the food here. Well almost never. Josh and I came by last week, him ordering a steak and fries and me ordering a stuffed chicken breast with gourmet potatoes. Their portions are always MASSIVE so I think their pricing of say $25 for each dish is reasonable.

I can't say that the dishes are always perfect because my chicken was a little dry and one other time when I ordered pasta, it was way too creamy and almost sickening though tasty (I didn't finish the dish though). However having never left unsatisfied despite these little setbacks, we would definitely come back many times. The Kingslander is the type of place you would want to take your overseas guests who want to experience the typical Kiwi lifestyle.

I can say it's very casual yet classy because of the way it's been decorated and laid out. The Kingslander is definitely impressive. The service is also always very good and professional. They are happy to recommend a dish if you're unsure and apologize if the food is late.

The biggest downer to the place is parking. Because it is situated on a main road, you usually have to drive around hoping you would spot an empty park on the road side. However I have been incredibly fortunate in the last 2 visits where we were able to find parking right in front of The Kingslander.

So yes, if you're keen to enjoy a night out with good food and be amongst loud noises and heaps of people (though not necessarily during the weekdays), the Kingslander is for you. It's always good fun and people and you'll find yourself soon joining in with the rest of the crowd screaming 'TRY!!!' at the TV screen.

Overall rating: 4/5

The Kingslander address and phone number:

470 New North Road
Auckland 1021
(09) 849 5777

Vietnam Cafe, Otahuhu

Hey everyone, sorry about the lag in blog posts. I lost my phone cable and still need to buy a new one therefore things have just been really slow. Anehoos I found a new way of saving photos to my computer which is by sending them to Facebook and then downloading them from Facebook to my computer. Hoorah for smart phones!

Today's blog post is about Vietnam Cafe in Otahuhu. This place is by far Josh and my absolute most favourite restaurant in Auckland... okay, okay, one of! There is nothing fancy about the place, no decor, music or flowing curtains. All it possesses is a huge room with loads of tables and amazing food! Josh and I love rice noodle soup, the vietnamese ones in particular. We have been to plenty of vietnamese restaurants and they can never compare with the Vietnam Cafe.

I first heard about this restaurant from Josh in fact. He was always raving about it so one day I decided to trust his taste buds and give it a go. I never turned back since.

These days, rice noodle soup from Vietnam Cafe is our medicine for a cold and stormy day. We eat there almost every week even though it takes us about a 20 minute drive. It is that worth it. We are there so often that even the patrons know us and knows what I will order (Chicken rice noodle soup).

The portion of the dish is always generous and the food comes out very speedily. What's also great is if you're very hungry, you can order an extra bowl of noodles for just $2 (I THINK) and leave with a happy tummy. Cost wise they are very reasonable with just $10 per bowl.

They recently also added fortune cookies to their counter and you can get 3 cookies for $1. Josh and I always get a handful (like 10 of them), sit at the table or in the car on the way home and have so much fun opening the cookie up and reading the fortunes. We always have so much laughs and at the same time get to snack on the deliciousness that is the cookie. Nom nom!

Vietnam Cafe also has lots of parking at the back of the restaurant so you can invite your whole family and extended family and their extended family. Only downside is the restaurant isn't very pretty and could use a clean up but the food makes up for it.

I highly recommend this restaurant, you won't regret it. Great food, great service and great pricing, that's hard to find! Get ready for some good old fashion, simple, home remedy, hot, tasty noodles! oh and yes they do have many other dishes on the menu but I wouldn't know since I always order the same thing. But Josh has tried many of their dishes and love them all!

Overall rating: 5/5 Excellent service, food, convenience, great value for price

Vietnam Cafe address and phone number:

38 Atkinson Ave
Auckland City
09-276 9014

Monday, 6 June 2011

Friday Night Special- Deniro, Elliott Stables & Mezze Bar

It's Friday, friday, gotta get down on Friday! Okay, i just can't help myself. Every single time now I hear the word Friday, Rebecca Black's Friday song pops into my head. It's so annoying yet so addictive, in fact her song is almost turning into a cliche, you can pretty much expect everyone in the room to start singing the song in their heads as soon as someone says Friday. Can you imagine??? A whole group of people and suddenly someone says "See you guys on Friday!" and with a snap of your finger, the song just pops into their head! It's mind boggling!

Anywaayyy, I'm not here to talk about Friday. Well actually yes I am. But I'm talking about a different Friday. I'm talking about last Friday night with my girlfriends! Now the reason I named this post Friday Night Special is because we went to a few places and instead of writing different posts about it, I thought i'd just put it all in one. And I also thought I'd play with the meaning of Friday Night Special which could also mean a raunchy friday night with some sexy girls, however in our case the only common thing we have with that is that we were girls. Um yeah that's about it. Oh God i'm rambling!!! I tend to do that by the way.......

Sooooo our first stop was the Elliott Stables Epicurean Village in Auckland City. I love this place!!! But don't ask me why they call it an Epicurean Village because i don't even know what that means, however it IS certainly like a little village of foooood. It's like a posh, stony, victorian (?) type food court. It's made up of italian restaurants, french crepes, japanese restaurant, etc etc. It's fantastic! Elliott Stables has only really been running for the last couple of years so it's quite new and hidden away. But I have to say it is Auckland City's best kept secret! We had a little walk around and decided on Deniro Ristorante Italiano. That is the first and last time I'm going to type that out because I feel like it's such a tongue twister to say and let's face it, I'm not Italian. So from here on in, I'm going to call it Deniro's. I ordered a Risotto tossed with chicken pieces in a tomato sauce, my girlfriend Lelei had an Avocado Fettuccine and my other girlfriend, Niva, had a lovely salad. My risotto was amaziiiing! I've never been a huge fan of risotto but after this experience, I love it! It is perfectly balanced and to be honest, I'm not going to try and describe what i tasted because I'm no expert. All I know is that i loved it. Lelei's pasta must have been good too because she told me the last time they went there, she ordered the exact same thing! Need I say more?

Other than the yummy food, i LOVE the environment! It's such a posh and classy place and the lighting is low and romantic and the people are always well dressed with decent manners. The walls and floors are made of stone and the whole place is decorated with vintage, timeless furniture. It just felt so good being there. However as expected, the pricing for food is usually between the $20s and $30s. Now I believe this is worth it considering the experience you get as well. Oh and one last thing, the eye candy was not bad either, if you know what i mean. The three of us innocently chose a table in the main sitting area just so we could have a little 'look-see' at the two legged beings walking around. Innocently of course.

After dinner, the three of us girls went to Mezze Bar and Cafe on Little High Street. We always visit this cafe, in fact it's one of our favourite meet up spots. As usual, it's very classy and there is this little corner at the back with couches and pillows, very private, and we just spend hours there having a giggle. Now if you ever visit Mezze, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend you try the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake. Trust me when I say you are missing out if you don't try it. It's soft and gooey and melts in your mouth. I've ordered this cake twice now for my friends and family's birthdays and received so many responses asking where i bought it.

However because i was feeling a little big in my tummy that night, I decided on an Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with hot chocolate. Lelei had a raspberry cake dessert and Niva had wine. Our visit was unfortunately cut in the middle for about 15 minutes though because the fire alarm went off. It was really quite amusing. But anyway eventually we went back in and had our desserts. I was very disappointed with mine especially when i spent $13 on the pie alone. It wasn't impressive, it just tasted really off and I didn't end up finishing it. Lelei's dessert however was really quite yummy and I'll be sure to order one for myself in the near future. As usual again our experience though was lovely as it always is and we will never get sick of the place. I heart Mezze.

To end the night, we ended up visiting a club which shall not be named considering the scandals that always follow it, however it was perfectly innocent scandal free fun and we had a fantastic night! I don't think we could have chosen two better eateries to dine at that night. So in conclusion, if you're looking for a perfect night out, give Elliott Stables and Mezze Bar a go for dinner and then dessert. I guarantee you won't regret it!

Elliott Stables Epicurean Village
39 Elliott St
(09) 365 1166

Mezze Bar  

9 Durham Street East
Auckland 1010
(09) 307 2029

Frasers Cafe, Mt Eden - DESSERTS!

Do you see this wonderful shelf of yummy goodness? When they say a little kid in a candy store, let's just say I was like a little kid in a cake store. Except this wasn't just a cake store, in fact it was Frasers cafe on Mt Eden road. I just had to share this beautiful picture with all you dessert lovers out there.

This is the place to be.

They have everything from at least four different types of cheesecakes including the New York baked cheesecake which is a huge favourite to the lemon meringue pie to chocolate mud cake and MORE! They have a whole other menu for other desserts as well. Someone almost had to put a restraining order on me to this beautiful shelf. However I did not need a restraining order because just the reminder of how much sugar and butter must have been in whatever I ordered was enough to stop me. But oooooh, the experience was still 10 minutes of heaven goodness!

Oh and yes the cafe food is very good too. Frasers is in fact an incredibly popular cafe so come one, come all and feast your eyes on what they have to offer! This is the perfect hang out for a girl's night out (as girls always love having girly dessert night outs.... or is that just me?) so put it in your calendar now... NOW!

Frasers Cafe & Espresso Bar

434 Mt Eden Road
Mt Eden
Auckland City

Tel no: 09 630 6825

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Blue Bird Vegetarian Cafe

I LOVE the Blue Bird vegetarian cafe! You may not know this but I am an incredibly fussy eater. I don't eat, beef, lamb, pork, seafood, roast vegetables, etc but I do eat fish and chicken. Therefore I love vegetarian food. I once went to a meat market a few months ago in Malaysia and I bawled my eyes out as this market had LIVE chicken, wrapped up in newspaper, tied by a string. They were sold like a bag of potatoes! :S

Anyway I first tried this restaurant with my sisters and then with Josh. It is so interesting! The cafe is painted in blue with blue furniture and oh don't let the name fool ya, it opens for dinner too. They have paintings of birds all over and they play some sort of odd relaxing music. All the waitresses dress up in saris and they have pictures of this man who is like their leader on the walls. So I believe that their food must originate from some sort of movement or religion. Anyway I am a catholic but I have nothing against other religions or beliefs so I was quite happy to oblige.

Their menu is really quite simple. Everything is obviously vegetarian and served in bowls. You choose 1 from around 6 different types of toppings and they serve it on 1 of 3 different types of base. For example they have a peanut sauce topping, a mexican topping, a creamy mushroom topping etc and you choose one to go on either a brown rice, kumara or mashed potato base. They also have three different sizes and it's very filling so I normally go for a small. My all time favourite is the mexican topping. They also serve it with vegetarian sour cream that tastes better than the real thing. And with every meal, they serve it with two slices of amazing bread. The last time I was there, Josh had the peanut sauce and we both really did not like it. It was way too peanuty. It's great for a few bites but definitely not for a whole meal. However I highly recommend the mexican.

I also took away a slice of vegetarian banana cake. Omg I honestly don't know how they do it but it tasted amazing. People have the idea that vegan food taste gross, just the word vegan is ugly but this cafe seriously proves that theory is wrong-o! I can never be sick of the place and I highly recommend you give it a go.

If you're into something unique and interesting, you must try it. I can't believe I never heard about it for the years I've been here. Do try it out!!!

My rating: 4/5 ( I did not give it 5/5 only because the peanut dressing wasn't very good however the rest was amazing!)

The Blue Bird Cafe address and Contact:

299 Dominion Road,
Mt Eden,
New Zealand.
(near Valley Road, opposite the ASB bank)
+64 (09) 623 4900

Try It Out Vietnamese Restaurant, Otahuhu

Do you love vietnamese noodles? Well let me tell you the best vietnamese noodles are in Otahuhu at the Vietnam Cafe. Unfortunately this post isn't about the amazing Vietnam Cafe. It was a Sunday afternoon and we were on our way to Vietnam Cafe. However to get there we had to pass by Try It Out Vietnamese restaurant. Josh had eaten there before with a few others and they quite liked it so we decided to 'try it out' (mind the pun).

I'm just going to get right to it. Service was terrible. Now I know that you can't expect to get 5 star service at a two and a half star restaurant. However I have always felt there are limitations to what you do. The waiter did not understand or speak english very well. And while taking our order, like literally we were telling him what we wanted, his phone rang and he picked it up, spoke for longer than needed and then finally hung up. He looked at us as if it was the most normal thing to do. And he did the exact same thing with other customers. I almost wondered if it was a joke.

Anyway we let it pass because we were there for the food, not for the service. The food came and it looked great. Andrew had a spicy chicken dish and it was amazing! It was just amazing! Daphne had a vegetable and prawn dish which was completely normal and I had the fish ball with rice noodles soup. I did not finish my dish. I don't think I even went through half of it. It was sooo incredibly salty and they put so much msg (monosodium glutamate) that I couldn't stop drinking water. For those of you who do not know what MSG is, it is some sort of preservative which is very bad for you but makes food taste really good. However it makes your mouth become dry and sort of feel like a desert. After eating only half of it, I stopped but continued drinking water like a camel for the rest of the day. My stomach also felt funny. I had to apologize to my organs. Turns out that there was also huge amounts of MSG in the chicken and every other dish.

So yes that was a pretty bad experience. Bad food and bad service. I'm never going back there again. But for those of you who really crave vietnamese food, go to Vietnam Cafe which is right opposite the road from Try It Out. I guarantee you will have a party in your mouth. We drive all the way over from our home in Epsom just to eat it and it's worth it especially on a rainy day.

My rating: 2/5

Try It Out Restaurant:

79 Atkinson Ave
Auckland City
09-276 9339

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Hey everyone!

I really really do apologize for not keeping up with the blog in the last three weeks. I've taken many photos of restaurants I've been to but the problem is I can't find my phone cable so I can connect all the photos to the computer. Once I am able to locate it, I'm going to do a whole series of posts! Sorry about that!

Love, Clare