Morris & James Pottery Cafe

10 May

20120510-100101.jpg

20120510-100255.jpg

20120510-100343.jpg

20120510-100423.jpg

20120510-100505.jpg

20120510-100536.jpg

20120510-100620.jpg

20120510-100743.jpg

20120510-100840.jpg

Advertisements

Goat Island

14 Apr

This was one of the places I looked forward so much to go to as I scheduled a guided snorkelling for myself and my uncle who requested for this. We wore black, long, fat hugging bodysuits and a neon stretchable cap (which I found funny and I thought we looked like dorks) but I still wore it for safety purposes. We were presented with some of the stunning sea creatures we would encounter in the water but my uncle thought we only saw 30% of them. There was a storm scare the day before so this may have probably, well, scared the pretty fishies away.

20120409-220835.jpg

20120409-220926.jpg

20120414-201607.jpg

20120414-201632.jpg

20120414-201702.jpg

20120414-201726.jpg

20120414-201806.jpg

20120414-201745.jpg

Puhoi Jazz

9 Apr

20120409-214514.jpg

It was to my uncle’s liking that we relax and listen to jazz music as a day ender to our exhilarating itinerary. So it was perfect timing to have Caitlin Smith perform at the Puhoi Rotunda. It was for free too so I didn’t even think twice about squeezing it into our agenda. It was a lovely and a bit chilly afternoon that time. Some brought their own foldable seats and bevs and everybody was just relaxed and cruising to this sweet experience.

20120409-214435.jpg

Auckland Botanic Gardens

9 Apr

So both my guests chose to visit this place. And their love for nature made this happen. It’s 25 kilometres south of Auckland and is home to over 10,000 plants from around the world. It is spread over 64 hectares in Manurewa, South Auckland.

20120409-205718.jpg

20120409-205808.jpg

20120409-205847.jpg

20120409-205920.jpg

20120409-205949.jpg

20120409-210016.jpg
Although this was not part of my itinerary, I was still glad we all enjoyed ourselves here.

Strawberry Alarmclock Cafe

2 Apr

Parnell village. This is where we had our lunch stop after our visit to the museum. We walked the whole stretch of the main street and we were glad to find this cafe with considerably affordable food on their menu. Food was good.

20120402-224759.jpg

20120402-224821.jpg

Auckland War Memorial Museum

1 Apr

In exchange for a daytrip to Rotorua to experience Maori culture, I chose this place instead. We signed up for the cultural performance and the tour that they’re offering. The performers were absolutely fantastic and their performances were very informative and moving. Needless to say that the tour was very educational and worth it. We all enjoyed our visit here.

20120401-225211.jpg

20120401-225231.jpg

20120401-225247.jpg

20120401-225302.jpg

Where there’s travel, there’s food

18 Mar

And you can’t separate them. Where there are locals, there’s good food. And cheap too!

Anyway, during our two week long holiday, we’ve been from tip to tip of the north island of nz although we haven’t gone in between. We just explored Auckland as there’s plenty to discover, see and do here too.

On our first day as I’ve mentioned in my just posted post, I chose for us to have breakfast at Matakana Saturday Market to give them a good view of what’s waiting for them here in this beautiful country of New Zealand. My uncle ordered kedgeree…

20120316-172826.jpg
which my mom thought had the evil ingredient “cumin” from which she faithfully believes every indian or middle eastern dish has. She doesn’t like it. She hates it. No more questions asked. I said to her, “Be open.” But it’s not as if I like their dishes too. I guess there’s still a whole lot of things for both of us to learn and appreciate. At least I could say that I’m more open than her!
She has had the bacon and egg bap. According to dictionary.com, bap is a british noun which means a soft, flattish bread roll. Hmm, if only I wasn’t as enthused as now to write this post, I wouldn’t have found that out. That’s why I’m really glad that I’m still hanging on to my resolution of doing more reading and writing rather than just being a tv slave.

20120316-193948.jpg
I had waffles and banana slices in syrup . Perfect meal to start that day for myself.

20120316-194928.jpg
And of course, my mom and I shared this lovely hot cup of chocolate.

20120316-195400.jpg

For lunch, we headed to Parnell village and tried the strawberry alarm clock cafe. I had cajun chicken in wholemeal toasts and my mom had pumpkin soup which she didn’t like (again) because she found it sweet and preferred a savoury one. So I ended up sharing my sandwich with her. I still love her despite her little tantrums. 🙂 My uncle had a classic BLT sandwich which I failed to take a photograph of because we were just ready to devour the minute our food was brought to us.

20120318-160339.jpg

Then for dinner, I opted for the typical kiwi fastfood, fish and chips. It was delicious I should say after having tried dozens of them since I got here. The battered fish was huge! Wrong shot angle but it really was. Get them at the Puhoi general store.

20120318-160913.jpg

For lunch the next day, I brought them to Morris & James Pottery Cafe. The first time I went there, I fell in love with its seemingly European country charm with vines and leaves hugging its walls and their alfresco dining under the sun. It was lovely. We ordered Mediterranean pizza

20120318-161523.jpg
Fish cakes

20120318-161622.jpg
and market salad.

20120318-161704.jpg
It was filling and satisfying.

The day after my uncle left, my mom and I went on the Overlander train for a scenic rail journey from Auckland to Wellington. We had our lunch stop at the National Park with the snowcapped Mt. Ruapehu backdrop. I just bought a bacon and cheese sandwich with fresh salad on the side.

20120318-162710.jpg

After eating sandwiches and salads relentlessly, I started craving for Asian food again. And here was the answer to my prayer..

20120318-163159.jpg
Wow! 🙂

And after a savoury meal, my tastebuds started searching for something sweet.
So we went to lower cuba street at a corner cafe and had a caramel slice and chai latte

20120318-163916.jpg

The next day I bought us breakfast at mcdonald’s and ordered an extra yoghurt berry crunch.

20120318-164250.jpg
I think that yoghurt and muesli are beginning to win me over. 🙂

My mom desired for a hot bowl of congee. So we went to Jasmine chinese restaurant near the cable tram station. Unfortunately, the lady there told us that Kiwis generally don’t like it that’s why they don’t include that in their menu. So we ended up having the $15pp buffet. Really good!!!

20120318-164921.jpg

20120318-164949.jpg

20120318-165012.jpg

20120318-165035.jpg

20120318-165102.jpg
What a way to end our Wellington adventure.

The following day, our friends brought us to The Observatory restaurant at the Sky Tower. Another buffet! But my plan attack was not to eat any sort of carbs. Still it wasn’t succesful as I thought it would be for I didn’t get to try the last two desserts that I wanted to try. Ok get ready for this long line up!
Southern clams and cockles in Sicilian tomato salsa (didn’t dip)

20120318-170006.jpg
Mud crab in black bean sauce (same here)

20120318-170441.jpg
Seared peruvian scallop, sweet corn puree and truffle mustard

20120318-170911.jpg
Steamed saltwater tiger prawns

20120318-171059.jpg
Baby octopus in sour marinade

20120318-171209.jpg
Queen scallop

20120318-171257.jpg
Broadbill with polenta, lemon butter sauce and anchovy mayonnaise

20120318-171610.jpg
Coromandel green lip mussels with tamarind, fried orange and coconut milk

20120318-171902.jpg
Mushroom terrine

20120318-172117.jpg
Field mushrooms and roasted garlic salad

20120318-172312.jpg
Sanma Japanese mackerel

20120318-172513.jpg
Classic ham

20120318-172603.jpg

Now with the glorius desserts..
Caramel apple tarts

20120318-190631.jpg
Coconut lime cake

20120318-190722.jpg
Fresh fruits

20120318-190829.jpg
Pavlova with apple and feijoa compote

20120318-190924.jpg
Baked red currant cheesecake

20120318-191129.jpg
Elderflower panna cotta

20120318-191258.jpg
Toppings

20120318-191404.jpg
And this I didn’t get to try and failed to get the name as well

20120318-191522.jpg
Whew!!!

Our last leg was at Bay of Islands in the towns of Paihia and Russell where we stayed and joined the Cape Reinga Tour on our second day. We had lunch in a Thai restaurant and my mom had
Barbecue pork in sweet sauce and rice

20120318-192135.jpg
I had chicken and vegetables in peanut sauce

20120318-192242.jpg
I just loved this carved raddish with its reddish outline. Not that I ate it!

20120318-192408.jpg

Dinner was at Jack’s and we shared the biggest order of ribs

20120318-192935.jpg

Then we had buffet lunch (again) during the tour at Houhora. Don’t worry, this is just a short line up!

20120318-192622.jpg

20120318-192714.jpg
And my mom got this tiny crab inside one of her mussels

20120318-192825.jpg

Dinner in a chinese restaurant (still staying positive about mommy’s congee) but naah.. we ordered
Fried whole fish in sweet sour sauce (which really screams chinese)

20120318-193911.jpg

Lastly, still with an adventurous but tired spirit, we headed to the old little town of Russell, around fifteen minutes from Paihia by ferry. We had lunch at the Duke of Marlborough hotel. I got
Thai Beef salad

20120318-194257.jpg
and my mom got the
Grilled cuban sandwich

20120318-194402.jpg

That was some gastronomic journey!!