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NZ & Australian East Coast Travel Guide - Flights, Hotels, Tours & Tips

During my trip visiting New Zealand and the east coast of Melbourne, I thought I’d share some reviews & info of who I flew with, where I stayed, how I travelled to & from the airport, tours or attractions I attended, and maybe some tips or good shopping spots (for guys not that . . . → Read More: NZ & Australian East Coast Travel Guide – Flights, Hotels, Tours & Tips

Across The Ditch To New Zealand - 2014

Auckland City Sunset

Thursday 17 April – Auckland

It’s been a while since I last took a holiday so I’m off to New Zealand to see what our neighbours are like. I flew Air NZ which was an excellent experience with comfortable seats and leg room, friendly staff, ample entertainment and delicious . . . → Read More: Across The Ditch To New Zealand – 2014

New Zealand, Christchurch - Base Woodfired Pizza

Base Wood Fired Pizza - The King

In the make shift shopping mall, Re:Start, lies a quality pizza operator providing wood-fired pizzas to the masses. With a range of pizza varieties and two sizes, the light and tasty pizzas provide an excellent option for the family or as a lunch time option for the office crowd. I had The King and enjoyed a crisp thin light base with ample toppings and fresh pineapple. Delicious pizza at an excellent price. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Christchurch – Base Woodfired Pizza

New Zealand, Christchurch - St Germain

St Germain - Brioche Perdue & Foie Gras

St Germain offers up some delicious dishes on their menu. With so much to choose from, I selected The French Way – a degustation of dishes on the menu in smaller servings. This is also an excellent way to be introduced to some typical and famous French dishes. I love the French bread and the French onion soup to start off with was delicious and heart-warming. The escargot in a lovely blue cheese sauce was also excellent and then there was the cleverly put together foie gras. A recreation of a savoury apple crumble, the brioche base formed the crumb, a soft and flavoursome apple filling the apple component, and then the foie gras’s rich and creamy characteristics were used like whipped cream. A lovely pear sorbet with a dash of whisky followed to cleanse the palette before the main of cassoulet was served. The duck was just fantastic with the sauce even better. The highlight of the meal, I loved this dish. I love cheese so a selection of 4 French cheeses with salad and toasted raisin bread were an excellent pairing to enjoy. Lastly, if the experience couldn’t pack in any more food, 2 silken crepes immersed in an orange and grand marnier syrup were thoroughly enjoyed with Chantilly cream. An excellent representation of French cuisine. Superb. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Christchurch – St Germain

New Zealand, Christchurch - Dux Dine

Dux Dine - Seafood Chowder

Dux Dine is a family friendly, homely type establishment. It feels like the kind of place you want to go on a cold wintery day. The dishes I ordered are kind of in that keeping. A delicious seafood chowder that warmed me up, though I question the amount of seafood actually present. It tasted quite like a chicken and sweet corn soup. The pappardelle pasta is a generous meal with lots of pasta in a creamy but not rich sauce, filled with seafood. Delicious meal. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Christchurch – Dux Dine

New Zealand, Wellington - Olive Cafe

Olive Cafe – Buttermilk Pancakes

A lovely little café with a nice cosy feel. The café also opens for dinner. I had the buttermilk pancakes which were fluffy and had a lovely crunchy exterior which turned them into something amazing. Dipped with a bit of maple syrup, some candied figs for a little more sweetness, and fresh charred figs to counteract the sweetness and it made a fantastic start to the day. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Wellington – Olive Cafe

New Zealand, Wellington - Matterhorn

Matterhorn - Gorgonzola Beignet

I find the Matterhorn has a kind of casualness but yet the venue and restaurant has a certain deception. I’d class the food as fine dining for the masses. There’s skill in the execution of the dishes, but there’s no delicateness shown. No restraint. In stead, big bold flavours with generous serves are the mantra here. There was quite a bit of food dished up for the chef’s selection. They should call it a feast. I loved the garlic bread and then the gorgonzola beignet. The chorizo had big bold flavours which aren’t tempered. The Wagyu fat roasted potatoes have the most crispy skin and soft fluffy potato you could find. With the sourness of the buttermilk mayonnaise, what a side. So filling. The perfectly cooked and seasoned roast pork with the most delicious crunchy crackling was fantastic. To finish, gladly a lightish dessert. The two sorbet varieties were a welcome relief in cleansing the palette and finishing the excellent array of flavours and creativity unleashed in the kitchen. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Wellington – Matterhorn

New Zealand, Wellington - Mama Brown

Mama Browns – Kentucky Hot Brown Boy

Mama Brown is a casual venue with an American style menu that serves a breakfast menu well into the afternoon, aside from milkshakes and desserts. I chose the Kentucky Hot Brown Boy which was a unique dish – chicken with other elements on a savoury French toast. I really liked it and it made for a lovely lightish lunch. The gooey melted cheese, tender chicken, freshness of the pico de gallo, and the side salad worked well to produce a tasty meal. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Wellington – Mama Brown

New Zealand, Wellington - Logan Brown

Logan Brown - Puau Ravioli

What’s interesting about the menu is the range of cuisines employed in the different courses – French, Italian, Mexican, and Asian. Each carries soft flavours that let the ingredients shine through. The delicate crafting of the dishes and careful pairing of the elements, plus consistency, makes the dining experience an excellent one. I really loved the signature dish, the ravioli, which was fantastic. Just eclipsing it was the venison which was superb. A notable mention is the masterstroke of spiced poached pear with the NZ cheese, creating a fantastic pairing for something so simple as crackers and cheese. The peppery flavour of the tartare, the freshness of the Mexican inspired fish, the Asian flavours in the rabbit and duck, and the different citrus flavours with the dark chocolate presented delicious dishes to be enjoyed through the course of the night. If you want to experience a delicious and well crafted dining experience in a lovely setting then a visit to Logan Brown is a must. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Wellington – Logan Brown

New Zealand, Auckland - La Cigale French Markets

La Cigale French Markets

Cuisine: Cafe, Breakfast, Markets Location: New Zealand, Auckland – Parnell

La Cigale French Markets

Last day in Auckland and as the food on foot tour was cancelled, the operator who runs it, Lynn from Finding Flavours, happens to be a fellow foodie and blogger. She suggested I head to the French markets . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – La Cigale French Markets