AUCKLAND. It can’t be easy taking over an institution that is synonymous with excellence in food, service and style. For three decades, The French Café has been in the careful hands of some of the country’s best chefs. Until September 2018, owners for 20 years, Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright, delivered food with simple elegance backed up with impeccable technique that made Simon’s cooking much loved. Assured service headed by Creghan made dining there a delight.
AUCKLAND. Earlier this year I spent more than a few lazy summer afternoons hoofing freshly shucked oysters at new Viaduct darling Saint Alice, but this was my first visit after nightfall, for dinner.
NORTHLAND. Earthy and esoteric elements meld in a pan-Asian menu where authenticity frames every dish, as the food stories of chef-proprietor Ming Poon’s journey from China to Spain to New Zealand are portrayed in flavour and form; a plated travelogue presented with passion and precision.
WELLINGTON. Despite fresh jungle-themed wallpaper and new lampshades that look like swollen eel traps, Pico Bar + Eatery is still easily recognisable as the old Zibibbo. But the significant change is that this Wellington institution is no longer so much a restaurant as a bar with good food.
Josh Morrice, a young Auckland filmmaker, was amongst a small contingency of New Zealand talent making waves at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
You can serve this on bought flatbread such as pita, but the gluten-free chickpea pancakes add a lovely flavour. They are nicest made fresh but you can make them in advance and heat them up for 5 minutes wrapped in foil in the oven. Click here for the pancakes
Kung pao chicken with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns and plenty of chilli is one of my favourite things. I’m also partial to chicken wings and felt that they were made to go together especially with a messy, sticky and spicy sauce. You’ll just need to provide plenty of serviettes or finger bowls. If the numbing qualities of Sichuan peppercorns aren’t really your thing you could omit them from the sauce.