The Long Weekend

Public holidays are the best. Public holidays plus brilliant weather is the best of the best. I apologise for the never-ending affection for the climate, you’d think after all this time it’ll just become second nature but no(ooooo), I am continually amazed everyday.

The day started off at midday for me (sleep-ins are wonderful things) and as a typical Asian family day goes, yum cha for lunch or rather, breakfast in my case. I must confess I am not a fan of yum cha, particularly at places outside of Hong Kong, it’s just clearly not the same. So if you’ve been waiting for such a review, I must disappoint. It’s not a regular cuisine for me – my last was probably at least half a year ago. As it goes, we decided to take a walk round the Auckland Botanic Gardens and to head over to Pokeno later on. Maybe it isn’t the right time of the year or maybe my memory recall is just way too poor (think it was in my intermediate days that I last visited the place), the flowers did not seem to pop up everywhere as I had expected (distorted bias towards flowers in a garden I know). Nevertheless I got a few decent snapshots – decent enough for an amateur like me anyway. Hope you like them!

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In flight!

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Crazily modern nowadays

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Spotted this in the car park! I’m clueless about car specifics but it makes for good photos haha.

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Love scenic drives! This was on our way to Pokeno for some crazy 10 scoop ice creams.

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Oh ho ice cream galore! $10.50

Casa Tua

Daily deal websites give you the chance to try those restaurants you never would at full price, they reveal restaurants you never knew existed (giving you the chance to come across hidden gems), but they also lure you in to spending money you wouldn’t have otherwise spent (attacking your inner bargain hunter, who just can’t resist a good deal).

The good thing about Casa Tua is how close it is – for me anyway, saves on the driving and the headache of finding parking. The deal was for a 3-course meal. Overall the food was average for me, the night was more of a well needed catch up with a friend, so despite the dishes, it was still an enjoyable evening. Something that requires mention is the creme brulee, I only managed a few mouthfuls and left the accompanying biscuit untouched. (To date, Lassiette is the best place I’ve had this favourite of mine, extremely smooth and creamy with just the right amount of vanilla. I haven’t been back for a while, so hopefully they haven’t changed. I’ll be sure to do a feature when I make my much needed visit!)

The Plate starstar

The Taste starstar

The Shine starstarstar

The Smile starstarstar

The Mood starstarstar

The Money starstar It should be worth mentioning that the entire meal cost me and my friend $25 NZD each.

Risotto - Mushroom, spinach and chive risotto topped with shaved parmesan and black truffle oil

Risotto – Mushroom, spinach and chive risotto topped with shaved parmesan and black truffle oil

Calamari Fritti - Lightly pan fried calamari in olive oil, served with a lemon, garlic and parsley

Calamari Fritti – Lightly pan fried calamari in olive oil, served with a lemon, garlic and parsley

Fillet Steak - Seared to perfection and finished in the oven, served with a thyme and mushroom jus

Fillet Steak – Seared and finished in the oven, served with a thyme and mushroom jus

Pork Belly - Oven-baked pork belly served with red wine jus, balsamic reduction, stewed apple and crispy crackle

Pork Belly – Oven-baked pork belly served with red wine jus, balsamic reduction, stewed apple and crispy crackle

Cream Brulee - Custard with a caramel top served with a savoiardi

Cream Brulee – Custard with a caramel top served with a savoiardi

Archie’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Can’t say it doesn’t make you feel down when you return to full-time working life, it makes you begin to treasure and look forward to every weekend. Anyhow I will be posting posts from the few food places I visited over my holiday over the next few days/weeks. I’ve also decided to add something new to my posts, a value rating. After-all no matter how beautifully amazing the food turns out to be, if it is going to cost you an arm and leg I suggest such indulgences may be left to better days. So on with the review…

Archie’s was bustling and busy when we arrived for lunch on a normal weekday. Lovely casual place with a large range of fixed price pizza and pasta to choose from. In my opinion the pizza was one of the best I’ve ever had, the pasta not quite so much. Perhaps we were too infatuated with the tastiness of our wood-fired flat round bread that the other started getting cold and hence lost its appeal.

The Plate starstarstar

The Taste starstarstarstar

The Shine starstar

The Smile starstarstar

The Mood starstarstar

The Money starstarstar

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Cute boy rolling his own dough for bread!

Cute boy rolling his own dough for bread!

We decided to stop by the ever so famous Little and Friday also for a quick dessert to finish off. The Newmarket store is indeed a lot smaller than the North Shore one as it’s joined with the textiles shop, nevertheless still full of people. I think they had me already with strawberries and blueberries brimming from the fruit tart, but the well-made custard and the cute antique plate sealed the deal.

The Plate starstarstarstar

The Taste starstarstar

The Shine starstarstar

The Smile starstarstar

The Mood starstar

The Money starstar

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Road Trip 2013 – Mount Maunganui

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Beach. Friends. Sun. Food. Mount. What is there not to love about a summer road trip to start off the new year. Amazing fish n chips by the way. Also, I cannot get enough of how beautiful New Zealand sky is, day-in day-out.

The New Year – 2013

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Awaiting sunrise at Eastern Beach

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First blog post for the new year! A few snapshots of the fireworks display from the Skytower in Auckland, the amazing sunrise from Eastern Beach and of course the New Year’s Eve dinner at Faro – Korean BBQ on Lorne Street (no fivepointdusk post is that complete without some snippet of food). 2013 will be a year of great change for me, so here’s to courage, strength and happiness. Wish you all the very best for twenty-thirteen! Enjoy, and of course eat delicious food!

Follow me on instagram: @fivepointdusk

Mexico

I just couldn’t stay in on such a wonderful summer’s day, so after a good sleep-in, my friends and I went to try out Mexico down at Britomart for some new and refreshing food. A lot of shops are in fact closed in New Zealand over the Christmas and New Years period so it was a relief that Mexico was open. Starving, we ordered two soft shell tacos each, of pork, beef and chicken as well as a carafe of Margarita to share. Between the chicken and the beef, the chicken I thought was brilliant, it has a lot less ingredients but was wonderfully done. The tostaditas is a must try! I loved the atmosphere of the place.

The Plate starstarstar

The Taste starstarstar

The Shine starstarstar

The Smile starstarstarstar

The Mood starstarstarstar

Wonderful sunset from my window

Wonderful sunset from my window

Tostaditas

Tostaditas

Margarita and salt rimmed glasses with ice

Margarita and salt rimmed glasses with ice

 

 

Pork soft shell taco

Pork soft shell taco

 

Chicken soft shell taco

Chicken soft shell taco

 

Beef brisket soft shell taco

Beef brisket soft shell taco

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(The photos from the restaurant I took with an iPhone, please bear with me on the quality.)

Franklin Road – Ponsonby

I thought I’ll do a quick post with some of the photos I took of the Christmas lights along Franklin Road in Ponsonby before the Christmas vibe wears down for the year. A bunch of friends and I walked along the busy street on a weekday leading up to Christmas Day. The atmosphere was amazing with people singing carols inside the houses and families, couples and friends all talking animatedly, enjoying their time as they walked along admiring and snapping away at the bright lights. A lot of the decorations really reflected the summer Christmas we have here in New Zealand, the day was particularly humid so there wasn’t a need for warm drinks and thick coats to accompany us through the night, like what one would usually associate with Christmas on the other side of the world.

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