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

Takapuna Beach Cafe

To start off the long weekend, my sister and I headed over the shore to Takapuna to try the cafe by the beach (literally). I think sometimes we take New Zealand weather for granted, it’s so amazing everyday – most likely the best summer I’ve had so far.

The cafe was crazily busy given the weather, the long weekend and the Kiwi way of life. We were given a buzzing lobster on arrival that would alert us when a table was ready – very convenient!  As many have said before, the service at this cafe is indeed impeccable. No matter how busy, there is someone that remembers where you are, what you wanted, and whether you’re doing okay with everything. I ordered the fish burger whilst my sister had the rosti. The fish was incredibly fresh – I guess I don’t have to make a trip down to the Mount for some good fried fish. It has excellent ambience and the best view you could ever ask for!

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Our table wait :D

Our table wait 😀

Hope they don't mind it goes for a swim!

Hope they don’t mind it goes for a swim!

House Lemon, Ginger & Honey Brew

House Lemon, Ginger & Honey Brew

Berry smoothie

Berry smoothie $8

View from where we were sitting

View from where we were sitting

Beer battered fish, hand cut agria chips & tartare sauce

Beer battered fish, hand cut agria chips & tartare sauce $25.50

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Crisp agria rosti, baby spinach, feta, free range poached egg with samon

Crisp agria rosti, baby spinach, feta, free range poached egg with samon

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We stopped by Little and Friday – Takapuna to finish off the day. The hazelnut cake I believe was made with Ferrero Rocher in mind haha. Yum.

Hazelnut cake from Little and Friday-Takapuna

Hazelnut cake

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Soul Bar & Bistro

For our friend jumping back over the ditch’s farewell dinner we decided to go to Soul Bar & Bistro down at the Viaduct. Excellent atmosphere, packed even on a weekday, and of course brilliant location, dining outside facing the wharf on a beautiful summer’s night where the sky is still lit up at 9pm.

My snapper dish was really well made, refreshing and most apt for enjoying next to the sea. Hot chips on the side were also delicious. More often than not it is the dessert menu which lures me in to try a restaurant and I hate to say but as much as I was looking forward to dessert, it was disappointing. A lemon and blueberry creme brulee sounded so good but in my honest opinion I would prefer a traditional vanilla one if it meant that it would be made smooth and creamy – as how it should. The biscuit it was sitting on just didn’t fit with the dish. Despite this, the sorbet was AMAZING. I would go back just for that scoop of melting goodness. (I think everything on that dessert plate aside from the centrepiece was delicious, but that defeats the purpose doesn’t it. I didn’t manage to get a photo of it sorry, was much too eager haha.)

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Waikanae crab ravioli, lemon butter sauce + toasted leeks

Waikanae crab ravioli, lemon butter
sauce + toasted leeks

Pan fried snapper with green papaya, coriander and mint salad with mango dressing + toasted peanuts

Pan fried snapper with green papaya,
coriander and mint salad with mango
dressing + toasted peanuts

Roast Merino lamb rump with braised Moroccan lamb pie, smoked garlic labne + aubergine caviar

Roast Merino lamb rump with braised
Moroccan lamb pie, smoked garlic labne
+ aubergine caviar

Raspberry and white chocolate pavlovaraspberry sorbet + orange crumble

Raspberry and white chocolate pavlova
raspberry sorbet + orange crumble

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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.

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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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