10 Must-try Food and Drinks in NZ

February 6 is Waitangi day in New Zealand and the weather was apparently extremely nice in Auckland (sunny 25°C). I’m sitting here in a sulk because I can see snow flurries outside my window and the temperature is hovering around 0°C. Instead of donning my sunnies and a pair of jandals at the beach, I’m wrapped up in a blanket with a hot cuppa in hand and my favourite Kiwi tracks playing in the background. My urge to go basking in the sun keeps getting stronger with every picture I see of people enjoying summer in New Zealand. I sigh when I look down at my fingers as I type because the lovely suntan I had acquired during my trip back there last December is getting lighter already. Plus, those pictures got me craving for things I cannot get over here. Here’s a list of 10 things I consider absolutely scrumptious and crave from time to time. These are a must-try for adventurous eaters visiting NZ.

Here it is, in no particular order:

  1. Whittaker’s Peanut Slab
  2. Griffin’s Squiggles Hokey Pokey Biscuits
  3. Cadbury’s Caramel Chocolate Bar
  4. Bluebird’s Burger Rings
  5. Pascall’s Pineapple Lumps
  6. Fish and Chips with Watties Tomato Sauce
  7. Steak and Cheese Pie
  8. Feijoas (It’s a fruit)
  9. L&P Drink
  10. Flat White Coffee

So. hungry. right. now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the food here in Switzerland. It’s just that every once in a while I get the cravings for these mostly unhealthy but totes yummy things that I grew up with.

If you’re an ice cream person, you might want to give the Hokey pokey flavour a try. I personally love anything from the Killinchy Gold range, especially the maple syrup and walnut flavoured ice cream.

Anyway, here’s a clip of my favourite song by Kiwi band Six60 entitled Forever below.

What’s your favorite foodstuffs from NZ? Please let me know in the comments section 🙂

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Musings of a Kiwi Leaving NZ Again

I’ll see you when I see you, Auckland.

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On my way to the airport, I felt overwhelmed with emotions. Leaving Auckland again for the second time felt very different to when I had to say goodbye to it three years ago. Back then, I left with the notion of New Zealand being my home. Now, I’m not sure if I can still say that about this place in the same way that I had done before.

I may not be a tangata whenua, but I’ve always been and still am very proud to be a Kiwi. However, somehow this place that I’ve been calling home has become very familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. Is it Auckland that has changed or is it me?

What is this unspeakable pain that I’m feeling right now?

I Moustache You to Accompany Me on a Cookie Hunt in Auckland

2016 EDIT: Sad to report that this cookie store no longer exists in Auckland.

My awesome brother took S and I to this little gem in town today. S and I fell in love with this place straight away. Why? Cookies, cookies, cookies. Need I say more? Oh! and the name of the shop too, of course.

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Yummy.

Apparently, Moustache is the first milk and cookie bar in town so it got everyone talking when it opened for business a few months ago. They were in the media a lot because Cookie Time; the giant of our biscuit industry, tried to make them take out “bar” from the “milk and cookie bar” because of trademark issues (click here for more info).

Anyway, the reviews of this place are up and down. It’s sad how some people are comparing Moustache with the legendary Mrs Higgin’s cookies down the road. Yes, MH’s cookies are sold nice and hot. Yes, they smell awesome from like a kilometre away. Yes, they have that perfect chewy centre which just melts in your mouth. I get all that. However, they are sold at a little stand well suited for on the go. Moustache, on the other hand, sell yummy cookies in a cool boutique-like place. You can buy and dash or take a seat and hang out for a while because the deco is fab and the staff are friendly.

Besides, you simply can’t go wrong with cookies (unless Bertie Bott from Harry Potter starts producing vomit-flavoured cookies or something. I don’t think they’ll be much of a hit in the wizarding world either).

That’s my two cents anyway.

If you’re in Auckland, do pop in and give Moustache cookies a go. My two favourite men and I have approved of their yumminess.

Dip Your Toes in the Water at Silo Park, Auckland

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Sun, angels, lights, piano and the ocean. This is Auckland’s awesome waterfront; the Silo Park.

So it finally happened. I used to hate the fact that Auckland lacked a proper accessible waterfront for the general public like Sydney. Now, I think that Auckland’s waterfront is, I dare say, better than our neighbour’s.

Just a few years ago, this entire area used to be an ugly industrial place. All we had was the usual Viaduct Harbour. Prince’s Wharf and the Viaduct Basin were known to be places where only the rich came to play. The superyacht marina only catered for a specific kind of crowd; those that could indulge in overpriced restaurants and accommodations all-the-time.

Fortunately, the old Wynyard Quarter got a much needed revamp! Yay! The space has now been opened up to host an array of outdoors events, like the open air cinema, concerts, exhibitions and markets, or even indoor functions at the new Viaduct Events Centre all year round.

My favourite thing about the place is the huge concrete steps located right by the water’s edge. It serves as a perfect area for people to come and dip their toes in the water while sipping on Flat Whites and eating take away food.

There are also good eats and drinks (mind you, at affordable prices) just around the corner. The renovated Marina area called the North Wharf now has great restaurants and bars lined up to the Events Centre. If you keep walking this way, it will lead you to the familiar Prince’s Wharf and the buzz of Auckland’s downtown.

Whether you are young or old, rich or not so fortunate, a tourist or a local, I love how Silo park provides for and welcomes everyone. It is truly an awesome place to hang out and make beautiful memories with your loved ones. It is also formal enough for professionals to carry out business lunches too in my opinion. I just wish all this was there when I was living there a few years ago.

If you’re in Auckland, I suggest you visit this place en route to Waiheke island. While living abroad I have come across people who have visited New Zealand tell me that they didn’t like Auckland at all. I understand how one can come to such a conclusion. Our country’s capital or the beauty of the south island can make it very hard for our “little big city” to shine. However, I think that you just need to look in the right places. Hopefully you’ll get a better impression of what Auckland has to offer by spending a day at Silo first, then planning a trip out to one of the islands near by. That way, you can experience Auckland as the city of sails, a place with its own kind of charm.

Way to Move, Auckland

Catching the train in Auckland made me realise how awesome Switzerland’s SBB is. Why can’t we have ONE ticket (like the GA) which works across all the public transport systems? It’s a huge pain in the arse to get around in New Zealand without a car, so I really missed my old station wagon today. It hit me once again that NZ’s public transport system is not reliable. Why can’t the Kiwis make their buses and trains run on Swiss clocks. Gah!
So that is why I missed my car today. I was so gutted when I had to say bye to my car when I left for Switzerland a few years ago. It was such a good car. A very nice car, indeed.

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Well, Auckland at least has free public toilets in the railway station, which is always a good thing. You need to go when you need to go, not dig inside your bag to find coins.