The Late Night Federal express

Federal Delicatessen welcomes East Coast American classics to their new late night menu.

Finally… Aucklanders’ wait for decent, original Buffalo wings is over.  We’re thrilled to discover that it’s the team at Al Brown’s Federal Delicatessen who have answered our calls. With the launch of their new Late Shift menu we’re motivated mainly by the promise of the championed American classic – spicy hot Buffalo wings in all their finger licking glory.

The Late Shift at The Fed runs from Thursday through Saturday, 11pm to 1am. It caters for hungry, late night customers who want to avoid the fluorescent-lit fast food joints and instead enjoy their meal with a cocktail in hand and a friendly waiter at their service. Because who ever said a late night meal can’t be refined? At The Fed, they have honed their offerings to feature the best of their everyday menu along with several, recently perfected additions.

Along with the crispy, spicy and decadent Buffalo wings, we also loved the NYC style Street Dog and the Chicken Hoagie. Both provide the perfect snack, while the 2lb Buffalo wings are best shared around the table with friends (friends who don’t mind seeing you with wing sauce on your face, that is).

We recommend you get there quick to learn for yourself what all of the fuss is about. Whether you’re after a meal at the end of a long night of work or looking for a late night snack after an evening on the cocktails, the new Late Shift menu at The Fed should be your one-stop-shop when hunger strikes in the wee hours.

Open 7 days, 7am til late

Federal Delicatessen

86 Federal Street
Auckland CBD

(09) 363 7185


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Little and Friday after hours

A beloved Auckland bakery opens its doors to the dinner crowd.

From a kitchen made famous for its doughnuts, cakes and tarts, emerges a new and ever-changing dinner menu that will have you casting your cake aside (until dessert time, of course). Welcome After Hours; the newest venture from Little and Friday owner Kim Evans, where they’re serving up delicious take-home dinners to their legions of loyal customers.

The new eatery is nestled beside the original Little and Friday bakery in Belmont, where a window presentation lures passersby with towers of beautiful layer cakes. Inside, light streams from the produce garden out back and on display is an enormous spread of salads, because at After Hours, it’s all about the main event.

Arriving at 5pm, just as the hot food appeared, the smell was intoxicating. Hot, sticky and fragrant 5-spice pork belly glistened under the lights, calling my name, as did a glorious potato, lemon and marjoram al forno.  As if the smell had sounded an alarm bell, other customers appeared from nowhere and quickly ordered meals to take home – you have to be quick around here.

Of course it would  be silly to visit a Little and Friday establishment without considering something sweet. We hear that customers flock here right up until closing at 9pm just to get that last slice of lemon meringue pie, pecan pudding, or whatever the dessert of the day may be.

Although the menu changes daily, if that glorious pork belly is anything to go by, there is no doubt that every meal at After Hours will be just as outstanding as the last. For those wanting to try it out, you can keep an eye on the Little and Friday Facebook page to see what’s cooking each day. As for ourselves, we can’t wait to see what’s next on the After Hours menu, convinced it’s poised to become a regular, and very convenient dinnertime favourite.

Open Wednesday to Saturday 2pm – 9pm

After Hours

43 Eversleigh Road


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How to pair champagne with food according to G.H. Mumm

A guide to matching this French classic to every course of your next dinner party.

Many of us consider champagne to be a celebratory drink, something which is rarely taken further into the realms of food pairings beyond, say, caviar or oysters. Some varieties however, are surprisingly food-friendly, so long as you pay close attention when matchmaking with flavours. If you’re planning on an all-champagne dinner, the idea is to work your way up, following through from the more acidic to the less acidic and the lively to the more full-bodied.

Begin with the popular, dry and non-vintage G. H. Mumm Cordon Rouge, the flagship of the champagne house made mostly with Pinot Noir grapes.  Enjoy alongside hors d’oeuvres such as savoury puff pastries, canapés and tapas, though be wary of bitter flavours such as that of an olive tapenade, which would be an affront to the fresh, light taste of this champagne. Prefer the taste of a Blanc de Blancs, rich in minerals with an expressive finish thanks to it being made only from chardonnay grapes? This champagne performs admirably as a pre-dinner aperitif, yet its most famous pairing is with fish or seafood, particularly a simply prepared entrée of sushi, sashimi or oysters.

As you move on to a main meal, a heartier accompaniment is called for. It may surprise traditionalists, but the contrast between refreshing champagne and a hot dish works well. Be aware however, that not just any champagne will do; select a vintage that is designed to age before drinking such as the GH Mumm Brut Le Millésime 2004, or for the very discerning, the pinnacle of the GH Mumm range: Cuveé R. Lalou 1999.  Serve with gourmet fish, chicken or delicate white meats and if you’re up for a challenge, a steak, for which champagne pairing isn’t out of the question either. Sure, it’s not a familiar option, but a champagne with complexity will cut through the fat of the premium beef, each sip serving as a mini palate cleanser, something that a glass of red or white wine could never do. Looking for a more casual bite? Make like the London eatery Bubbledogs, and pair champagne with gourmet hot dogs, or even burgers. The old school may turn their nose up, but you and your guests will sit smug in the throes of a taste sensation.

The evening is beginning to wind down, so finish off with a selection of cheeses such as Comté or Parmesan and blues like Roquefort or Gorgonzola and continue the moment with the medium-dry and full bodied GH Mumm Brut Le Millésime 2004 (stay well away from soft surface-ripened cheeses however; the likes of Camembert have never found their champagne soul mate).  While the versatility of GH Mumm Le Rosé allows it to be particularly appreciable served chilled as an aperitif, traditionally it has been served with red fruit desserts or pink biscuits de Reims, making it an easy choice for any stage of the evening.  If you’re tempted to enjoy sweeter dessert pairings, tread carefully, sweet dishes often make champagne taste bitter. We’re looking at you, chocolate fondant.

To find out more champagne pairing tips for any occasion, visit G.H. Mumm’s website here.

G. H. Mumm

Bon Vivant

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How to: Receive a compliment

A concise guide to the often avoided territory of accepting lavish praise or the odd nice comment.

Compliments. They make you feel good, and then they make you feel bad. You can’t help but think: did they really mean it? Is there a secondary motive? Do they want to sleep with me? Suddenly you become a pessimist, sucked into a crisis of flattery. And boy, do you retaliate, nonchalantly boomeranging the little buggers back and forth until you find yourself trapped in a vortex of vacuous to-ing and fro-ing:

“Beautiful shoes!” “Thanks, your boob job looks so natural!” “Oh does it? So does your nose!”

And so it goes, until one of you panics, tottering off in search of less lavishly complimenting acquaintances. It doesn’t need to be this way. The compliment isn’t necessarily a vehicle to show off so long as you treat it with caution. The trick to taking a compliment – according the few who don’t blush and stutter at the very whiff of one – is to smile, and simply say ‘thanks’. That’s it. No gushing, questioning, deflecting, denying or petty questions of reassurance necessary. Stop at ‘thank you’ and smoothly move on to less debilitating topics. You’re welcome.


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The Coromandel Oyster Company

A farm gate eatery serving up the freshest fare for hungry travellers.

As summer dwindles before our eyes, we say our goodbyes to balmy nights, salty skin and sandy feet. But one summer pastime we do not yet need to say good-bye to is fish and chips. For this, we head to a favourite seaside eatery called The Coromandel Oyster Company.

Located on the outskirts of Coromandel Town, The Oyster Company is a regular stop-off for weekenders, locals and tourists alike. For myself and many Coromandel bound Aucklanders, it’s a must visit on almost every trip.

Albeit basic, the food at The Coromandel Oyster Company is consistently delicious. Oysters are of course the crowning glory and are available to buy either in the full shell, half shell or by the pot. Anything you choose, whether it be the famous mussel chowder or the beautifully light and fresh fish and chips, you can’t help but devour as the sea breeze engulfs you.

The meals at The Coromandel Oyster Company are best enjoyed eaten fresh on-site or otherwise quickly bundled off to the nearest beach. While the ‘restaurant’ may not serve your fish and chips with silver service and a chef shucking oysters to order, it’s the raw wooden benches, the rope bound stools and the salty air that make this place so special.

The Coromandel Oyster Company

1611 Tiki Road

(07) 866 8028


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Treat yourself to a Powersurge online shop, and receive a generous restaurant voucher for paying it forward