Xuxu Dumpling Bar

This pocket of far eastern delight is reemerging as a dedicated dumpling bar.

In a particularly exotic little corner of Britomart, we have come to know the opulent Xuxu bar for its delicious Vietnamese morsels and fantastic array of cocktails. Subject to a minor revamp in the form of its menu and wine list, Xuxu has recently opened its doors with an ever-so-slightly different title.

Xuxu Dumpling Bar as it is now to be known, will be serving up authentic parcels of goodness using recipes carefully procured from all over Asia. From the classic Chinese favourites such as beef and celery, prawn har gao and potstickers, there will also be pork bun bao (Vietnamese steamed buns), Nepali momos and mandu dumpling soup from Korea – each flavoursome parcel hand crafted by chef Xuyen (Xuxu) Do Thi.

To accompany this delicate array of oriental goodness, Xuxu’s new wine list features some rare and exciting drops. Having garnered a ready following from wine appreciators far and wide, the revised selection will be on fortnightly rotation with the objective of enticing patrons to try something new.

With an utmost sense of hospitality, Xuxu Dumpling Bar is set to draw in those who desire quality libations and a superior selection of these delicious Asian delicacies. Though the ambiance remains as tempting and intimate as before, we can’t wait to acquaint ourselves further with this fresh and enticing new offering.

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday – 4pm til late
Saturday – 5pm til late

Xuxu Dumpling Bar

Cnr Galway St & Commerce St
Britomart
Auckland

(09) 309 5529

www.xuxu.co.nz

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A guide to collecting art

Get in the know on how to start your art collection with this sage advice.

The art world can appear foreign and daunting to the uninitiated. The fact of the matter is that the world is populated by an extraordinary number of artists and creative types all desperate to have the manifestations of their expressions appreciated. Showing some dignified respect to your fellow human by way of investing in their creative endeavours can be a truly rewarding pastime, and one that can pay off handsomely in the future.

From the hunt for a new piece to the thrill of discovering a little known artist, once you’ve dipped your toes in, it’s highly likely that you’ll keep coming back for more. Here are some tips to get your collection started:

FOR THE LOVE OF IT
Rationalising the cost-per-squarecentimetre of a piece is a hideous way to begin a collection, but experiencing ripples of excitement at the first glimpse of an artwork is definitely a good sign. Do watercolours of pansies make you weep? Then bust out the cheque book. Does silly street slang spelt out in bright bold neon make you turn away in horror? Skip and move on.

Art’s primary purpose is to enrich your life, and if you’re lucky it may one day prove to be a solid investment. Some of the world’s most outstanding collections were founded on a single purchase of $1,000 or less, proof that while greater quantities of money might be required further down the track, you don’t need riches to kickstart a collection.

IT’S A MATTER OF TASTE
Honing taste and aesthetic takes time. The art world practically chokes itself on contradictory opinions: who’s hot and who’s not, what to buy more of, who to ignore and what to hold on to. It’s testament to the mystery of taste and of course, art as a value-driven industry. Starting an art collection involves viewing lots of it, both highbrow and lowbrow, until you begin to recognise work that you’d love to own.

Spend weekends visiting the very best public art galleries available to you, before branching out towards art fairs, established galleries, friends’ galleries, and heavy stock art books. Like something? Ask the important person in the room about it, whether that may be the dealer, curator or the artist himself, and never pretend to know more than you do. You’re better off expressing honest ignorance than coming across as a fake.

WHERE TO COLLECT IT
Set a reasonable budget to keep you sane – even proud owners of healthy eight digit bank accounts have these. Look to purchase small works by both established and lesser-known names, keeping in mind what draws you in. For those who prefer a helping hand to begin with, start with reputable galleries that appear trustworthy: slip on your very best pair of shoes, adopt an open mind, and introduce yourself to the dealer. If you like a particular artist’s work, ask if they hold more of it (many do).

Alternatively, you could land a steal or two by seeking out early-career artists before the galleries catch on and encourage prices to rise dramatically. Making an effort to visit art fairs is also worth your while, where there is a lot to see, and you’re able to view work from an outrageous number of galleries all in one day. Mark out notable events worth travelling for, such as the Sydney Contemporary, Australia’s newest and most intriguing exhibition of contemporary art. Or head further afield to visit the Miami Art Fair and its various satellite shows such as NADA, for a hotbed of new and under-exposed art.

If a particular gallery is showing work that appeals, take note of their permanent address and schedule a visit. You may chance upon more work that’s up your alley, or better yet, forge a solid relationship with a dealer who recognises that you’re truly interested in what he or she represents.

Image credit: The New York Times

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A weekend behind the wheel of the Porsche Macan

Porsche escalates their fast-four offerings to dizzying levels with the launch of the brand new Macan.

I must apologise for my predisposed judgements. For when I first heard that Porsche were making a mid-sized SUV, my heart sank at the prospect of one of Germany’s most purist car brands finally selling out. However, my expectations of a budget Cayenne to suit the innocuous needs of middle class housewives could not have been further from the truth.

Yes, I should have known better – because when has Porsche ever demonstrated a weakness for pandering to the masses? The truth is that if they were going to design a car for a conservative consumer, the new Macan would have completely missed the mark. Far too fast, sharp and exhilarating, we suggest you take it easy because the Macan will have you flying around the countryside before you’ve had a chance to worry about whether or not you packed the club sandwiches.

As recently revealed, even the “entry level” Macan S Diesel displays ridiculously sporty tendencies, hence Giltrap Porsche insisted on giving me this, their most affordable model, to test drive. A serious contender when stacked up against other impressive petrol options, the turbo-powered V6 Diesel not only shows incredible pickup but particularly when engaged in Sport Plus mode, it deals with corners like it eats them up for breakfast every day. With the help of Porsche’s beautifully honed PDK gearbox controlled by steering wheel-mounted paddles, the Macan feels uncannily similar to driving a supercar, yet comes with the assurance that its wild side can be tamed by maintaining the standard driving settings for those who prefer a slightly more gentle approach.

Inside the appointments are nothing short of what you would expect from the German perfectionists. The design and layout of every button is purposeful and polished, and despite the extensive list of specifications that go so far as optional air suspension (a must for optimising its supreme handling) through to safety features such as Lane Assist, a function that monitors the barriers and cats eyes to silently keep your steering on the straight and narrow, everything is intuitively positioned and at-the-ready.

Some might have considered Porsche’s lofty target of creating the “world’s first SUV sports car” a little ambitious, but as you’ll discover when you drive the new Porsche Macan for yourself, they have absolutely nailed it.

Giltrap Porsche

100 Great North Road
Grey Lynn
Auckland

(09) 360 3200

www.giltrapporsche.co.nz

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