This is how you should be preparing for a facial, according to an expert

Whether it’s to relax and feel pampered or to help a specific skincare problem, there’s nothing quite like a good facial. But the treatment shouldn’t just begin when you step foot inside the spa, in fact, to truly get the best out of your experience, there are a few things that you should be doing beforehand. We speak to Suyin Ginn, facialist at East Day Spa, to understand what we can do pre-facial to get the best out of the main event.

Time is of the essence
“Try to be ahead of time,” Suyin explains. Don’t rush and try to arrive at the facial relaxed, composed, and ready for a blissful experience.

Show them what you’re working with
You may want to take your current skincare products to show the therapist, especially if you are experiencing skin concerns you want remedying.

This one’s for the guys
Men should shave 24 hours ahead of time.

Be savvy with your scheduling
Accept that — if you want the fullest experience — oil and product will get into your hair. “Don’t book lunch with friends afterwards, as your hair will be messed. Plan for this!”

Be savvy with your seasonal scheduling
“If you’re wanting resurfacing or smoothing treatments, keep in mind that these often involve taking layers of the skin off through peels or mechanical abrasion. Plan these for autumn and winter months when you aren’t exposed to the sun as much. Too much sun when the skin is weakened can lead to more pigmentation.”

Be prepared to put the time in
Be prepared to invest in good skincare — this carries on the good work after the facial. “It’s like going to the gym once,” explains Suyin, “you won’t get results that way. It’s the consistency of doing something — like using good skincare afterwards — that continues the results.”

Listen Up
Keep an ear out and be prepared to follow instructions, as the therapist will advise you how to use the skincare after a facial in order to prolong your results. “If you don’t follow instructions – for example, using more product that you should or not enough — it may mean your facial results will not last, and your skin could be worse off.”

Timing is key
Timing and planning are important. If you have a special event coming up, a party or a wedding, the earlier you can have facials the better the result.  “Our facial skin generally has a lifespan of 30 days, even longer as we age. So for big events, planning and having facials a few months ahead will give the best results.” Suyin’s recommendation? Between five and six months ahead.

Be patient
Accept that breakouts may occur! “Skin can hold memories of past breakouts, and if there is a residual matter still under the skin, it may get worse before it gets better.” Plan to have facials earlier in the week if you need time for the skin to settle before a weekend event. Or, if you want to hide away, plan for a mid-week facial and use the weekend to heal and settle.

What not to do
“You do not need to change or try to improve your routine before a facial.  Lifestyles are hard to change, and facial treatments are designed to treat your skin for how it is normally.  Let the therapist treat, and see it, in its current state.”

East Day Spa

123 Albert Street
Skycity Grand Hotel

09 363 7050

www.eastdayspa.com

Wellbeing


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Swede carbonara with cured yolk, pork jowl and parmesan custard

Meet The General: A new restaurant bringing a taste of molecular gastronomy to Auckland

If you were to ask us to define The General Restaurant, innovative and other-worldly are the first words that come to mind. Formerly known as Wine Chambers, owner, Anjali Balwal, manager, Ledio Voda and executive chef, Jacopo Crosti have taken the reigns and are providing something entirely new for the Auckland dining scene.

From the moment you enter The General, you’re immersed into a space of grandeur from the high ceilings, Greek-like columns and crisp white cloths draped over each table. However, regalness is not translated to exclusivity as The General is a restaurant that is open for all occasions and people, welcoming the everyday man on their lunch break as well as giving access to one of two private dining rooms for those that seek more privacy. During lunch hours, The General serves a two-course menu, a more casual approach but also a teaser for its three-to-five course dinner tasting menu — where the magic truly happens.

Wagyu hanger steak with carrots, coffee and Native spinach

With previous experience in fine-dining kitchens such as The Grove and Beirut, Crosti has accumulated great knowledge and skill for creating an experience through food. Inspired by the quality of locally sourced New Zealand produce, Crosti has married this with his Italian roots and complexifies traditional dishes. He takes control of every stage of his dishes from designing the ceramics, presentation and flavours.

The degustation begins with snacks brought out of a box, handmade from New Zealand native Rimu wood including moss foraged by Crosti himself. The snacks include creations we have never come across, such as a pea sponge and sago wafer. The buckwheat and cheese doughnut is drawn from the traditional Italian fried bread — a common street food but with a New Zealand spin — with NZ lamb prosciutto garnished on top. Crosti goes the extra mile in terms of presentation in order to give his diners a memorable experience, pouring an aromatic herbal rosemary, thyme and star anise tea over the dried ice covered by moss — resulting in a smoke effect.

Pea sponge with miso caramel and freeze-dried mint (on the left) Sago wafer, scallop mousse and sesame seeds emulsion (on the right)

From first glance, what looks like a traditional carbonara proves to be anything but. From the moment you take your first bite, the crunch from the cold swede takes the place of the traditional pasta, swede which is placed on top of a pool of pecorino custard and sprinkled with cured egg yolk, bonito flakes and herbs. The usual pancetta is replaced with flavourful pork cheek, renowned for its uniquely lean yet tender texture. The wagyu hangar steak is another dish that showcases the beauty and versatility of New Zealand’s produce, switched out in this case, for carrot. The plate is lined with burnt carrot, deeply caramelised puree with chopped carrots which have been cooked in coffee beans for a slightly bitter flavour. Delicate final touches to the juicy steak are sheets of carrot to add freshness, crunch and make the dish come full circle.

Voda is currently building a wine list to pair with Crosti’s creative dishes and — given that the restaurant been in the hospitality industry for 13 years and ran the floors of numerous restaurants such as Baduzzi and Ostro — you can rest assured that the wine list is in good hands. The General Restaurant will challenge your tastebuds and create a dining experience that leaves a long-standing impression, it’s truly a one of a kind.

Opening Hours:
Monday — Friday, 11:30am until 2:30pm  & 5:30pm until 9:30pm
Saturday, 5:30pm until 9:30pm
Closed Sunday

The General Restaurant

33 Shortland St, Auckland

+64 9-309 8191

www.thegeneral.nz

Gastronomy


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Does decanting actually make a difference to wine? We deliver our definitive guide

The act of enjoying a heart-warming glass of red wine is something that is universal but the world of wine can feel like a web of senseless phrases and confusing processes that aren’t always easy for us to get our heads around. After a recent query from a friend who really had no clue what a wine decanter was, nor any idea how she should be using one, I decided to dive into why decanting was seen as integral to the serving of certain wines, as well as how to do it properly and which vessels to use.

Why should we decant?
There are two main reasons why decanting wine has become common practice. The first is because it helps to filter out sediment from the wine, resulting in a clearer, sharper taste and more pure colour. For older bottles of red wine or port, this can prove imperative where the colour pigments have bonded with tannins and fallen out of the solution. Sediment can result in a wine sporting a cloudy colour, or gritty, bitter taste. Ironically, sediment in a bottle of wine can be an indicator of high-quality, which is another reason why more expensive drops are more frequently decanted before serving.

The other reason for decanting has to do with its aeration properties. Though a topic of debate (apparently) in the wider wine community, the central idea is that giving some wines exposure to oxygen will open up their flavour profiles, making them more vibrant, especially with wines that are highly tannic or full-bodied.

How to decant?
1. Choose the wine you will be serving in advance, and stand it upright for at least 24 hours — this will send the sediment to collect at the bottom of the bottle
2. Take out  your decanter of choice (see below for some of our favourites)
3. Remove the cap and cork from the bottle of wipe and wipe its neck clean
4. Hold a light under the neck
5. Begin to pour the wine into the decanter slowly, without stopping at all until you reach the end. The emptier the bottle gets, the slower you should pour.
6. Stop when you see the sediment reach the neck of the bottle
7. You may serve straight away if you wish, otherwise, the rule of thumb is that older, more delicate wines should be served after sitting for around 30 minutes or so, while more full-bodied varieties can sit for closer to an hour.

Feel free to experiment with decanting (if you have a couple of bottles you don’t mind experimenting with) to familiarise yourself with the process and its results. Extreme decanting using specific aeration tools and often lasting much longer than an hour should only really be undertaken by the connoisseurs, but if you want to try your hand at it too, by all means.

Which decanters are best?
When it comes to the question of which decanter to buy, it certainly isn’t one size that fits all, but there is one brand we would always turn to without a second thought. Riedel, one of the world’s foremost makers of stemware and glassware has a wide range, even creating particular types of decanters to suit different drops (although if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to get too specific). Available locally from The Studio of Tableware, the latest Riedel decanters are set to be the perfect sculptural centrepieces for your next dinner party — and these are our favourites.

Left to right: Ayam Black decanter; Fatto A Mano Mamba decanter; Fatto A Mano Curly decanter; Horn Decanter; Fatto A Mano Cornetto single decanter all from The Studio of Tableware

The Studio of Tableware

5 Harold Street,
Mt Eden

www.thestudio.co.nz

Gastronomy


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Chateau on the Park
Chris Dobbs and Working Style Christchurch
Chateau on the Park
Inati
Kong bar at The Terrace

Working Style’s Chris Dobbs divulges his favourite places to eat, stay and visit in Christchurch

The Garden City has played host to Working Style’s Managing Director, Chris Dobbs on many occasions. Whether visiting Christchurch for work or play, Dobbs has narrowed his favourite places to eat, drink, stay and visit down to a finite list of what he deems to be the best — and considering his penchant for the finer things, we’re quite happy to take his recommendations on board.

Stay
I head down to the Garden City fairly regularly to visit our Working Style store in Merivale, and I always stay at the Hilton’s Chateau On The Park DoubleTree hotel. The staff are extremely welcoming, and the secluded setting really helps me to wind down after a long day of travel and work. The valet service is also fantastic (which is a huge plus for me) and I can always rely on my garments being perfectly pressed after suffering the inevitable wear and tear of travel.

The clams at Inati

Eat
Over the many years I have been visiting Christchurch, I have definitely whittled my favourite places down to a definitive list. The Terrace offers a range of eateries in one location, meaning that it’s always easy to find something to suit my mood – whether that’s a cold beer or a bite to eat. Inati is another favourite and I always go for the ‘Trust Us’ sharing option (the chef here definitely knows best).

Terrace Tavern at The Terrace

For breakfast, I’ll usually head into town to Hello Sunday for a shakshuka or eggs benny. It’s the perfect place for a mid-morning pick-me-up and I love its low-key fitout (inside an old Sunday school).

Hello Sunday

Drink
If I’m looking for somewhere nice and casual to wind down at the end of the day I’ll head to Number Four. The wine list is brilliant, and it’s just down the road from our store.

Culture
I always try to find time to pay a visit to the Christchurch Art Gallery, which is currently showing Gordon Walters: New Vision — just down from a run at Auckland’s Art Gallery. I checked it out when it was in Auckland, but I think I’ll go for a refresher when I visit Christchurch later this month. If I’m after a more boutique experience I’ll drop by the Nadene Milne or Jonathan Smart galleries.

Michael Parekowhai’s Chapman’s Homer at Christchurch Art Gallery

Chateau On The Park — Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton

189 Deans Avenue,
Riccarton,
Christchurch, 8011

(03) 348 8999

www.doubletree3.hilton.com

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Josh Barlow (left) and Brody Jenkins

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Josh Barlow and Brody Jenkins first met in the kitchen of fine dining institution, The Grove. And despite going their separate ways to develop and refine their culinary skills, the pair have come together once again to capitalise on thieir cultivated knowledge and create something special. With almost 20 years of chef experience up their sleeves, the duo has swapped large scale kitchens for a humble 80s caravan and traded in degustation menus for a universal delicacy that we all know and love — burgers.

JoBros Burgers

JoBros Burgers call themselves a “classic, no-fuss burger joint,” but we believe that to be an understatement. Each and every element of a JoBros burger is of the highest quality, something you can genuinely taste in the final product. All the ingredients are sustainably sourced from New Zealand, and the artisan buns are handmade with spray-free flour grown here, too. To get that pillowy soft bun which is essential to a good burger, they’re steamed then grilled, which gives the cloud-like bread a protective outer casing. JoBros offers two different beef patties — Taupo beef and wagyu — both of which are served with a slice of cheddar cheese and the creamy, rich JoBros Original sauce to create the ultimate finger-licking burger experience. 

Environmental sustainability is a key component for Josh and Brody, so they made sure to also offer a fully plant-based burger that may be lacking in meat but is by no means is lacking in flavour. The patty has a texture which mimics the texture of meat, free of soy, gluten and GMO but loaded with spices and protein. The pair have gone as far as making a separate special vegan sauce which is just as decadent as the original so everybody can have the full JoBros experience. 

The Super Burger featuring a vegan patty

That indulgent moment of the juices oozing out of the patty with the sauces dripping down your arm is only possible because of the local farmers, bakers and cows that have made that burger come to life — and JoBros wants their diners to recognise that. In collaboration with the not-for-profit organisation, All Good, Josh and Brody are striving to shine a light on the conversation of mental health and the importance of taking the time to have a break and sit down for a meal that has been made ethically and that you feel good about eating. Keep an eye out for the white and blue campervan roaming around Auckland and follow them on social media to get updates on where to get the most soulful burger in town.

JoBros Burgers

www.jobrosburgers.com

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Ozone Coffee Roasters
Field mushrooms on toast with fermented chilli
Smoked kahawai on rye toast
Image credit left: Ozone Coffee

Ozone Coffee Roasters is the epic eatery and coffee bar that has just landed in Grey Lynn

It has been over 20 years since Ozone Coffee Roasters first opened the doors to their humble coffee shop and roastery in New Plymouth. After beginning in 1998, it didn’t take long for Ozone to build a community that was strong enough to take their passion for sustainably sourced, premium quality coffee to an international scale. Following a stint taking London by storm, they have since returned to their New Zealand roots, ready to extend their Ozone community into Auckland.

The Ozone team have gone to new heights with their Auckland debut. Tucked away in the quiet streets of Grey Lynn, Ozone feels industrial from the outside. You would think it unlikely that an eatery with seating for up to 100 people, an open kitchen, open bar and fully-equipped coffee roastery resides all under the one roof. There is, however, a sense of mystery and welcoming charm which strikes a chord of curiosity and lures you inside. It’s an embodiment of Ozone’s ethos, what they call their DNA — prioritising their core values and beliefs rather than merely focusing on the outer layers.

Ozone Coffee Roasters

‘Eatery, coffee bar and roastery’ are oversimplified definitions of this newly-opened space. This is a community where people who share the same passion for life’s little pleasures — good food, drinks and company — come together. Down to every detail, Ozone makes sure that the values of sustainability and encouraging a vibrant community are prevalent in every detail. From the ethically-sourced coffee beans, ingredients, produce, recycling program and staff who are there to converse with diners rather than merely serve, Ozone is an energetic space, filled with positivity.

The menu showcases sustainably sourced, seasonal ingredients where the footprint is minimised and tastiness is highly prioritised. The smoked fish kedgeree comprises a fluffy, fragrant and flavourful bed of rice mixed with crispy fried shallots and a creamy yet light labneh with added chimichurri for a kick of spice. Under the fresh herbs is a perfectly poached egg where the yolk runs through the rice and fish to enrich each element on the plate. The main menu features a variety of vegan options — including the South Island bircher with nashi pears — alongside an all-encompassing pizza section, ensuring the in-house oven gets put to good use. 

Smoked fish kedgeree w poached egg, fried shallots, labneh & chimichurri

Situated at the back of the eatery you’ll find coffee beans from all over the world (Guatemala, Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Brazil, to name a few) roasting in the retro 1960s Probat UG22 roaster. The roasted beans are either packaged or taken to one of four brew methods, either the V60, Siphon, Aeropress or Strada, at the open coffee bar — a spot which transforms into a lively cocktail bar come evening.

Eggs benedict on bubble ’n’ squeak cakes with halloumi and hollandaise (on the left) Strada machine (on the right)

From this Friday, 22nd of February, Ozone Coffee Roasters opens its doors to the public and will begin building its Auckland community. Whether you need a coffee to pick you up, a spot for family brunch, pizza night with friends or a late night cocktail, this community space is the place to be.

www.ozonecoffee.co.nz

Ozone Coffee Roasters

18 Westmoreland Street West, Grey Lynn
Grand Opening - Friday, 22nd February 2019 (7 am)
Open 7 days, 7am - 10:30pm

Gastronomy


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Dumplings in sichuan chilli sauce
Beef tataki (on the left) & Special glowing bubble tea (on the right)
Matcha snow ice

Kai Eatery has opened a new, permanent restaurant

From humble beginnings in 2015 as a tightly-spaced stall at the local night markets to a cosy store in a container on Rutland Street, Kai Eatery is forever growing and has recently opened a new restaurant on Dominion Road.

General Kai branches out from the usual Taiwanese-style delicacies to offer a pan-Asian menu. Owner and founder, Allen Yeh emphasises the difference in Pan-Asian and Asian-fusion and explains that General Kai serves an array of cuisines from all around Asia but keeps them autonomous to one another. Authenticity is highly prioritised at General Kai and it was important for Yeh to have a diverse team that could achieve this. With chefs from Vietnam, Taiwan and Sichuan to name a few, it is ensured that the flavours at General Kai stay true to their origins.

While the other restaurants are renowned for some top-notch deep frying, General Kai’s menu showcases fresher dishes like the market fish ceviche which includes slices of raw fish in a bed of lemongrass, chilli and ginger-infused coconut cream. With a chef from Sichuan working their kitchen, the restaurant has introduced handmade dumplings in Sichuan chilli sauce to the menu and other Chinese dishes like the wok-fried beef tossed in black pepper sauce and served with seasonal vegetables.

Market fish ceviche

The restaurant has not forgotten its fried chicken roots, however. General Kai’s fried chicken isn’t like the one from Kai Eatery but that’s not to say it’s any less tasty. Fried in batter instead of breadcrumbs the chicken thighs elicit a loud crunch, making the process of biting down on these juicy morsels that much more satisfying. The infamous battered and specially seasoned kumara fries from Kai Eatery remain the same and feature on General Kai’s menu too, alongside the signature bao buns we all know and love. 

Crispy chicken bites

For dessert, Allen Yeh has brought in technology all the way from Taiwan to make traditional Taiwanese bubble tea and shaved ice. The teapresso machine allows a process of cold brewing utilising high pressure and special tea bags also imported from Taiwan for the most natural tasting cup of boba. The ice-shaving machine turns a block of sweetened, frozen milk into a fluffy milk floss and it comes in a variety of flavours from vanilla, matcha, mango, Oreo and oolong tea.

Whether you’re craving Chinese dumplings, Japanese sushi, Taiwanese street-food or Vietnamese vermicelli noodles, General Kai is the one-stop spot that has it all.

Opening hours
Tuesday – Friday: 3pm until midnight
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm until midnight
Closed Monday

General Kai

921 Dominion Road
Mount Roskill
Auckland

www.instagram.com/generalkainz/

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Never been to Mykonos? Denizen’s Editor-in-Chief gives us all the reason we need to book a trip

The Greek island of Mykonos has long been a destination for the independent and the spirited, the rebellious and the hedonistic. Since the 60s, it has been the spiritual mecca for fashion designers, creatives, artists and musicians alike, all attracted to the laid-back, bohemian lifestyle and iconic party scene. So what better place for six friends (sans children) to reconnect with their lost youth, let their hair down, and forget about life for a while?

Sensationally pretty and famed for its squat, white and blue houses and seven thatched windmills, the Aegean island is known to attract the fabulous in droves during the European summer, making it the ideal location for my glam band of merriment.

But no one wants to travel all the way to the other side of the world only to be overlooked in favour of a pneumatic, diamond-festooned blonde swilling champagne while rinsing her ageing oligarch. With stories of extreme ostentation and acts of ‘my dick/boat/wallet is bigger than yours’, the month of August on the isle has become synonymous with the bold and the brazen. We had heard a hideous tale of the (currently persecuted) Sir Philip Green (of Topshop fame) ordering 200 plates of food to his table at a beach club, before ceremoniously flinging them into the air like confetti. Needless to say, we were very grateful to not have experienced such acts of modesty during our visit in September — by all accounts, a much more civilised month.

Travelling as a group, we opted for renting a villa that would house our rowdy crowd. With no shortage of luxurious homes on offer all over the island, the trick is to find one that’s close to a beach, has great views, an epic pool and is located no more than a 30-minute car transfer to the best restaurants and beach clubs. Luckily for us, we had a contact in the form of George Burdon, an expat Kiwi who resides in London and owns a luxury villa rental company, Dynamic Lives, who found us the perfect abode that ticked all the boxes.

With a daily agenda that followed the ‘wake, eat, swim, repeat’ routine, our days on Mykonos quickly fell into a pleasant rhythm. Sure, we went there to relax, but as a group of adults on tour without kids, we also went to let loose for a while.

Much like the hallowed party haven of Ibiza, when you mention a holiday in Mykonos, you’re typically met with a raised eyebrow or two, and some mutterings about your penchant for all-nighters. Sure, I’ve been known to do the odd rave in my formative years, but life now calls for a different form of losing yourself in the moment, and Mykonos, thankfully, caters to all.

There’s definitely a part of the island that sleeps all day and parties all night, and I’m sure, had I been here in my 20s, perhaps I may have experienced it. But what we were there for, instead, were the wonderfully care-free beach clubs and restaurants, all peddling their welcoming form of revelry.

The temporary nature of these artfully erected establishments, set among the barren landscape, exudes a sense of isolation and freedom. Most of them follow a Desert-Storm-meets-Burning-Man design ethos. They’re rustic, yet supremely comfortable, and places that you’ll happily park up at for lunch, and once full, retire to a beachfront daybed for the afternoon. And as the day draws to a close, you’ll rally with friendly strangers for a rousing cocktail or three, swaying to the beats of the excellent DJ and percussionist while the sun sets ceremoniously on the horizon. Call me a hound dog if you will, but it’s a fantastic way to pass the time.

So I suggest, should the desire to escape the mundanity of everyday family/work life prevail, book a trip with your closest friends to a land far away from the cries of small children, and the nagging of work colleagues. You may not be the 20-year-old you once were, but the freedom of throwing yourself into a bit of rousing self-love amongst friends old and new, toes buried in the sand, as you cut (slightly less aggressive) shapes like you used to in the 90s, is one fantastically liberating experience that I am 100 per cent sure you will not regret.

The best places to while the day away on Mykonos:
Scorpios
Opened in 2015, Scorpios is an excellent beach club. Book for lunch in the restaurant — the steak and octopus are excellent — before lounging on one of the driftwood beds for the afternoon, taking regular dips in the ocean to cool off. Come sundown, the DJ and accompanying drummers in feathered headdresses rouse the crowds for a dance in the sand. It’s the sort of place where you’ll arrive at midday and leave at midnight.

Alemagou
For something a little different, and away from the old town, head to Alemagou at Ftelia beach. It’s like a slice of Tulum in Mykonos, with thatch-topped beach beds and picture-perfect cacti dotted around. Attracting top DJs from around the world, the bohemian crowds gather here for long lunches but stay for nightfall when it really comes alive.

Nammos
If it’s tabletop dancing and knocking back methuselahs of champagne you’re after ($250,000 30-litre bottles of Armand De Brignac Methuselah Midas are the norm here), the island’s glitziest beach-bar, Nammos, should not be missed. While it might be a bit excessive for some, there’s no denying it’s a great place to observe the antics of the rich and infamous. Be warned, there’s a €15,000 minimum spend for tables during the month of August, so take a leaf out of our book and wait until September. There’s still plenty of eye candy on offer, just without the hefty viewing tariff.

Kiki’s Tavern
No trip to Mykonos is complete without a lunchtime visit to Kiki’s Tavern on the north of the island. They don’t take bookings (they don’t even have a website), so you’ll need to start queuing before midday for any hope of nabbing a table. But they do have a sensational beach below that’s the perfect spot to wait, and if that doesn’t cool you down, the host happily satiates the gathered crowds with crisp plastic cups of rosé while you wait.

Spilia
If you fancy having fresh sea urchin caught and prepared in front of you, and lobster pasta to follow, this is the spot for you. Built into the rocks of Agia Anna Beach, the iconic Spilia is one of the best seafood restaurants on the island and is definitely well worth the visit. Here the octopus hangs in the sun to dry, rendering it utterly tender and as authentically Greek as it gets.

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Milk chocolate mousse
Strawberry bombe Alaska
Black forest dome

Breaking down Culprit’s new desserts with Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald

It would be out of the ordinary for Culprit to settle for comfort. Owners and operators Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald are constantly pushing boundaries with their one-of-a-kind dishes and the duo have outdone themselves once again with their new, summer menu. While some of the favourites have remained unchanged, such as the iconic chicken liver parfait and succulent bone marrow, a new season means a chance to evolve for the Culprit crew. Included in the summer line-up is an array of desserts that are better than ever before and we asked Street and MacDonald to guide us through.

Strawberry bombe Alaska
The strawberry bombe Alaska is an ensemble of strawberry yoghurt made from “thick Zany Zeus yoghurt to give more tartness rather than being overly sweet.” Drizzled with tangy burnt strawberry syrup and topped with fluffy torched meringue and crunchy toasted hazelnuts, it’s a perfect balance of sweetness (from the subtly smokey meringue) and slight sourness (from the yoghurt).

Strawberry bombe Alaska

Black forest chocolate dome
Explained as “a not so ‘black’ black forest cake,” this dessert proves that you should always expect the unexpected when it comes to Culprit. The traditional chocolate sponge cake is replaced by a moist matcha sponge which is hidden by a Miann dark chocolate dome, ready to be melted by the accompanying side of hot caramel. The warm, oozing caramel, once poured, reveals the vibrant green sponge within while the decadent chocolate and earthy matcha balance each other out perfectly. Culprit added a mature twist to the dessert with pungent and juicy rum-soaked cherries which enhance the richness of the chocolate and the strong flavours of the matcha.  

Black forest dome

Milk chocolate mousse
A Culprit classic using Whittaker’s chocolate has been modified with the incorporation of mandarin oil and mandarin cream. The chocolatey flavour in the mousse has been enriched and made more sophisticated with the newly-added ingredient, olive oil, which has also caused the mousse to take on a more decadent, full texture. Kyle and Jordan give the dessert a final touch with a handful of crushed, salted pretzels, which add some crunch and notes of toasted cereal to enhance the flavours of the olive oil and chocolate.

Gastronomy


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Discover Mount Eden’s newest cafe, slinging epic toasties, burgers and waffles

Denizen’s definitive guide to Auckland’s best lunch bars

Auckland’s dining scene can be overwhelming with its seemingly endless supply of cafes and restaurants. Unfortunately, it’s not every day that we have the time to sit down and enjoy a long, luxurious lunch accompanied by rounds of coffee and drinks. Sometimes we need something quick and on-the-go, as we must forgo the beautiful ambience of an eatery for our desk and computer screen. And when you’re having one of those days, these lunch bars prove that tastiness and freshness need not be sacrificed. 

The daily sanga from Flour Mill
You can’t go wrong with a simple sandwich for lunch and Flour Mill in Epsom change its offering daily. Some days it has meatloaf, some days it has turkey but we can assure you that no matter what day it is, Flour Mill knows how to whip up a tasty sandwich. This cafe is also home to a collection of some of the best treats in town including Yolanda and Wolfe’s doughnuts and Kookie Haus’ cookie dough sandwiches.

Philly cheesesteak from Flour Mill

The keto lunch box from Catroux
Healthy and nutritious yet filling and delicious is just one way to explain Catroux Cafe’s keto lunch boxes. The takeaway containers are packed with micro-nutrients, shaved cheese, a soft-boiled egg and either salmon or our favourite, bacon wrapped free-range chicken breast. This cafe is also renowned for serving one of the best, buttery scones in town. The scones are so good that it would almost be rude to leave without one.

Anything from Azabu at The Fish Market
Azabu’s Auckland Fish Market installation has a takeaway counter with a series of Japanese dishes ready for on-the-go. It features a range of fresh sashimi, sushi rolls, salads and bento boxes which makes for a premium quality three square meal filled with healthy fats, carbs and protein. Knowing the usual high standard of Azabu, you can be ensured that these quick meals are just as delicious.

Azabu at The Fish Market

Salads and slices from Ripe Deli
Situated on both sides of the bridge in Grey Lynn and Smales Farm, Ripe Deli doesn’t settle for mediocrity, consistently churning out the most flavourful food. Its fridges are stocked with a variety of salads from the classic Caeser to edamame, cashew chicken and egg noodle salad. Ripe also makes heavenly slices — the oreo and the caramel iteration is not to be passed up.

Curried kumara pie from Daily Bread
Located in Pt. Chev and Parnell, Daily Bread is renowned for being one of the top bakeries in town. If you’re in a rush, you can’t go wrong with their curried kumara pie. The warm and toasted pie pastry is filled with fluffy kumara, spiced with curry powder and packed with flavour. If you have a bit more time on your hands, leave it to Daily Bread to assemble you an absolute knock-out sandwich, using their signature kumara sourdough.

Sausage roll from Colby Lunch Bar
North Shore locals should consider themselves very lucky to have this lunch bar in such close proximity. Colby, in Wairau Valley, has all the Kiwi classics like lolly slices, jam and cream doughnuts and pies, all freshly handmade every morning. But it’s the sausage roll that steals the show. The flakey, buttery pastry is filled with a mix of spiced, peppery beef and juicy pork with a sauce station consisting of sriracha and unlimited ketchup.

The meal of the day from Coffee Pen
Look out for Coffee Pen’s Instagram stories in the morning, where the meal of the day will be announced. The cosy cafe in Eden Terrace always has its usual line-up of sandwiches — such as the edamame smashed with poached chicken on rye — but the hot meal changes daily. Mac and cheese, pulled pork and apple slaw burritos, beef biryani and beef pot pies are just some of many enticing dishes Coffee Pen will woo you with.

Gastronomy


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