Lashings (on the left) & Sixes & Sevens (on the right)

Denizen’s guide to the Wellington dining scene: What to eat in the windy city

Wellington — the capital city of New Zealand. Renowned for its cold breeze and historic landmarks such as the Te Papa Museum and the almighty Beehive. Over the last few years, the windy city’s culinary scene has been on the rise, with new restaurants opening in quick succession and a line-up of steady stalwarts. More and more people seem to be recognising Wellington for its food, often heading to the capital for weekends filled with non-stop eating. An endeavour we recently undertook ourselves, here, we deliver a list of the culinary highlights. This is what to eat next time you’re in Wellington.

The caramel slice from Sixes & Sevens
Although this slice may look simple, the flavours are anything but. Sixes & Sevens’ caramel slice features three layers of perfection. The bottom layer is a thick, fudgey brownie that has intense cocoa richness and semi-bitter chocolatey flavours. The middle layer is a thick, decadent sheet of sweet and sticky caramel and the top, is hardened chocolate which offers a crunch with each bite. The flavours blend and balance beautifully to become one of the most indulgent caramel slices we have ever tasted.

Doughnuts from Little Dough Co
If you want to be guaranteed a fresh, fluffy doughnut, the key is finding a bakery that makes them in small batches. Doughnuts do not have long shelf lives due to their deep-fried nature. Little Dough Co’s doughnuts are only available from Friday to Sunday and can be found at only two locations — Customs Brews on Ghunzee St and Ekor on College Street. The doughnuts come in two different flavours which change weekly and include matcha cream, salted caramel glaze and rocky road, to name a few.

Goldburger from Shepherd Restaurant
Earlier this year, Shepherd Restaurant made its way to Auckland for a highly-acclaimed collaboration with Culprit. The Goldburger was featured on the pop-up’s menu and Aucklanders were all over its signature yellow milk buns. Wellington locals are privileged to have the opportunity to bite into these burgers every Sunday at Shepherd’s space on Eva St, but even if you’re not in a burger mood, this restaurant is still well worth a visit for breakfast or lunch.

Goldburger from Shepherd Restaurant (on the left) & The Jackpot (on the right)

The Jackpot from LUCKY
Fried chicken burgers will never be the same after you take a bite into The Jackpot by Lucky. The small and cosy food stall is open from 11am until after midnight, making it an appropriate meal for any time or any occasion. The menu is short, and The Jackpot burger is the way to go. The soft, toasted-buns are filled with juicy yet crispy fried chicken and a thick slab of deep-fried halloumi cheese. The crunch from the slaw and pickles elevates the texture of the burger while the spiced and creamy Lucky sauce enhances its rich flavours.

The SMK cornbread from Sweet Mother’s Kitchen
It may not be the trendiest eatery in town but Sweet Mother’s Kitchen is undeniably delicious. Serving the classics such as curly fries and fried chicken, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to this stalwart. The SMK cornbread is not something you see every day, especially in the Auckland dining scene. The warm, fluffy bread is packed with kernels of sweet corn and is slathered in butter, which it soaks up perfectly.

Fillet steak from Ortega Fish Shack
Ordering steak at a seafood restaurant may seem odd, but it’s a known fact among Wellington locals that Ortega Fish Shack’s steak is not to be overlooked. The knife cuts effortlessly through the steak which is drowning in a Café de Paris butter sauce, adding creamy indulgence. This pairs perfectly with the side of crispy, shoestring fries that absorb the flavours on the plate.

Ortega Fish Shack (on the left) & Loretta (on the right)

Wet rabbit risotto from Loretta
The all-day eatery, Loretta is always a good idea, no matter what meal you’re going for. The wet risotto on the dinner menu is a soul-warming bowl of creamy goodness. The combination of parmesan, butter and arborio rice is the definition of decadence, while the rabbit meat is melt-in-the-mouth tender. Loretta is also renowned for its vanilla bean cheesecake and free form pie, so remember to save some extra room for dessert.

Fix & Fogg PB&J brownie with trimmings from Lashings
Everything about the Lashings brownie is perfect. From its gooey, chewy texture to its soft crisp edges and deep cocoa chocolate flavours, you could not fault the slice even if you tried. We recommend you get the PB&J brownie, warmed up, so the swirls of peanut butter and raspberry jam intertwine with the chocolate. The brownie is topped with a scoop of mascarpone cream, chocolate drizzle and shavings and each spoonful is pure magic.

A dining experience at Rita
Learn from our mistakes by thinking ahead and booking a table at Rita. The small, intimate restaurant is an apparent must-try when visiting Wellington and the fact that you have to reserve approximately a month in advance validates that. The three-course set menu changes every day, depending on seasonal produce and the moods of the chefs. The kinds of dishes to expect include braised lamb shoulder, snapper and trevally in a saffron broth and rhubarb sorbet — all having the quality of ingredients as the central focus.


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Left to right: Maggie Marilyn, Edun, BITE

Closing the loop: Denizen’s guide on how to be a better fashion consumer

It’s officially Fashion Revolution Week. A time to pause for thought on how we consume, wear and dispose of our clothes, this week offers an opportunity to take a stark look at how fashion truly impacts the environment. Hint: it’s much more than you think.

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world — after oil. Let that sink in. Untreated toxic waste-waters get dumped from factories into waterways and huge amounts of fresh water is wasted for producing fabrics like cotton — the ratio currently sits at around 20,000 litres of water to 1kg of cotton. Not only that but microfibres from fabrics (minute, plastic-based particles from synthetic textiles that shed when washed) often end up in the ocean and have become a major polluting factor, ending up consumed by the fish we eat and one of the reasons why humans are ingesting more plastic in their diets than ever before. If all this wasn’t enough, synthetic textiles like polyester can take up to 200 years to decompose, meaning that most of the clothes we throw out (around 72% of the average wardrobe is made from synthetic materials) become landfill fodder and are ultimately hugely detrimental to the environment.

Fashion also contributes significantly to harmful greenhouse gas emissions (10% of global output) – a major byproduct of its manufacturing and transportation of garments. What’s more, synthetic fibres are made from fossil fuels and require far greater energy input to create than natural fibres. These cheaper fibres also emit N20, which is apparently three-times more damaging than CO2.

In light of the damning statistics, we thought we’d cut through the noise to bring you a simple guide on a few things you can do to affect your fashion consumption.

1.Educate yourself
This means on the issues at play but also on the brands you should be turning towards. In reaction to the growing concern with how fashion affects the environment, a number of brands (both well-established and new) have put sustainability at the forefront, answering the question of whether to choose a piece that is beautiful OR good for the environment by saying, well why not both? Some of our favourite brands championing the cause include Maggie Marilyn, Rachel Mills, Stella McCartney, BITE, Chief Studio, Edun, Allbirds, Paris Georgia, KITX, Maison Cleo, KOWTOW, Marine Serre, Elliss, and E.L.V Denim. Although there are many more.
Some of the certifications to be aware of include Bluesign, Eco-Cert, Global Organic Textile Standard, Oeko-Tex, Cradle 2 Cradle, the Fairtrade mark and the Global Recycle Standard.
Good online resources for more information on the environmental effects of fashion can be found on websites such as Fashion Revolution, and Sustain Your Style.

Left: Maggie Marilyn, Right: Rachel Mills

2. Buy higher quality or second hand
It’s pretty simple really. A beautiful piece bought from a brand putting high-quality craftsmanship at the centre of its designs will last significantly longer than a trendy, seasonal one. Yes, the temptation to buy clothes in bulk from fast-fashion retailers is there. But if you take a good hard look at what you actually need and save up to spend slightly more on one or two pieces (as opposed to five or six), you’re not only consuming less, you’re consuming smarter.
The other side of this, is the burgeoning market for second-hand fashion, seeing online consignment stores like The Real Real and Vestiaire Collective grow exponentially over the last few years (The Real Real has even opened physical stores in LA and New York). Making second-hand purchases feel as luxurious and exciting as buying off the rack, these businesses are helping the industry adopt a more closed-loop cycle.

3. Explore other ways of getting rid of old clothes
Instead of throwing out clothes you’ve tired of, try selling them on or donating them to places where you know the pieces will actually reach those in need. The City Mission in Auckland is a great place to donate unwanted clothes (especially warm ones ahead of winter) while other local initiatives like Koha Apparel are establishing more direct links between those who have clothes to give away and those who need them.
Another way to make use of clothing that is unwanted is to rent it out. That dress you bought for a ball once could be rented out to others who need something specific, thus giving the piece more worth per wear.

4. Get behind causes
Donating time and money to causes is an obvious way of affecting change. Fashion Revolution established itself as a platform for spreading awareness about the detrimental effects of fashion via its viral hashtag #whomademyclothes. On its website, it lists a number of things we can do as consumers to get behind the cause including letter templates that can be sent to policymakers and brands, donation options and educational resources.
Here are some causes to get know about and get behind: The World Fair Trade Organisation, Clean Clothes Campaign, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Fair Trade Federation, the Ethical Trade Initiative, the Fair Wear Foundation, Fairtrade International, Textile Exchange, Labour Behind The Label, Traid, and Tearfund.


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Volvere arepa — Pulled pork with grilled halloumi cheese, coleslaw and plum sauce
Pabellon arepa — Shredded beef with fried sweet plantains, black beans and feta cheese
Reina arepa — Shredded chicken breast salad with mashed avocado and mayonnaise

From food truck to food stall — Olas Arepas has a cosy new home in Ponsonby

Five years ago, a little food truck took the Auckland food scene by storm with its unique, South American fare. It introduced many Aucklanders to Venezuelan cuisine, specifically the arepa — a delicacy made from ground maize dough that is formed into a circular patty, baked or grilled and packed with a variety of fillings — for the first time and it earned Olas Arepas a loyal and cult following. Finally, Olas has found a permanent home in the heart of Ponsonby, where we can get our arepa fix whenever we please.

Olas Arepas is hard to miss when walking through the lane in Ponsonby Central. It’s right in the centre of the complex, sporting warm yellow signage, welcoming wooden textures and a colourful and cheerful atmosphere. Visuals aside, the wafting smells of the buttered cornflour dough sizzling on the pan is enough to lure you to the stall.

The menu has a variety of options but remains straight-forward and simple. The husband and wife, Maurizio Trotta and Sofia Dostal, stay true to their business’ name and keep the arepas as the central focus. The menu offers 13 different arepa variations as well as a few sides, salads, desserts, and unique drinks (such as the Cocada), all of which represent authentic Venezuelan cuisine. Olas’ arepa dough comes in three forms, the original maize meal, one with an infusion of beetroot and chia seeds or a version using basil and coriander.

Venezuelan ceviche (on the left) & Cocada (on the right)

If you haven’t experienced an arepa before this is what to expect. Flavour wise, an arepa is mild and savoury, similar to a buttered potato roll. But the magic is in the texture. It’s flat yet fluffy, dense yet light and perfect for soaking up all the juices of the filling. One of Olas Arepa’s best sellers is The Pabellon, which includes rice, beans, plantain and stewed beef. The buttered arepa is stuffed with hearty black beans, creamy feta cheese and fried plantains (which taste like caramelised bananas but a little less sweet). The rich, saucy beef drenches all the ingredients, allowing the feta to melt into the beans while the final drizzle of kale and coriander lends the arepa some fresh herby flavour.

The Volvere is another favourite. The basil and coriander infusion gives the arepa a slightly green hue and is filled with succulent pulled pork and halloumi cheese. The addition of coleslaw gives a satisfying crunch and the plum sauce enhances the flavours of the pulled pork while balancing the richness. On every table, Olas Arepas offers an array of housemade sauces to drizzle on top of your arepa as you eat it. The jalapeño hot sauce gives a kick, the chimichurri lends sweetness while the aioli offers an indulgent creaminess.

For those after a lighter option, the Reina arepa is the way to go. The fillings are more simple and it doesn’t have the same kind of sauce-dripping-dow-the-arm action as some of the others. The shredded chicken breast is doused in a creamy mayo and avocado dressing which pairs perfectly with the chimichurri and jalapeño hot sauces. The Vuelve a la Vida is also ideal for a lighter meal. Comprising a medley of seafood, including prawns, calamari, mussels and snapper with onion, cherry tomato salsa, spicy jalapeño sauce and coriander, the Venezuelan ceviche is served with fried plantain and guasacaca — Venezuelan-style guacamole.

Milhojas de Dulce de Leche

To end things on a sweet note, Olas doesn’t hold back when it comes to decadent desserts either. The Milhojas de Dulce de Leche, resembling a French mille-feuille comprises layered puff pastry that has been pressed together with fresh cream and dulce de leche. The flavour of dulce de leche is milkier than standard caramel and the texture is creamier. When it’s married with whipped cream and buttery layers of crispy pastry, it’s a match made in heaven.

Olas Arepas is making fresh arepas and churning out coconut cream milkshakes daily from 11am until 10pm. However, this doesn’t mean that its days in the truck are over. You’ll still be able to see Olas Arepas driving around town and at various food truck events. Whether you catch Olas on the run or at its new spot, its food is so good we guarantee you’ll be going back again and again.

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday, 11am until 10pm

Olas Arepas

Ponsonby Central
136-146 Ponsonby Rd


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Unsure how to recycle properly? Ecostore’s Managing Director offers a helping hand

We all want to do our bit for the planet, but navigating the world of recycling isn’t easy at the best of times. In a world where composting is making a comeback, plastic made from sugar and recycling is becoming so mainstream that even our daily caffeine fix has become a marker of our eco-awareness, all the information we are presented with can make our commitment to being green a veritable minefield. The question has become one of action. What should we be doing on a daily basis to actually have a positive impact on the environment? With so much confusion over what can be recycled and, importantly, what can’t, we thought it best to consult someone who really knows their stuff before giving you the lowdown on the matter.

Here, Ecostore’s Managing Director, Pablo Kraus, advises us on what we can be doing to make a real impact.

1. Takeaway coffee cups
There are currently three options available when you order a takeaway coffee. The regular paper cup lined with plastic, with a recyclable plastic lid, the compostable cup and lid, and the reusable cup. It’s not rocket science to know that the latter is the best of the bunch. My favourite reusable option is the glass KeepCup. And while opting for recyclable or compostable options is well-intentioned, it’s important to understand that New Zealand is not set up for commercial composting (aside from a select few initiatives), meaning that even these cups can contaminate our recycling stream and ultimately end up in landfill. If you really need your caffeine fix and don’t have a reusable on hand, opt for having it without a lid to reduce your plastic impact. Or better still, sit in, and enjoy your coffee from a ceramic cup before you rush off.

2. Compostable or biodegradable packaging
Despite what you might think, this cannot be recycled and must be sent to a commercial composting facility. New Zealand has 11 of these, with very little infrastructure set up for collection. The composting process for packaging requires high levels of heat to accelerate breakdown, so most packaging on the market can’t actually be composted at home. However, Bostock Brothers’ have recently launched chicken pouches that can actually be composted at home. Made from GM-free corn sources and wood pulp, the packaging breaks down quickly, turning into soil. Also helping the cause is We Compost, who offer a great service whereby they come to your home or workplace and collect food scraps and packaging.

3. Sugar plastic
This is what we use for our Ecostore products, as we believe it’s the best option for our planet (as far as what is currently available). Our sugar plastic comes from renewable sugar cane that captures carbon from the atmosphere as it grows, making it an effective tool to fight climate change. Bottles made from this plastic boast the same molecular structure as their regular counterparts, making them kerbside recyclable, and letting us reuse the material again and again. At Ecostore, we understand there is a greater plastic problem, and as such we strive to source a percentage of our plastic from materials that have already been recycled right here in New Zealand.

4. Recycling at home
Kerbside recycling in New Zealand is generally pretty good. But there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure items don’t contaminate the recycling stream and end up in landfill.

1. Clean any packaging that contains food waste or liquids. Dirty containers are a health hazard at recycling facilities and will have to be removed. I’ve seen first-hand, at these facilities, the dirty pizza boxes and half-empty water bottles that get thrown out and sent to landfill.

2. Any glass that isn’t a jar, bottle or mainstream packaging is too tough to
be recycled and therefore cannot be put into kerbside recycling. So, things like glass from windows or glasses and plates are a no-go.

3. Polystyrene – whether it’s a takeaway container, packaging material or a meat tray – it can’t be recycled. 

4. Metals that aren’t tins or drink cans, electronics for example, or any peculiarly-shaped items where the exact material isn’t clear are unlikely to be recyclable and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Image credit: Art Direction: Fran King


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How do you sleep at night? Here’s why real men wear pyjamas

A man who owns a pair of pyjamas is a man who’s got clout instead of chasing it. Men make excuses that they’re more comfortable sleeping nude but that’s just an opinion formed by a bitter person whose ex-wife now sleeps with a man that wears a full silk set to bed. 

Pyjamas say a lot about an individual, at least more than you’d think. Wearing pyjamas creates the illusion that you’re worn out from a hard day of hustling and being successful in uncomfortable formal attire and the loose-fitting pyjamas are a way of unwinding
and calling it a day. 

Bottom line, let’s face it. The majority of us don’t have the assets to look like Ryan Gosling from The Notebook when we roll out of bed. But with that being said, if two genetic lottery victors like George Clooney and Brad Pitt cover-up during the late hours of the night (as seen on Ocean’s Twelve), there really is no reason why the rest of us shouldn’t.

That’s not to say that all pyjamas are created sartorially equal. If your night time inventory only includes wife beater singlets and crinkled boxer shorts, you’d be better off sleeping naked and save yourself from being compared to the other man in silk. You want pyjamas that make you feel comfortable yet powerful. Keep the tops and bottoms matching, just as you would a suit, so it looks like you have your life together even in your sleep. A bed robe is the closest you’ll get to resembling the royalty of aristocratic times and it’s crucial you don’t confuse it with a bathrobe. Make sure the robe is long, just enough to make you look like you’re floating across the floor but not to the point where it could be considered a kimono, because true kings are polite and don’t mess with other people’s cultures.

Clockwise from bottom left: Piped cotton-blend pyjama set from Ermenegildo Zegna, Oliver Spencer Loungewear striped organic cotton drawstring pyjama shorts from Mr Porter, Slip silk eye mask from Superette, piped jersey pyjama set from Ermenegildo Zegna, Oliver Spencer Loungewear striped organic cotton striped pyjama shirt from Mr Porter


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You need to head to Simon & Lee and sample the bao trifecta we’re obsessed with

Simon & Lee has become the go-to spot when it comes to satisfying fried chicken cravings. The Korean-Western fusion eatery sure knows how to fry up an extra-crispy morsel, glazed with a special sweet and spicy sauce. And although its platters of juicy, double fried chicken shot it straight to the top when it burst onto Auckland’s dining scene, the Parnell eatery is capable of a lot more than just fried chicken. Apparently, it has nailed the bao too. The eatery offers a delicious line-up of baos with a range of meats including classic pork, fried chicken and beef, but we recommend you get all three as the perfect dinner spread. Here’s what awaits…

Pork belly bao
The pork has been slow-cooked to melt in the mouth and boasts a sweet, sticky element derived from a slather of hoisin. Thin sheets of cucumber line the base of the pillowy bao, lending the soft texture some much-needed crunch. The sour, pickled white kimchi cuts through the pork’s succulent richness and offers the bao a palate-cleansing freshness.

Beef brisket bao
Sporting a tender braised beef brisket, this bao is juicy and simply delicious. The flavourful beef is paired with a crunchy slaw that perfectly balances the soft, gravy-like beef. The bao is garnished with fragrant coriander, making the flavours and aromas somewhat reminiscent of beef rendang.

Pork belly bao, fried chicken bao and beef brisket bao

Fried chicken bao
It wouldn’t feel right to walk out of Simon & Lee without tasting its widely-acclaimed fried chicken. Here, a single serving of the tasty bird is tucked into a bao. The fried chicken is crispy and glazed with Simon & Lee’s signature sweet and spicy sauce and is accompanied by white kimchi, jalapenos and coriander for the ultimate Korean-Western fusion experience.

Simon & Lee

115 St Georges Bay Road


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How to keep your conversation as neat as your whisky at this year’s Heroes

Gentlemen, take note. No matter how sleek your tuxedo or carefully coiffed your lid, if you don’t have the gift of the gab, you won’t get far at this year’s Heroes. From conversation starters to nailing your nods, use this instructional video as your behavioural blueprint, and rise above the rest on the night.


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If you haven’t tried light therapy yet, The Facialist is making it easier than ever to start

Light therapy is fast becoming the facial treatment of choice and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does LED lighting boast a plethora of skin-saving benefits, but it’s also simple, non-invasive, completely pain-free and requires no downtime. In fact, the warm, soothing light is incredibly relaxing. So you can imagine our delight then when we found out that The Facialist — one of Auckland’s foremost skincare institutions — is not only delivering light-focused treatments and facials but is offering first-timers an introductory price that is refreshingly gentle on the purse strings.

To celebrate the induction of light therapy into its repertoire, The Facialist is offering three Light Lounge treatments for just $99. Express treatments, each designed to be carried out in 20 minutes, they’re the quickest, most convenient way to achieve glowing, ethereal skin. Plus, despite fact that they take significantly less time than standard treatments, the skin-benefits are just as profound (if not more so) than a lengthy facial. Using LED, with red, blue and infrared light (which is the opposite of damaging UV), the treatment penetrates the surface of the skin, stimulating collagen and hyaluronic production to both hydrate, plump and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. What’s more, the light’s wonderful healing properties make it great for conditions like acne, dermatitis and rosacea, vastly improving the skin’s tone and texture.

While LED can be carried out as frequently or infrequently as you wish, for the best results, The Facialist recommends two to three sessions per week for three to four weeks, and then once or twice a month from there to maintain results.

The Facialist has an introductory offer of 3 sessions for $99. Sessions must be used within 2 weeks and the offer is limited to one per person. Click here for more information and to book.

The Facialist

Shed 16
City Works Depot
2-16 Sale Street


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So you’ve found your first grey hair? Here’s how to handle the change like a champ

It’s like a scene from your worst nightmare. In the midst of brushing your teeth you glance into the mirror and notice there’s something different. You scour your profile, searching for the culprit, before flicking your eyes towards your mane. There it is. A rogue silver hair. In fact, the more you look, eyes frantically darting back and forth as though part of an unsustainable beep test, you realise there’s more than one. Your stomach drops and your face loses its colour with the same irrevocability as the strands themselves. It’s happening — you’re going grey. And the worst part? You haven’t even hit your mid-thirties yet.

Admittedly, nobody looks forward to ‘the change’ but there are some that handle it better than others. Those taking their first tentative steps into the grey matter usually act one of two ways. Firstly, there’s the ‘grin and bear it’ phlegmatic, who — upon the initial freak out — welcomes the inevitable with an imperturbable acceptance. Yes, he would prefer to retain his brunette locks but really, who can argue with nature? Within time he sees his new hue as nothing but an evolution of character, slotting himself firmly into the distinguished role as easily as if he were slipping on a tailored blazer. He now considers himself on par with all the gunmetal-coiffed greats, think George Clooney, Jeff Goldblum, and Daniel Day Lewis.

Of course, there’s also the panicker. The one who sees his burgeoning greys as nothing more than a reminder of his expiration date and the fact that he’s one step closer to shuffling off his mortal coil. His new anaemic tresses bruise his ego, and embarking on a vain quest, he approaches the ‘colour-me-happy’ route with necessary scepticism. Is it acceptable for men to dye their hair? Surely it is for any male under the age of 35, right? What about if they restrict it to their mop and don’t touch their facial hair? There are many questions left unanswered, this issue is, after all, a grey area. But there is one thing for sure — if you’re considering a box-dye job then we’ve got some advice. Don’t. To avoid having hair like a Ken doll’s, that is more absurdly unnatural than the inanimate object resting on Trump’s noggin, we suggest putting your head in the hands of a professional.

Whether you count yourself a hysteric or are begrudgingly willing soldier on, the truth is that going grey no longer correlates with the end of the world. Those looking to stop time in its tracks can do so easily and unnoticed if they consult a professional, whereas those refusing to change fate can rock an of-the-moment hair hue with distinguished pride. Times are changing and grey locks should no longer be met with fear and panic. If anything, you should be grateful — at least you’ve still got hair. That’s the silver lining.

Unsure what to do next? Consult the professionals.
According to Ezra Serville, senior stylist and creative director at Servilles Takapuna, colouring your hair can take years off if you get it done correctly. “I recommend having something super soft and natural,” he suggests, “you’re not looking to cover every little hair, it’s more like stitching them in. Plus, the softer you go the less your regrowth will show, so it’s best to opt for the blended look.” His final tip? “Always start off with less, that way you can go further next time if it’s needed.”


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Free Bird Burger

New on the block, meet the fried chicken joint that has us flocking to K’Road

Karangahape Road is a paradise for foodies with an endless amount of options and cuisines to choose from. Whether it’s Lebanese, Italian, Thai or Malaysian, K’ Road doesn’t disappoint. The newest addition to the block is Free Bird, a southern fried chicken hub using only free-range chicken, that has recently moved from it’s Massey origins and is now perched to take on the CBD.

After operating for just six months in the North West shopping mall in Massey, the owners of Free Bird, Sade Hopkins and Kim Workman, had already conquered the area and felt well-prepared for the busier, more demanding hustle of Auckland city. It has only been one week since the big move, and Free Bird is already garnering a reputation among K’Road locals for serving one heck of a chicken burger. The Free Bird burger boasts a rich brioche bun that is slathered in garlic mayo and filled with fried chicken breast covered in a thin yet crispy batter and oozing flavour with each bite. The burger is elevated with slaw to enhance the crunchiness of the chicken and balance out the richness of the bun.

Buttermilk fried chicken (quarter size)

Free Bird’s buttermilk fried chicken comes in three different sizes — quarter, half and full. The chicken is plump and cooked to perfection, retaining every bit of moisture. The skin is crispy beyond words but still manages to melt off the meat effortlessly. Served with a side of classic Frank’s buffalo sauce, the chicken is taken to a whole new level. Free Bird also offers a range of different sides to enhance the classic, Southern fried chicken experience. These include curly fries, tasty tater tots and slaw — to name a few.

Tater tots

But chicken isn’t the only thing Free Bird has frying in its kitchen. The menu also boasts a variety of burgers that use grass-fed beef patties as well as a dish of free-farmed pork loin ribs accompanied by Free Bird’s signature BBQ basting. Hopkins and Workman haven’t neglected their vegetarian friends either and have included a shroom burger on their menu, as well as a number of indulgent, vegetarian-friendly side dishes like the fried cauliflower and battered McClure’s pickles. Meat lover or not, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Free Bird and we suggest you fly on over and taste it for yourself

Opening hours:
Monday – Wednesday & Sunday, 11am until 10pm
Thursday, 11am until midnight
Friday & Saturday, 11am until 3am

Free Bird

264 Karangahape Road

09 300 3060


Pie Rolla’s is the epic new pie purveyor on K’ Road drawing a crowd
Soul’s new cocktails are just the tonic for the inclement weather ahead — these are our go-to orders
One Queen Dining is unveiling an elevated Aperitivo Hour this week, and we have all of the details