With bumper cars and arcade games — Newmarket’s new bar is unlike anything we’ve seen before

Australia’s renowned entertainment group, Funlab has finally brought Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq to our shores and is establishing its new opening as the ultimate social anchor for Newmarket. Step inside the enormous circus-themed space, where the LED lights from the gaming machines illuminate the room and the sound of clunking air hockey pucks fill the air. Whether it’s for date night or a fun night out with friends or family, the new Archie Brothers is an exciting new destination offering an entirely unique experience.

Situated on the third level of the newly-opened Westfield in Newmarket, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq is home to over 65 gaming machines, bumper cart lanes, a bowling alley, bar and kitchen. From claw machines to photo booths, to Dance Dance Revolution, to car racing, this entertainment emporium is designed for hours of fun-filled activities. Offering fun and games until midnight, every night, during the daytime, kids are welcome to come and enjoy the fun. But as soon as the clock strikes 8pm, it’s time for the adults to let loose, get a drink and channel their inner child.

With every inch of the enormous space taken up by various games, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. But whatever you do, be sure to try the virtual reality game, Thrill Rider (which the Archie Brothers team tells me is their favourite). With moving seats and a 3D screen, this game feels more like a rollercoaster at an amusement park and is not to be missed.

The bar and eatery embraces the idea of classic arcade treats — think burgers, hot dogs and shakes — and elevates them to an epic level. Instead of just a regular cheeseburger, The Beast features a juicy beef patty, pulled pork and bacon. But it’s the selection of shakes and cocktails that we were particularly impressed by, the Balancing Act shake is a justifiable work of art that included an Oreo crumb, 100s and 1000s a white-chocolate frosted rim, Tim Tam tower, nostalgic chocolate coins, whipped cream and the option to spice it up with a shot of vodka. While the espresso martini was served a decadent Magnum ice cream that slowly melted into the cocktail, making it more delicious with every sip.

Pro tip: Have a feast at the bar and eatery after Thrill Rider, not before and thank us later.

Opening hours:
Monday — Friday: 12pm until midnight
Saturday & Sunday: 10am until midnight

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

Level 3
Westfield Newmarket
309 Broadway

www.archiebrothers.co.nz

Gastronomy


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Quail dish

Sid at The French Café is implementing a new collaborative approach to fine dining

In a fine-dining restaurant, the accepted hierarchy typically dictates that the menu is strictly created by the Executive Chef and Head Chef. Sid Sahrawat is now the Executive Chef (and owner) of three of Auckland’s top restaurants, Cassia, Sidart and Sid at The French Café, which (understandably) can prove, at times, a challenge — even for one of this city’s most capable chefs. Seeking a creative solution to his ever-growing commitments in the kitchen, Sahrawat has recently implemented a new, more collaborative venture at Sid at The French Café. Tasking his team of seven chefs to work together to create a unique, hyper-seasonal and perpetually changing Friday lunch menu (to sit alongside the à la carte one), Sid at The French Café is fostering the culinary talent working hard behind the scenes at this restaurant, giving them the chance to experiment and grow in both their skills and confidence.

To give us an idea of what this new, collaborative lunch menu might entail, Head Chef at Sid at The French Café Lesley Chandra, invited us in to try a selection of dishes that are on the current collaborative line-up.

We began with Whangamata scallops served raw and accompanied by smoked eel (sourced from the Bay of Plenty) coated in a charcoal crumb that lends depth to the seafood-dominated plate. Pickled onions add a zest, while a green apple dashi granita cleansed and tingled our tastebuds and prepared us for what lay next.

Scallop dish

The following dish saw Kingfish simply seasoned with salt, seared with a blow torch and finished with a drizzle of shiitake mushroom and calamari oil. The combination of flavours and textures was sensational.

Kingfish dish

Tantalising each and every one of our tastebuds was a delicate quail dish that boasted elements of sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The quail was accompanied by roasted celeriac, celeriac purée, beetroot, blackcurrant jelly and a show-stopping duck liver parfait.

Duck dish

Chandra’s final creation was a week-long, dry-aged duck. The process of dry-ageing had allowed the breast to, when pan-seared, form an incredibly crispy skin. Served with two varieties of carrot, radicchio leaves and a humble sprinkle of hazelnuts, the result was both a visual symphony and gastronomic delight.

With the dishes on offer set to change on a regular basis depending on the quality and availability of ingredients and what the chefs are feeling inspired by, diners can expect a number of culinary surprises and unexpectedly delicious twists. The Collaboration Lunch is $95 per person, includes five courses and is available only at Sid at The French Café for lunch on Fridays until 15th November. Click here to reserve a table.

Sid at The French Café

www.sidatthefrenchcafe.co.nz

Gastronomy


My Year of Magical Eating: A 48-hour food tour, a fine dining feast and the best of Central Otago

Win a five-course dining experience at Onemata to celebrate its delicious new menu

Spice up your life with Denizen’s definitive guide to the best spicy dishes in town

Minimalist and monolithic — this alluring Belgian design brand has just landed in Auckland

Dark, mysterious and monolithic, each piece crafted at the hands of Belgian design luminary Arno Declercq is instantly recognisable as his own. It is a moody aesthetic that has become his calling card, and each signature creation is something to be proudly treasured and showcased in the home — and it is, frequently, by design aficionados the world over.

Crafted by hand from a combination of Iroko — a tropical hardwood the designer stumbled upon during a trip to West Africa — and Belgian Oak, every Arno Declercq creation boasts the infinitely coveted dual-purpose of both furniture and work of art. It’s this use of unique material that resides at the core of each object’s allure, as it gives it its sleek black hue and eye-catching textured finish.

Low Table

Every sculptural object from the sprawling collection is captivating and beautifully formed, but that’s not to say that we don’t have a few favourites. The Rubber Stool, for example, is particularly desirable. Constructed from foam with a waterproof black rubber finish, it makes for a characterful addition to both interiors and gardens. So, too, is the Low Table — a coffee table that, while simple and minimalistic, still brings a momentous presence to a space, one that’s unique and wholly refreshing.

Left: The Rubber Stool

The rest of the collection comprises large furnishings and simple home accoutrements — with everything from vessels and bowls to side tables — meaning that it’s possible for everyone to inject a dose of Declercq’s moody but majestic aesthetic into their space. And it’s never been easier, either, thanks to Auckland showroom Simon James serving as the local stockists for the unique, sublimely enigmatic design brand.

Design


As the South Island prepares for a busy winter, we’ve got our sights set on The Lindis

Past meets present in this stunning family home, set in a historic Victorian building

Plumy is the iconic 80s settee making a comfortable comeback

Why Working Style’s new collection is what you’ll be wearing to the office this summer

Deciding what to wear to the office in summer offers up a classic sartorial conundrum. The question of how to look professional when all you want to do is dress like an octogenarian on a cruise can be a tricky one to answer, and will often have you looking like a hot mess — literally.

In order to nail summertime office dressing, you first need to acknowledge the fact that the code of menswear (especially in the workplace) is changing. A more casual look is outstripping the traditional suit and tie, and menswear designers (the shrewd ones) are reflecting this shift in their creations.

Take Karl Clausen’s new collection for Working Style. Using the slick tailoring and formal foundations on which the brand was built and reimagining them into a pieces anchored by an air of casual sophistication, Clausen is making it easier than ever for the modern man to curate a workable, everyday wardrobe — especially for when temperatures start to soar.

Here, relaxed silhouettes reign supreme and soft, unstructured shoulders remind us how harsh their antithesis can be.

Sneakers and loafers are rendered office-appropriate by balancing laid-back design with elevated, suede and leather detailing. Belt loops have morphed into subtle, practical side straps, and breezy cotton and linen fabrics have usurped the structured wool blends that rule winter.

With a muted, evocative palette of Mediterranian blues, sage greens and various shades of tan and brown, lifted by lighter accents, this collection is offering a cool, calm and collected approach to the season.

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BarkHaus is giving our beloved dogs the designer digs they deserve

The relationship between a dog and its owner is one of those life-affirming things that can cause even the most staunch among us to tap into an infinite capacity to love. It’s a bond that propels us to go above and beyond for our four-legged friends and imbues life with a sense of purpose — even if that means cleaning up after Fido when he’s done a number on the neighbour’s lawn.

Playing into our affinity for our pups (and giving it a charitable spin) is BarkHaus — an invite-only competition that asks renowned architects and designers to dream up their interpretation of the modern dog house, resulting in a number of original, compelling and unprecedented kennel designs.

From 21st September until 6th October, Ponsonby Central will display the mood boards and architectural models that comprise this year’s entries, and the public will be invited to vote for their favourites. The top three designs will then be scaled up, marketed by Ray White as if they were full-size human houses and auctioned off in early November at a gala to raise money for Pet Refuge New Zealand — a charity that provides temporary accommodation for pets affected by domestic violence.

Even if you classify yourself as “more of a cat person,” BarkHaus is something everyone can enjoy — whether for the innovative design it promotes or the worthy cause it supports.

Design


As the South Island prepares for a busy winter, we’ve got our sights set on The Lindis

Past meets present in this stunning family home, set in a historic Victorian building

Plumy is the iconic 80s settee making a comfortable comeback
Foodprint

This innovative app is designed to help minimise New Zealand’s food waste issue

In an effort to reduce waste, new local app Foodprint, is giving restaurants and cafes in Auckland a platform to offer their food to the public at heavily discounted rates instead of disposing of it at closing time. 

The app features anything from sushi to leftover cakes and baked goods or prepared food that remains in cabinets at the end of a trading day. With most food selling for half its original price, the app makes cafe fare more accessible to everyone and provides a timely solution to some of the issues around food waste.

Some of our favourite eateries have jumped on board with the app and speaking from experience, we can guarantee that the quality of the product doesn’t fall short whatsoever. Including the likes of &Sushi, Williams Eatery, Ripe Deli, The Caker, Ozone and Hero Sandwich House, to name a few, downloading Foodprint has been nothing but beneficial to not only our tastebuds but also our wallets and most importantly, the environment.

Gastronomy


My Year of Magical Eating: A 48-hour food tour, a fine dining feast and the best of Central Otago

Win a five-course dining experience at Onemata to celebrate its delicious new menu

Spice up your life with Denizen’s definitive guide to the best spicy dishes in town
Mac and cheese stuffed croissant

This new eatery in Takapuna is serving an indulgent mac and cheese stuffed croissant

Taking over the space of what used to be Bedford Soda & Liquor is a newly opened eatery, Mortar & Pestle. From Sundays to Tuesdays, the cafe opens until the afternoon and from Wednesdays to Saturdays, the doors stay open until the late hours of the night, making Mortar & Pestle more than just a brunch spot. Whether you’re after a daytime meal or a late-night cocktail, this eatery has it all, and it’s set to be the new go-to spot for the locals of Takapuna.

The space boasts an industrial design and seats approximately 140 patrons, but the wide and open layout keeps the eatery from feeling cluttered and cramped. Owners, Gagandeep Singh and Vineet Arora, wanted a menu that featured a variety of classic brunch fare that catered to a range of palates but also showcases a bit of their own Indian culture through the items, such as the butter chicken with cumin rice.

Mortar & Pestle

Denizen’s Digital Editor, Clara and I ordered two different savoury dishes to share and a sweet treat to finish — the same ordering tactic as always to allow more variety in one meal. Clara and I have quite contrasting preferences in food, she prefers more natural wholefoods while I like the greasy, processed and beige dishes, but we both have an equal love for sugar. We work well together as we balance each other out and get to taste a range of the eatery’s offerings. The mac and cheese stuffed croissant was calling my name, while Clara opted for something greener — crushed avocado and peas on toast. 

The mac and cheese stuffed croissant was not what was expected as the Chef Arora stuffed the pastry with deep-fried mac and cheese balls instead of just the pasta, lending a subtle crisp and extra indulgence. The croissant was warm and soft and the inside was slathered in a Neapolitan sauce, which had a pungent and tangy tomato flavour. Inside also saw a poached egg that ran through the tomato sauce to lend some creaminess and made the decadent meal seem more breakfast-appropriate. The croissant was topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese that melted onto the buttery pastry and was served with a side of rocket salad and prosciutto to add some freshness to the plate.

Mac and cheese stuffed croissant

You can’t go wrong with smashed avocado, especially when it’s paired with other elements such as peas and our favourite, creamy whipped feta that was spread onto rye sourdough. The avocado and peas were fresh and the texture of the avocado was perfectly ripe — not too soft and not too chunky. It was sprinkled with chilli flakes and garnished with dill and fresh mint leaves to add some herbiness and depth to the avocado and they definitely enhanced the clean flavours. We were given the option to add either bacon or salmon and we opted for salmon which not only gave the plate a pop of colour but added a succulent saltiness to the dish without overwhelming its natural flavours.

Crushed avocado and peas with smoked salmon

Last but not least was dessert and it was the definite highlight of the morning. Deciding on which dish to order was not an easy process as all the sweet dishes sounded absolutely divine but as we’re still in the colder seasons, we went for something warmer and comforting — the Calvados apple and rhubarb crumble. The slices of glazed apples boasted the ideal level of softness that achieved a slight bite back while still being soft. It was complemented by a sweet dulce de leche mousse, sour roasted rhubarb and oat crumble for crunch. The warm crumble was topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sweet apple curd that was dotted all around the dessert.

Calvados apple and rhubarb crumble (on the left) and iced mocha (on the right)

The nighttime menu looked as equally enticing, with small plates such as whole baked camembert, patatas bravas and larger main meals which include steak and fries, chicken burger and wild mushroom pappardelle, to name a few. It’s not a common occurrence for Takapuna to have a new opening nowadays and it’s pleasing to see one with so much potential — safe to say we’re excited for what’s ahead for Mortar & Pestle.

Opening hours:
Sunday — Tuesday: 8am until 4pm
Wednesday — Saturday: 8am until late

Mortar & Pestle

21 Hurstmere Road,
Takapuna

www.mortarandpestle.co.nz/

Gastronomy


My Year of Magical Eating: A 48-hour food tour, a fine dining feast and the best of Central Otago

Win a five-course dining experience at Onemata to celebrate its delicious new menu

Spice up your life with Denizen’s definitive guide to the best spicy dishes in town
Bruno’s Originals x Macpac Collection

Bruno’s Originals are embracing conscious fashion via re-purposed, salvaged materials

“I think in everything we do, we should first consider how it may affect the planet,” Bruno Harding tells me. It’s a sentiment that makes sense coming from someone who has spent the last few years building a brand with sustainability as one of its core tenets.

Harding started his clothing line in 2017, making one-off pieces from recycled materials under the moniker Mofu Clothing, which he switched to Bruno’s Originals last year. And while the designer might have changed the name on the label, his driving aim has remained constant. “I didn’t want to create new waste,” Harding says, “so that has translated into simply working with already existing vintage and found materials… taking something like a pre-loved tent, for example, and reforming it into a jacket.” The pieces Harding creates for Bruno’s Originals are unique in the way they bring something entirely different and at times, eclectic to the table, while managing to still feel timeless and tailored. It’s an aesthetic that is totally compelling and one clearly born from Harding’s experience working for Martin Greenfield Clothiers in New York, where he spent three-and-a-half years apprenticing for renowned master tailor Joseph Genuardi. It was there that he honed the skills he gained studying fashion at AUT, and it was upon returning to New Zealand that he decided to set up his own studio.

Harding’s process and aesthetic seems to be driven as much by the fabrics he sources as it is by his design imperatives. “My work is a direct response to the materials made available to me… and I am always looking out for fabrics with interesting characteristics,” he tells me, “I like the challenge of reinterpreting one thing into another.” Some of the unexpected textiles from which Bruno’s Originals pieces have been fashioned include the canvas tent that had been in Harding’s family since the 80s, a sail given to him by a kite-surfer and embroidered tablecloths from his Nana, the vast and varied scope pointing to the largely untapped potential of fabrics that (once their usefulness has run its course), are often seen as waste, and nothing else. 

But Harding isn’t alone in recognising the sartorial possibilities of discarded textiles. Recently, Macpac invited the designer down to its head office in Christchurch to transform its ‘un-usable’ goods into a collaborative capsule collection of functional garments. “In all clothing companies there are waste materials that cannot be used for large-scale production,” Harding says, “but for someone like me, making one-off designs, they work perfectly.”

Right: Designer, Bruno Harding

Unsurprisingly, the response from customers has been mostly intrigue. “The designs appeal to people in different ways,” Harding says, “the fabric and the fit matter, of course, but people are also interested in the unique details, the history of the fabrics and the idea of having something no one else does.”

Currently there is a selection of Bruno’s Originals pieces stocked in Auckland store Waves Vintage, but Harding tells me that with an imminent move to Amsterdam on the cards, he is looking forward to discovering new materials and finding new stockists. That said, he isn’t in a rush. “I’m enjoying the process of slow growth,” Harding reveals, “I would love to be able to make and sell as an artist would, with small collections of one-of-a-kind pieces.”

At its core, Bruno’s Originals is about, as its designer articulates, “shifting the consumer narrative away from fast fashion,” a goal that will only be achieved when people are given the option of shopping in a more sustainable way. And although this locally-made Kiwi label is just one cog in the wheel, its in the actions of independent labels, caring about where their clothes come from and how they are impacting the world, that the mandate for change finds a platform.

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5 reasons why you need to be incorporating tongue scraping into your dental routine

It might not be glamorous, but neither is bad breath. Here’s why tongue scraping is the oral hygiene practice you really need to master

1. Optimum Taste
Removing the build-up of toxic mucus from the surface of your tongue will unblock your pores and better expose your taste buds, amplifying the sensation of taste. Hello, flavour. 

2. Dental Care
Keeping the tongue clean promotes general mouth health: including that of the teeth and gums, thus helping you to avoid tooth decay, plaque build-up, gum infections, gum recession and tooth loss.

3. Better Breath
Most bad breath stems from the bacteria that resides at the back of the tongue, the majority of which can only be reached, and removed, by a specially-shaped tongue cleaner.

4. Boosted Immunity
The removal of toxins and bacteria prevents them from getting reabsorbed by the body, something which is especially beneficial when sick as it removes both illness and medicine build up. 

5. Improved Digestion
Digestion begins with taste, and so a toxin build-up can sometimes obstruct its natural function. Plus, scraping activates saliva production, which helps to promote healthy, continuous digestion all day. 

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Lola
Rice Krispie treat (on the left) and melting moment (on the right)
Lola

Meet Lola, the Mt Wellington cafe that’s giving us serious nostalgia

From the woman who brought us Charlie & George in Stonefields and Flour Mill in Epsom, Rebecca McRobie is now taking on Mt Wellington with what she refers to as Flour Mill’s bigger sister, Lola. After McRobie handed over the reins to Charlie & George, she was introduced to this wide space with plentiful parking on Ellerslie-Panmure on the Mt Wellington Highway. Renowned for installing hidden gems into untouched and quiet suburbs, McRobie fell for the location’s low-key charm. The night McRobie decided to open a new cafe, she dreamt of a woman who embodied true beauty, kindness and warmth — qualities that McRobie strives to achieve through all her eateries. Her name was Lola.

The moment you walk into the 100-seater cafe, you feel as though you’ve been taken into a different era. Lola is designed by the same people behind Flour Mill, Control Space and Design Dairy, so it boasts a similar retro aesthetic as its little sister. Neon lights and signs illuminate the walls, come together with the youthful colour palette of pastel pink, yellow and green to create a Wes Anderson-esque ambience. The comforting and warm vibe paired with a menu of nostalgic and universally-loved dishes ensures Lola hits a soft spot in diners before the food even arrives at the table.

Lola

From the classics — eggs on toast, creamy mushrooms — to the creative takes on breakfast staples — like the banoffee pancakes — Lola doesn’t overcomplicate its menu. McRobie tells me that she wanted humble, simple yet undeniably delicious dishes to feature alongside a cabinet filled with the treats of our childhood, ones that have been forgotten in today’s cafe scene. These include marshmallow slices, melting moments and our favourite, the most buttery Rice Krispie treats topped with rainbow sprinkles.

When checking out the new spot, myself and Denizen’s photographer decided to order two savoury dishes to share before halving a sweet dish for dessert — an ordering strategy that allows us to taste more of a variety of flavours and live our best gluttonous lives. The corn fritter balls came first and it set the bar extremely high, to say the least. The morsels tasted like falafel with a generous amount of corn inside which burst with a subtle sweetness. The sriracha labneh was what made this one so memorable, as the creaminess and spiciness mixed together to create a unique and tart flavour which contrasted against the creamy texture.

Corn fritter balls

The chilli cheese dog was everything we expected it to be and more. The warm, toasted, fluffy bun was stuffed to the brim with a juicy and cheesy frankfurter sausage. To make it even better, the frank was wrapped with a succulent slice of bacon which gave the sausage more saltiness, seasoning the tangy chilli beans that sat on top. The chilli beans lent a heartiness to the dish and also had a subtle sweetness from the caramelised onions that were hidden in between the sausage and the bun. Topped with grated cheese, punchy pickle slices and served alongside criss-cross fries and house-made green aioli, this one is most certainly a must-order dish.

Chilli cheese dog

To end the experience on a sweet note, we ordered the afghan skillet cookie and it might have been one of the best decisions we have made in a while. The warm, cocoa-rich cookie had a heavenly chew, subtle saltiness to enhance the sweetness and, although it was a vegan dish, we could’ve sworn that we tasted a copious amount of butter. Cornflakes — which added a crunch and an extra element of cereal notes — were topped with a scoop of Duck Island coconut ice cream, that melted over the entire chewy chocolate cookie, chocolate mousse-like ganache and freeze-dried raspberries. The skilled is served with a house-made coconut whip and definitely comes in handy to cut the richness as the intense cocoa has the ability to overwhelm the palate.

Afghan skillet cookie

Lola opened its doors to the public only yesterday and it has already become the talk of the town. Freshly brewed Kokako coffee, a cabinet that’s fully stocked with fresh salads, sandwiches and sweet treats, a menu that is filled with classics and bangers and a well-designed fit- out — all alongside welcoming staff that provide attentive service, Lola ticks all the boxes of a great cafe and we’re excited for what’s ahead for McRobie’s latest venture.

Opening hours:
7 days, 7am until 4pm

Lola

517 Ellerslie Panmure Highway,
Mt Wellington

www.instagram.com/lolacafenz/

Gastronomy


My Year of Magical Eating: A 48-hour food tour, a fine dining feast and the best of Central Otago

Win a five-course dining experience at Onemata to celebrate its delicious new menu

Spice up your life with Denizen’s definitive guide to the best spicy dishes in town