Dadelszen’s latest collection is making a case for the classic silk staple

Forever the brand that incites pause and appreciation for the finer things in life, it should come as no surprise that Dadelszen’s latest collection heralds one of the most luxurious materials there is: silk. Boasting a much-awaited supply of elegant pieces that adhere to a more classic approach, this is one collection that we’ll be sporting for seasons to come.

Pared-back and rendered in monochrome hues, (although the pieces can be made to order in a wide selection of colours, including Dadelszen’s seasonal hues of claret red and sapphire blue) the collection comprises a considered curation of staples, each designed to take pride of place in wardrobes infinitely. The most notable staple of all, the classic silk blouse, has even been interpreted in two ways. The Diana Silk Blouse, with its sheer and solid silk panels and sleek necktie adornment, makes for an alluring evening choice, while the Anja Silk Blouse, showcasing buttons blanketed in silk on both the cuffs and collar, is a sleek addition to the workwear wardrobe. The Joni Tunic, too, boasts this sophisticated traditionalism, with its silk covered buttons and elegant wrap styling it makes for the perfect sartorial foray into the warmer months.

One piece we’re especially coveting is the silk and wool Valletta tuxedo, an alluring combination that comes with its own elegant waistcoat. Featuring grosgrain shawl lapels and rendered in minimal white, the full suit is a faultless option for formal occasions, while the jacketless iteration makes a prime outfit choice for sun-drenched barbeques and long al fresco lunches come springtime — exactly where we’ll be wearing our silk pieces to, each warmer season, for years to come.


1 Kenwyn Street


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This prettily packaged toilet paper is a small but mighty step forward for sustainability

As the need for sustainability gains momentum, so too, does our desire to do something to make a positive impact on the problem at large. On our hunt for new and innovative ways to make a difference, we’ve stumbled across a number of unlikely, small issues at hand that we would have never given too much attention to prior. Take toilet paper, for example. The traditional loo roll is incredibly wasteful. Not only does it contribute to the overflowing sewer and landfill problems — 270,000 tree matter is flushed or dumped in landfills every day, roughly 10 per cent of which is toilet paper — but the manufacturing of toilet roll plays a negative role too, a process which uses an unnecessary amount of water and electricity. Luckily, there are plenty of institutes that are doing everything in their power to change the situation on toilet roll waste — the latest, and perhaps most aesthetically pleasing for the bathroom, is Ecoroll.

Ecoroll is ensuring we leave a lighter footprint thanks to the use of 100% Forest Stewardship Council® certified bamboo, an incredible renewable resource that’s seriously changing the game as far as sustainability is concerned. Depending on the species, bamboo can be harvested in one to five years, unlike the 30-40 years it takes for hardwood trees, and every single part of the plant can be utilised to make a wide variety of products, — which means minimal waste is created.

Unexpectedly soft and individually wrapped in aesthetically pleasing paper designs, (thus avoiding plastic altogether) Ecoroll is making a fine addition as far as aesthetics, ethics and functionality are concerned — and if that’s not enough to encourage you to make the switch, then we don’t know what is.


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Smoked fish toasts from Depot

The Underdogs: 7 dishes from SkyCity you should have tried by now

It’s no secret that we are regular customers of the restaurants at SkyCity as they consistently provide some of the best food and dining experiences that Auckland has to offer. It seems us Denizens visit at least one restaurant under the SkyCity empire on a weekly basis and just like any ritual, it’s easy to fall into a habit of ordering the same, signature dishes to ensure an experience that levels up to the one before. However, we have discovered a number of dishes that have us reconsidering what we order. Next time you find yourself dining at one of these restaurants, step outside your comfort zone and order the following.

Smoked fish toasts from Depot
Al Brown’s restaurant Depot serves no-frills Kiwiana cuisine and it could be considered almost abnormal if you haven’t dined here. The iconic Auckland eateries signature dishes include the bone marrow, sugar pie, pork hock, and the ever-so-popular, fish sliders. Having hired a new head chef, Edward Baillieu, Depot’s menu has been undergoing some changes with new and creative dishes. The smoked fish toasts with crème fraîche tartare, pickled shallots and dill are a game-changer and we hope these stay on the menu, for good.

Deep-fried home-made tofu Huami
When you think of Huami, it would be fair for the fruit-wood roasted duck to first come to mind as it is, without a doubt, their most popular item on the menu. However, the deep-fried home-made tofu can not go amiss. The tofu has been topped with spinach and deep-fried for a slightly crispy exterior while the inside is unbelievably soft and almost like custard. It’s mind-blowingly good and paired with juicy mushrooms that burst in your mouth each bite, you really can’t go wrong.

Deep-fried home-made spinach egg tofu, oyster mushrooms from Huami (on the left) and Cambridge duck breast from The Sugar Club (on the right)

Cambridge duck breast from The Sugar Club
The crayfish linguine has been on the menu at The Sugar Club for as long as we can remember and has become the signature dish of the fine-dining restaurant. It’s buttery, aromatic and most certainly one of the best pasta dishes in town, but the Cambridge duck breast is just as tasty and deserves as much recognition. The complementing elements change depending on the season and available ingredients, but the duck always boasts a deliciously succulent flavour. It’s served with a duck bolognese that is loaded with tangy and punchy flavour to cut through the richness of the fatty duck breast and melt-in-the-mouth skin.

King Crab hotpot from MASU by Nic Watt
This Japanese restaurant earned its reputation for being one of the best Asian restaurants in Auckland, especially renowned for its Alaskan King Crab leg with smoked wasabi lime butter. After ordering this numerous times, we can confirm that it’s absolutely divine, but so is the King Crab hotpot. It’s served with wasabi tobiko, fennel, lemon, ginger and is somewhat more comforting and hearty while being just as flavourful as the leg.

Cloudy Bay Clams spaghetti from Gusto at the Grand
Another top-class restaurant by Sean Connolly — Gusto at The Grand made waves in Auckland’s dining scene for serving gorgeous and authentic Italian cuisine. The Orgy of Mushrooms with ricotta gnocchi is what we usually go for, but recently, we tried the Cloudy Bay Clams spaghetti and we’re not turning back any time soon. The spaghetti has been doused in garlic and chilli while the clams have a clean, ocean aroma and the sprinkle of ‘poor man’s parmesan’ adds a creaminess to the zesty sauce.

Cloudy Bay Clams spaghetti from Gusto at the Grand (on the left) and chorizo from Bellota (on the right)

Chorizo from Bellota by Peter Gordon
Regarded as the pioneer of fusion food, Peter Gordon is a culinary master of many cuisines and his Spanish tapas bar, Bellota, only validates his talents as a chef. Everyone raves about the fried goat’s cheese balls and we agree that they are morsels of deliciousness. However, a night at Bellota would feel incomplete without their home-made chorizo. The juicy, flavourful sausages are paired with deep-fried potatoes, charred onions, saffron alioli and tangy piquillo peppers for an extra kick that is impossible to fault.

Duck, Duck, Duck from The Grill by Sean Connolly
It would only seem appropriate to order a steak at one of Auckland’s most reputable steak restaurants. But, if you’ve already dined at The Grill and had the full steak experience, we suggest you go for something a bit different. Let us recommend the Duck, Duck, Duck. Staying true to its name, this dish features duck in its tastiest form with the skin that melts in your mouth and a crispy spring roll that lies over the plate. It’s also paired with roasted baby beets to offer the dish some earthiness, acting as the cherry on top.


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Clam pappardelle

Ostro’s just launched a brand new menu and it includes a mouth-watering Crayfish Toastie

As Ostro approaches its sixth year of service, the brasserie continues to evolve and is about to shake the dining scene again with a brand new menu. Executive Chef Josh Emett and Head Chef of Ostro, Josh Shields have been working long and hard to provide a selection of classic bistro dishes with a sophisticated and modern spin, proving the timelessness of the brasserie. The signature dishes such as the beef Wellington and crayfish snapper pie remain on the menu, but the newly introduced dishes are taking the spotlight — here are a few that you need to get amongst on your next visit.

Anyone who has dined at Ostro is well aware of the premium quality of the seafood. The trevally ceviche has been doused in coconut cream, inspired by the delicacy of the Islands, kokoda, and is unbelievably fresh. The succulent Big Glory Bay salmon is complemented with a creamy sumac-scented labneh that lines the plate and is furtherly enhanced by a refreshing carrot granite.

Big Glory Bay salmon

But it is the pressed leek terrine that is our favourite entree. On a bed of sour cream and Windsor blue cheese sits a beautifully presented terrine of caramelised onions layered on top of leek and then adorned with a sprinkle of crunchy sourdough croutons and aromatic pine nuts that have been infused in lemon zest.

Pressed leek terrine

The selection of mains showcase a varied range that has the ability to please every patron that comes through the restaurant’s doors. From a vegan mushroom hotpot to a 55-aged tenderloin, a succulent lamb rack with lamb cassoulet and a buttery clam pappardelle pasta. The spiced poussin is unlike any other roast chicken dish we’ve tasted before and it was definitely a stand-out. Boasting a golden, crispy skin with the livers and hearts dotted all around the plate, lending different textural elements to each bite. The bread sauce on the side is thick, indulgent and adds moisture to the chicken, making the dish come full circle and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Spiced poussin

Although each and every dish is no short of divine, it’s the crayfish toastie that stole the show for us. Inspired by the classic prawn toast, Emett and Rendell have elevated it with the help of renowned local baker — The Dusty Apron, who is also the man behind the bread at Saint Alice, La Peche, Ozone and Wise Boys Burgers, to name a few. The brioche has been slathered in an aromatically rich crayfish and prawn mousse and is served with a side of chipotle mayo to lend a creaminess to the crispy, buttered up, toasted sandwich.

Crayfish Toastie

Renowned for its crème brûlée and brandy snaps (both which are thankfully staying on the menu,) Ostro has stepped it up even further with the sweet treats. Recently, Emett served a carrot cake at the pay-as-you-feel pop-up Everybody Eats and it was the talk of the town for quite some time. Now, it’s a staple item on Ostro’s menu and the moist, spongy, spiced carrot cake is served with his infamous cream cheese frosting. If you’re a lover of a humble slice of pie, Ostro’s new bourbon pecan pie is an absolute must. The buttery crust is filled with a sweet rum and brown sugar mixture, topped with crunchy pecan nuts and is served with a side of whipped cream.

Pecan pie

To celebrate the launch of Ostro’s tasty new menu, we are giving two lucky Denizen’s a chance to win a table each for them and four friends to try it for themselves. Click here to enter.

*This competition has now closed. Congratulations Fraser Wood and William Savage*


52 Tyler Street,


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Cult beauty brand Augustinus Bader is finally heading to our shores — here’s where to get it

It’s no secret that the beauty industry is a fickle environment. Each month, spades of new brands and products are released, most of which — if we’re honest — end up fizzling out after a short period in the spotlight, its products delegated to the dusty annals of beauty cupboards, destined to never be mentioned again. So, when a brand makes a furore for months on end, we know we’re being introduced to something out of the ordinary. Such is the case with Augustinus Bader, the brand not merely causing a furore, but downright pandemonium. We’ve been admiring the product from afar for months now — the trademark cobalt bottles have become a firm fixture at fashion weeks, and a regular on the sites of weighty publications — and now, finally, it’s making its way to our shores — the latest brand to be stocked by the skincare professionals at Spring Store.

What makes Augustinus Bader so alluring, and so trustworthy, is the fact that the founder is no beauty guru. Actually, Augustinus Bader is a leading stem cell and biomedical scientist with over 30 years of experience working with burns victims. In 2007, he developed an ingenious gel that was able to heal third-degree burns, with no need for surgery or skin grafts. It’s this science that lies at the heart of his skincare products. Like his burns gel, Bader’s products are able to accelerate the healing process in the same way, visibly reducing signs of damage (from environmental stressors) and ageing, thus leaving skin looking restored and regenerated.

The Bader skincare collection comprises just two, effective products, The Cream and The Rich Cream, both of which contain Bader’s healing Trigger Factor Complex 8, an effective potion which combines natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins, and synthesized molecules. While there are no rules — Bader himself has been known to apply them together both morning and night — the essential idea is that The Cream, a combination of aloe vera, anti-oxidants, amino acids and vitamins A, B and C, makes for a lightweight and refreshing morning essential, while The Rich Cream, an intense super-hydrator rich in argan, avocado and evening primrose oil, is more suitable for applying before bed.

While there is no such thing as a product that can provide miracles for the skin, there are products that actually live up to their hype‚ and that’s miracle-worthy enough for us. Suffice to say we’ll be saving up, stocking up and slathering on Augustinus Bader cream for the foreseeable future.

The Cream and The Rich Cream are available in 15ml, 30ml and 50ml, while
The Body Cream available in 170ml.


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Final course — grapefruit jelly with passionfruit ice-cream

An Auckland first: Han launches a new Korean-inspired five-course tasting menu

Renowned modern Korean restaurant, Han, has earned a prolific reputation over the years for its unique menu and creative dishes, bringing a new taste of cuisine to our dining scene. Executive Chef Min Baek has pushed the boundaries even further recently with the help of his team, Chef Kevin Lee and Chef John Do. Together, they have created a five-course tasting menu, something that has been on the cards since the day Han opened, and after two years of being in the restaurant game, they finally feel ready and confident enough to do so.

Drawing from authentic Korean cuisine, the chefs at Han present the flavours in an entirely different and new way — expanding our gastronomic horizons. The culinary journey begins with an amuse-bouche, inspired by a Korean dish that consists of pork liver and known as ‘sundae,’ Min’s rendition of these flavours sees a creamy chicken liver parfait inside a crispy kumara roll, a root vegetable that is extremely popular in Korea.

Amuse-bouche — chicken liver parfait and kumara

The first course is a dish that leans towards the fresher side with a smoked duck and raspberry sorbet, complemented by a house-made five-spice crumble. The sweet and sourness of the berry contrasts against the smoked duck, think cranberry sauce paired with chicken.

First course — Smoked duck with raspberry sorbet

Chef Lee created the second course which shows influences of Korean-Chinese fusion food, a cuisine that is commonly enjoyed in South Korea. This particular plate resonates with ‘yangjangpi’ — a Korean-Chinese vegetable casserole which has been refined and turned into a pork and vegetable roll with flying fish roe, rolled inside an in-house-made potato starch sheet.

Second course — pork rolls (yangjangpi)

For the third course, Chef Do creates magic with what is often referred to as the devilfish, octopus. It is grilled and paired with a mixture of sea greens, kimchi powder and a kimchi beurre blanc sauce for a bit of spice. As he uses the fermented juice of house-made kimchi and incorporates it into the creamy and buttery sauce, this sauce is a real game-changer .

Third course — grilled octopus

For the main course, Min recalls from his first experience of eating venison in New Zealand. He marries the rich red meat with an aromatic plant called mugwort which is featured in many Korean delicacies for an earthy element. Instead of Japanese miso which tends to be sweeter, Min pairs it with a saltier and tangier Korean miso called ‘doenjang.’

Fourth course — venison

A palate refresher of chocolate and mushroom ice cream with apple sauce is offered to prepare the tastebuds for the final course. Ending on a high, dessert is a grapefruit jelly and passionfruit ice cream with a powdered praline. The dry powder progressively gets stickier when in contact with moisture and the flavours melt together, caramelise and become one.

Han’s five-course tasting menu is available from the 17th of September, click here to make your reservation. Meanwhile, the à la carte menu offerings remain as usual.


Unit G04a,
100 Parnell Road
inside 'The Rise',
Parnell, Auckland


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This independent magazine has finally made its way to NZ — and it makes for an utterly unique read

Quirky, thought-provoking and entirely unfiltered, Neverland is unique, to say the least. Here at Denizen, we’re forever on the hunt for out-of-the-box celebrations of creativity, content that inspires us to think differently and see the world through another lens, and this homemade magazine has barrelled onto our cultural radar for that reason exactly. Now in its seventh issue, Neverland zine is finally making its way to New Zealand after spending its short tenure of life over in Bali, and we suspect its going to make some serious waves this side of the Tasman.

In what can only be described as founder Oliver Green’s whacky yet intelligent stream of consciousness in paper format, Neverland comprises artwork, poetry, sketches and long-form articles. The pieces featured are often confronting, but never for a second are they boring or lacklustre, and we can guarantee that you’ll come away from it feeling as though you’ve experienced something… even if you can’t quite put your finger on what exactly that is.

In celebration of Neverland’s New Zealand launch, Green has produced an accompanying collection of t-shirts, in two distinctive designs, and a range of bespoke dog tags, available to purchase from Knowear in Ponsonby. The magazine, however, is free, and if that’s not enough reason to dip your toes into something new and exciting, then we don’t know what is — trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

NB: Do you want to know what else is free? A sticker pack and your name in the draw to win a Neverland t-shirt — all you have to do is follow @neverlandzine on Instagram. Easy.

Oliver Green, founder of Neverland magazine


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Stella McCartney for LVMH

3 brands that are paving the way for a more sustainable future in fashion

As more and more brands fold sustainability into their ethos, it’s promising to see the progress in the industry at large. From the consignment craze to Stella McCartney’s inimitable reign, these are some of the most significant recent happenings in the space.

Stella McCartney teams up with LVMH
In a move that surprised industry insiders, Stella McCartney recently announced a new partnership with luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH. Alongside the group buying a minority stake in McCartney’s renowned, eponymous label (of which the designer will remain creative director and majority shareholder), Stella McCartney herself will become LVMH’s special advisor on sustainability. This comes just over a year after McCartney cut ties with LVMH’s rival group, Kering (with whom she had a 50-50 partnership), and signifies how the biggest players in fashion are starting to make sustainability a number one priority. 

The Real Real goes public
Pioneering luxury consignment retailer (with both an online platform and physical stores in Los Angeles and New York) The Real Real, raised $300 million in its first public share offering in June this year, seeing its shares jump almost 50 percent in the first few minutes of trading. Giving the company a preliminary market value of around US$2.5billion, it was a move that spoke to the burgeoning popularity of second-hand fashion in today’s more eco-aware, sustainability-driven climate. It seems the only way is up for The Real Real and we’ll be watching this space with interest.

Net-A-Porter launches sustainability platform
Earlier this year, online retail giant Net-A-Porter launched a new platform dedicated to sustainable fashion. Making it easier than ever for its customers to identify and connect with environmentally-friendly, sustainable brands, Net-A-Porter kicked things off with a number of exclusive capsule collections — including one from New Zealand’s own Maggie Marilyn. “Our aim,” articulated Net-A-Porter’s Global Buying Director, Elizabeth von der Goltz, “is to give a voice to the brands that are truly making positive changes.”A worthwhile mandate indeed.


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Denizen’s foolproof guide to ordering takeaway food for delivery

At the Denizen, getting lunch delivered to the office is almost a daily ritual. After a saga of trial and error, we have become knowledgable and highly skilled professionals in this area of expertise. It was a learning process but we’ve cultivated a series of pointers that we swear by which you should take into consideration the next time you order a meal for delivery.

Be careful of noods
Getting a deep container of carby noodles seems like a splendid idea until it arrives on your doorstep, soft and mushy from being in the heat for far too long. You’re lucky if the noodles haven’t stuck together like glue and formed a big clump that you can pick up with a single utensil. Nevertheless, the fresh herbs that are sprinkled on top have lost their vibrancy and aroma, followed by the lukewarm temperature of the noodles which doesn’t make the experience any better. You would think that popping it in the microwave will be the ultimate problem solver until you realise that the extra heat has made your noodles turn ever soggier.

Beware of bread
Speaking of soggy food, anything with bread is a possible red flag. When you order a burger in a restaurant, the juiciness stays within the patty as the sauces slowly seep into the fluffy, toasted buns. However, during its delivery journey, you risk the sauce soaking the buns, turning them cold and the patty can turn dry and overcook from being left in its own heat for too long.

Don’t fall in deep (fried)
The beauty of fried food is when it comes straight out of the sizzling oil, sprinkled with fresh seasoning and consumed right then and there. The magic of the golden, battered delicacy is lost by the time you get to bite into what used to be morsels of hot and crispy goodness. Instead, they’ve turned soggy, stodgy and unsatisfying which is not what your $6.99 delivery fee should be going towards.

Timing is key
If your fried-food cravings are too strong to dismiss and you’re adamant on not dining in the eatery, timing becomes more crucial than ever. Even sticking within the 15-25 minute range can be a gamble, and you have to be willing to take this bracket as not guaranteed. Speaking from experience, adding a leeway of an additional 10 minutes is recommended to prevent the frustration of unexpected delays.

Stay fresh and stay cool
It’s the dishes that were made to be served cold or room temperature that shine the brightest when it comes to getting food delivered. This includes sushi, doughnuts, salads and poké bowls, as there is no room for decreasing temperatures and disappointment. This way, you’re ensured to have the most similar experience as you would when dining in the restaurant, but even better as you’re tasting the same flavours in a potentially more comfortable environment.

Curry night is always right
Realistically speaking, ordering food via delivery is an occurrence that most commonly arises during the cold days, when the last thing you want to do is go out, venturing for food. In times like these, sushi and poke bowls don’t quite do the trick as all you crave is something warm and comforting and your best bet is a curry dish. If anything, curries taste better the longer you leave it and is the most microwaveable meal, so you can enjoy it hot no matter how long it takes to arrive. The rice may harden a tad but once you drench it in the reheated curry, it’s as if it came straight out of the steamer.


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Kingfish crudo
Akarana Eatery
Yellowbelly flounder
Wood roasted cauliflower (on the left) and lamb shank pie (on the right)

Take a look inside Nic Watt’s newest waterfront venture

Renowned Auckland chef Nic Watt, Executive Chef of MASU in SkyCity, has taken his passion for the ocean and brought it to the waterfront location of Okahu Bay. As part of the development of the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre, Watt has partnered with Akarana Yacht Club to open a brand new restaurant called Akarana Eatery. This newly opened establishment is set to be more than just a place to dine, but a welcoming space for the community to come together.

Akarana Eatery seats a total of 153 patrons but still manages to feel spacious and open. The high ceilings and wide glass windows open up the restaurant, allowing diners to feel comfortable, and the space boasts a clean palette of ocean hues. In terms of the food offerings, Chef Watt has designed a seafood-skewed but not solely focused menu. As a “third-generation boatie,” Watt tells me, he likes to showcase his love for the harbour through his dishes.

Free-range chicken liver pâté

The all-day eatery serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu features elements which hit a sense of familiarity. The offerings are intriguing, too, as Watt adds his own spin to traditional dishes by pushing gastronomic boundaries, serving them in a way that many people haven’t come across before. This is exemplified in dishes such as the red snapper buffalo wings — a deep-fried fish wing that resonates with a classic fried chicken wing, but the juicy chicken is replaced with a tender fish that cuts like butter. The chicken liver pâté was also another unique experience. Served on a crispy rye waffle instead of a baguette, we especially liked the way the checkered pattern of the waffle acted as cases and borders for the thick and creamy pâté.

Red snapper buffalo wings

Growing up around the Waitemata Harbour since childhood, Chef Watt has always been surrounded by the freshest marine life, leading him to be a big fan of seafood. But it wasn’t until Watt began his ventures in kitchens overseas that he realised the premium quality of New Zealand seafood. During this time he would come back to New Zealand every now and then, after missing his mother’s home-cooking, especially her Yellowbelly flounder — a dish that’s now on the menu at Akarana. Be sure to not skip the tail of the fish, as Watt heavily salts it to achieve an unbelievable level of crispiness and flavour, it’s not to be missed.

Burrata (on the left) Nic Watt & Kohu Road matcha ice-cream (on the right)

Seafood is not the only cuisine you’ll find at Akarana. In fact, some of our favourite dishes didn’t feature anything from the ocean, such as the lamb shank pie. The dish saw a rich and saucy lamb with the bone retained, left peeking through the buttery pastry. Served with smashed peas and a side of gravy, this is a delicious meal of pure comfort. The wood-roasted cauliflower sports a dark colour, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s burnt. Watt cooks them over seasonal wood, which is currently cherry, for a unique aroma and depth in flavour, while they boast a heavenly crackle that is followed by crunchy almonds and creamy garlic mayo. Before you make your way out, don’t forget to get a scoop of Kohu Road ice cream to end your experience on a sweet note, Watt’s favourite is the matcha green tea flavour.

Akarana Eatery officially opens its doors to the public on Saturday, 7th September and the folks at Akarana are making a day out of it. Face painters and a live band will be assisting the launch, setting the tone of an all-inclusive space for everyone to enjoy.

Opening hours:
7 days, 7am until 10pm


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