Things we stopped doing — how to make friends as an adult

As we get older, we realise that making friends isn’t as easy as it used to be. Long gone are the days of classroom friendships, next-door buddies, and “my mum made me hang out with you” BFFs. Combine our busy work schedules, gym sessions and flat-out disinterest in socialising with anyone other than our UberEats driver and, before we know it, we’re looking at hiring actors to fill our birthday party guest list. Not to fear though; here are our top tips on expanding your clique.

Dive into a new hobby
We all have pastimes we’d hypothetically like to pursue — learning a new instrument, studying a new language, golfing or painting. Well now’s your chance. Lessons in a newfound hobby provide the ultimate environment for friendships to blossom. Unless that hobby is playing the recorder, in which case, we suggest practicing at home, alone. (Or not at all.)

Become a ‘Yes’ man
Standing by the printer at work, the only co-worker who pays you any attention asks if you want to do something that night. You think about your upcoming plans — a night on the sofa watching old episodes of Cupcake Wars whilst eating leftovers — and before you know it, you’ve involuntarily admitted some completely fictitious plans. Tip: when somebody else makes an obvious step towards friendship, don’t say no — it may never happen again.

Butter them up
Because who doesn’t love a compliment? Remember to be genuine, say it with a smile and beware of the backhanded type (“Your outfit/hair/makeup looks so good today — I barely recognised you!”). Noticing something about someone, or asking them about something relevant on in their life will afford you a rewarding level of camaraderie.

Put yourself out there
Unless you strike up a conversation with the dust bunny that’s been lurking in the corner of your hardwood floor, it’s unlikely that you’ll find any new best friends in the comfort of your own home. Take a good book and head to the nearest cafe, or go for a drink and sit at the actual bar rather than the introvert haven of the booth — if nobody makes a move at least you can make friends with the bartender, he gets paid to speak to you.

Straight up bribery
We’re not talking about offering to pay your acquaintance’s rent for the next month, no, we’re talking the odd little gift or peace offering that makes somebody’s day; offering to pay for somebody’s coffee in a morning, giving your dog-eared copy of Eat, Pray, Love to the expat at work, bringing an extra bottle of wine to the next dinner party. Be careful not to overdo it though — you want a friend, not a restraining order. 

Culture

We talk to author Trent Dalton on his dark childhood, finding light between the cracks, and the girl who saved him
Meet Kura Kai, the local charity addressing food poverty in Auckland’s high schools
Ain’t no party like an Ayrburn party! See inside Ayrburn’s inaugural Winter Ball

Here are all the cultural happenings you need to be locking in throughout the month of February

February is the month where the weather is glorious and there is a litany of concerts, events, shows and more to ensure that the long, balmy days are truly made the most of. But with so much going on, it can be hard to know which to prioritise. As such, we’ve compiled a succinct list of all the things that we think are really worth carving out some time for this month.

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Queen and Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert

If the Herculian success of last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody proved anything, it’s that the adoration for British rock band, Queen, remains as strong as ever. Still rocking out almost 50 years after the band’s inception, this time with Adam Lambert belting the vocals, this is one show bound to set alight the nostalgia among fans.
For more information and tickets, click here.
7th February, Mt Smart Stadium

Jonathan Van Ness: The Road to Beijing

Jonathan Van Ness: The Road to Beijing

Jonathan Van Ness: The Road to Beijing

Jonathan Van Ness: The Road to Beijing

Jonathan Van Ness, the cheshire-grinned ball of energy and resident grooming expert in Queer Eye, has a serious love affair with figure skating. Late last year, Van Ness decided to act on his passion and finally pick up the sport, and he’s dedicated himself to the rink ever since. His goal? To become a figure-skating prodigy just in time for the next Winter Olympic cycle in Beijing in 2022. He’s documented every hilarious hiccup and triumph along the way and now — for the very first time — he will be bringing all his giggle-worthy content to the stage.
For more information and tickets, click here
16th February, The Civic

Elton John

Elton John

Elton John

Elton John

It was never going to be a quiet, understated retirement, but Elton John’s farewell tour is prodigious, even for the world’s most flamboyant showman. Spanning two years, comprising 300 dates, boasting accompanying videos, animation and high tech visuals, his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour — which kicked off in Pennsylvania in September 2018 — is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most ostentatious Elton has ever attempted. Aucklanders will be able to experience the juggernaut’s musical bravura in February, when he will be setting the Mt Smart stage alight with unforgettable renditions of ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘The Bitch Is Back’, ‘Rocket Man’ and countless other fan favourites.
For more information and tickets, click here
16th – 20th February, Mt Smart Stadium

Pride

Pride

Pride

Pride

From parties to performances, marches and comedy shows, this year’s Pride Festival has a plethora of enticing activities celebrating all things LGBTQIA+. To keep up with all the going’s on — there’s a total of 154 events happening, most of which are free — the full list can be found here
1st – 16th February

The Good Liar

The Good Liar

The Good Liar

The Good Liar

Conman Roy (Sir Ian McKellen) successfully deceives a wealthy, well-to-do widow (Helen Mirren) he meets online in this twisted tale told across a sprawling, century-long timeline. 
In cinemas now

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Rather than a biographical film about Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is more like a dream-esque grown-up episode of the beloved preschool children’s television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
In cinemas now

Deep

Deep

Deep

Deep

Spectacular luminous puppets and puppetmaster Paul Lewis join forces for Deep, a production which follows Rebekah Poleman on her journey volunteering for a routine expedition in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. When Rebekah finds herself unteathered from her submarine, stranded four-thousand feet deep in the lightless Midnight Zone,  the only company she can keep is the of the terrifying species of marine life that surround her — oh, and she’s got less than an hour’s oxygen left.
For more information and tickets, click here
25th – 29th February, Vault

Yundi Li

Yundi Li

Yundi Li

Yundi Li

Fans of classical music will be fizzing at the news of Yundi Li’s, the youngest juror of the International Chopin Piano Competition, impending arrival to Auckland. Hailed as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists on the planet with a performance repertoire that spans Chopin, Schubert and Rachmaninov, Li is sure to put on one hell of a show. 
For more information and tickets, click here
1st February, Auckland Town Hall 

Dale Frank Exhibition

Dale Frank Exhibition

Dale Frank Exhibition

Dale Frank Exhibition

Colourful and captivating, Dale Frank’s vivid works are renowned. His latest solo exhibition, simply entitled Dale Frank, will be mounted across both gallery spaces of the Gow Langsford Gallery, and will see a new body of works painted on mirrored Perspex.
For more information click here
On until 8th February

In Conversation with Margaret Atwood

In Conversation with Margaret Atwood

In Conversation with Margaret Atwood

In Conversation with Margaret Atwood

An event that pays an ode to a literary great, In Conversation with Margaret Atwood will see the icon take to the stage to discuss and answer questions on her remarkable career — as poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. She will touch upon her diverse range of works and answer why, in the Booker Award co-winner The Testaments, she has returned to her seminal story, thirty-four years later.
For more information and tickets, click here
11th February, The Civic

Cinema at the Stadia

Cinema at the Stadia

Cinema at the Stadia

Cinema at the Stadia

This summer Mt Smart Stadium is taking the outdoor cinema concept to whole new heights, by giving city dwellers the chance to watch movies from the comfort of their own car via a drive-in cinema. The concept will be kicking off with Bohemian Rhapsody, delivering quite possibly the best way for Aucklanders to gear up for Queen + Adam Lambert’s imminent arrival. 
For more information and tickets, click here
From 29th January, Mt Smart Stadium

 

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight

She’s spent almost 50 years entertaining us from the stage and from our screens, and still, Gladys Knight, aka the ‘Empress of Soul”, doesn’t show any signs of letting up anytime soon. This February her uplifting anthems, spanning pop, gospel, and RnB, will be setting The Civic alight, for just one night only. 
For more information and tickets, click here
13th February, The Civic

Peking Duk

Peking Duk

Peking Duk

Peking Duk

Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles, aka Aussie electronic duo Peking Duk, are heading across the ditch to perform an anthem-filled one-off show to dance-loving Aucklanders. Expect summer bangers all round. 
For more information and tickets, click here
21st February, Auckland Town Hall

SIX60

SIX60

SIX60

SIX60

If there’s anything that screams Kiwi summer, it’s a SIX60 performance. This February, the homegrown five-piece will be returning to Western Springs to deliver their mightiest show yet, bringing with them a seriously impressive line-up of international and local artist — including psychedelic surf-rock group Ocean Valley, Mitch James, rap duo Church + AP and DJ Soraya. 
For more information and tickets, click here
22nd February, Western Springs Stadium

Mika

Mika

Mika

Mika

For the very first time, flamboyant pop sensation Mika will be bringing his live show to Auckland. Fans can expect a litany of bangers, taken from his initial material — like ‘Grace Kelly’, ‘Love Today’, ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’, ‘Happy Ending’ and ‘Lollipop’ — to his latest album, My Name Is Michael Holbrook.
For more information and tickets, click here
22nd February, Auckland Town Hall

Our Preposterous Universe with Sean Carroll

Our Preposterous Universe with Sean Carroll

Our Preposterous Universe with Sean Carroll

Our Preposterous Universe with Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll, as a research professor and theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology,  has sought to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our existence and the nature of reality itself. Thus, his on-stage conversation is bound to be interesting and insightful in equal measure. His upcoming event will mark Carroll’s New Zealand debut, and will — amongst other things — break down quantum mechanics, and explain why there are ‘many worlds’ and an infinite number of parallel universes.
For more information and tickets, click here
22nd February, Bruce Mason Centre

Culture

We talk to author Trent Dalton on his dark childhood, finding light between the cracks, and the girl who saved him
Meet Kura Kai, the local charity addressing food poverty in Auckland’s high schools
Ain’t no party like an Ayrburn party! See inside Ayrburn’s inaugural Winter Ball

From floral workshops to jewellery assembling sessions, embrace summer with Lillet

For fortunate Wellington locals and visitors, Les Ateliers Lillet is staging a temporary takeover of St Johns Bar & Restaurant, to celebrate the French aperitif. Each week of February, the Cable St restaurant will embrace the Lillet mantra of ‘Lillet your way’ with a series of unmissable bespoke workshops. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect.

Lillet Aperitif & Floral Arrangement Workshop
8th February, 3pm
Wellington’s renowned botanical stylist, Mindy Dalzell of Twig & Arrow, is hosting a floral arrangement workshop with guests welcomed by a Lillet cocktail, before learning stunning ways to create unique take-home bouquets. Dalzell will begin with greenery and other important fundamentals, while also sharing her top tips on how to view floral arrangement as an art form. Meanwhile, the chefs at St John’s Bar & Eatery will cater a delicious two-course feast to accompany the Lillet aperitif cocktails they have designed and professionally paired with this mouth-watering dining and floral experience.

Watercolour & Lillet Workshop
18th February, 6pm
Channel your inner artist at this painting workshop curated by Les Ateliers Lillet and Paintvine. Blending creativity, cocktails and conversation, the Watercolour & Lillet Workshop is an event created for fun and fulfilment. Professional painters guide the guests to manifest their own masterpiece, with tutoring on the ins and outs of brushwork, colour mixing, rendering and much more. Let your busy mind rest as you focus on form and fine brushwork while releasing your imagination to run free. All while sipping on Lillet cocktails, a grazing table of delicious fare and tasters of timely snacks served throughout the evening.

Lillet & Meadowlark Workshop
26th February, 6pm
In partnership with Meadowlark, one of New Zealand’s most prestigious and internationally recognised jewellery brands, Les Ateliers Lillet presents an intimate workshop of jewellery assemblage. Helped by the founders of Meadowlark, Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont, the event offers attendees the chance to assemble their own bespoke sterling silver earrings or necklace, using a curated selection of Meadowlark charms. On arrival, guests will also be welcomed with a Lillet cocktail and an enticing introduction to the art of the aperitif.

Gastronomy

The Alderman is the laid-back and light-filled new eatery in Henderson you need to know
Denizen’s definitive guide to the best toasted sandwiches in Auckland
Embrace the season with our edit of all of the compellingly great reasons to head out this winter

Office hours: Denizen’s definitive men’s outfit guide to back-to-work dressing

Office style for men has certainly shifted from the outdated combination of a simple button-up, pants, blazer, tie and black leather shoes. Dressing for work has become an opportunity for a man to flex his own personal style, which is both, good and bad. Good, because it encourages individuality within the office and bad because the lack of a structured dress code comes with a higher risk for one to mess up. 

Although the strict rules of office-wear have loosened over time, one should always consider the following — what kind of environment is your office? How do your co-workers dress? And lastly, can I be taken seriously in this outfit, or not? Mastering the perfect outfit could come quite tricky for some, but it becomes a whole lot easier once you know where to look. 

For the creative…
This person would usually have more options to choose from as their working environment is likely to be more casual and laidback. Formality isn’t the main priority, but that doesn’t mean that you can rock a hoodie and sweatpants to the office. The key is a balance such as offsetting a pair of tailored pants with a relaxed linen button-up that sports a funky pattern, as well as curated accessories.

Bedford shirt from Superette, Gray Technical Ripstop cargo pants from Dior (09 373 4849), Edward Gold sunglasses from Karen Walker, Possum Cashmere crew neck from Elle + Riley, Collective Canvas Bal CC from Superette
Cotton high-waist trousers from Gucci, Casimira Loafer from Dadelszen, Leather backpack from Prada, Momza Sun from Moscot, Anchor print oversize bowling shirt from Gucci

For the corporate…
There’s no denying that a corporate office environment will have a more strict, sartorial framework in place, but there’s still a way to incorporate your own individual style into the more formal approach. Focus on the fine details such as the fit and accents of each piece of clothing. A monochromatic colour palette is encouraged, however, but feel free to play around with brighter shades and subtle patterns.

Single-breasted Cut Away jacket from Louis Vuitton, New Slim pants from Louis Vuitton, Garrett Leight Brooks X Sun from Parker & Co, Rolex Explorer II from Mansors Jewellers, Stretch poplin shirt from Prada, Senna leather shoe from Workshop
Nettie Clear sunglasses from Karen Walker, Spellbound B.D Stripe Shirt from Workshop, Klaus Tan cotton chinos from Working Style, Alessia lace-up shoe (smoke grey) from Dadelszen, Blue Basket Weave jacket from Working Style

Coveted

Chaumet’s exquisite tiaras are the luxury jeweller’s crowning glory — here, we explore the maison’s history of haute headpieces
Leather weather is here, and these are the sleek jackets to add to your wardrobe this season
Add a flash of bling to your daily classics with these everyday diamonds

We’ve got our eyes on the new sunglasses brand that’s just landed at Parker & Co

Contemporary, discreetly luxurious and evocative of Old-Hollywood, the sunglasses by modernistic brand Mr Leight are coveted by those in the know, the world over. We’ve been quietly witnessing the furore that has welcomed the brand overseas since 2018, but now, thanks to optical specialists Parker & Co Eyewear achieving exclusive rights to stock them here, we can finally muscle in on these optimal optics ourselves.

The brand itself is a collaborative project birthed by eyewear extraordinaire Garrett Leight — also stocked at Parker & Co. — and his father, Larry Leight. Its distinctive, recurring aesthetic pays homage to the iconic Slim Aarons style and so the frames — handmade and finished in Japan — reflect the enviable jet-set lifestyle of high-flying aesthetes.

Left: Garrett and Larry Leight Right: Lexington, Banzai, Shi S

Indeed, each pair of the sophisticated and refined Mr Leight effortlessly captures the brand’s enigmatic and glamorous aura, and yet it somehow remains inherently wearable. That may be partly due to the alluring variety of shapes, styles, and classic colourways available. The sleek, rounded Lexington design, for example, embodies an iconic, sophisticated style, while the fun Banzai — dainty, angular frames in varying hues of soft pinks, purples and blues — are perfect for those willing to push the style envelope.

With frames versatile enough to fit any social occasion, this classic, timeless brand seamlessly smoothes over the transition from work to after-hours. It’s safe to say that Mr Leight is the brand we’ll be sporting throughout this summer and the next.

Parker & Co. Eyewear

26 Nuffield Street
Newmarket

www.parkerandco.nz

Coveted

Chaumet’s exquisite tiaras are the luxury jeweller’s crowning glory — here, we explore the maison’s history of haute headpieces
Leather weather is here, and these are the sleek jackets to add to your wardrobe this season
Add a flash of bling to your daily classics with these everyday diamonds
Clockwise from top left corner: Garlic bread, OG, Fries, Salad and Hot 'n' Sweet As

Say hello to the newest addition to Auckland’s ever-expanding fried chicken scene

The choice of fried poultry in Auckland is overwhelming, but it’s not every day that an eatery totally dedicated to a certain Korean style of fried chicken opens its doors in the city. My Fried Chicken offers the definitive destination for those needing to satisfy a chicken craving.

Located in the populous and bustling Ponsonby Central, My Fried Chicken is impossible to miss. The logo design was inspired by the funky aesthetic of Garage Project, has a head-turning vibrancy to it that makes it memorable. The visual and eye-catching aesthetics are matched by a sizzling soundscape of deep-fryer-in-action and, equally, by garlic-rich marinading scents languidly wafting past the noses of rapidly-tempted potential patrons.

Perhaps the key to success is the difference between a regular Southern-style fried chicken and this Korean fried chicken. The Korean rendition opts for a lighter batter, yet the double-frying process creates a coating that is deliciously crispy, and somehow also light and fluffy. Those unique qualities may emanate from the sticky marinade glazed over the batter. Three of the most popular flavours — Cluck Cluck Soy, Hot ‘n’ Sweet As and Thunderbird, sit alongside the OG on My Fried Chicken’s menu. The OG caters to fried chicken purists who eschew all sauce options altogether.

Thunderbird

The Cluck Cluck Soy marinade has echoes of a sweet teriyaki sauce that has been infused in generous amounts of garlic and aromatic spices including fragrant cinnamon. The sweetness might initially slightly overwhelm the tastebuds but after a few more bites, you’ll find yourself eager for another piece. For those who seek extra kick, the Hot ‘n’ Sweet As will cater nicely, remembering that in South Korea’s fried chicken joints, this is the most commonly-found flavour. With traditional Korean red pepper gochujang sauce meeting sugary ketchup, there’s a juxtaposing taste template that’s a real palate-pleaser of a combination.

Garlic bread

If you’re up for a more extreme challenge to test your spice tolerance, the Thunderbird promises a “dangerously spicy” experience. This one is a good workout for the tongue and its tastebuds, which will thank you for ordering a side each of fries and salad to soften the experience. And it’s from those side dishes that we highlight another My Fried Chicken treat. Surprisingly it’s not chicken. It’s actually the garlic bread, a toasted white loaf which has been sliced, then slathered with lashings of house-made butter, infused with garlic. That combination slowly seeps its sensual way through the soft and fluffy bread. Delicious.

In South Korea, ‘chi-mek’ (‘chi’ from ‘chicken’, and ‘mek’ being the first half of ‘mekchu,’ the Korean word for ‘beer) is the renowned pairing of fried chicken and beer that out-ranks milk and cookies in popularity. My Fried Chicken celebrates the chi-mek combo by stocking up to 15 different craft beers from Garage Project and offering its diners a perfect pairing choice from the plethora of fried dining options.

Opening hours:
7 days: 11am until 9pm

My Fried Chicken

136-146 Ponsonby Road,
Ponsonby

www.instagram.com/myfriedchicken.nz

Gastronomy

The Alderman is the laid-back and light-filled new eatery in Henderson you need to know
Denizen’s definitive guide to the best toasted sandwiches in Auckland
Embrace the season with our edit of all of the compellingly great reasons to head out this winter
Tempeh pad thai (on the left)

Ponsonby welcomes a Thai restaurant with an entirely vegan menu

Meet Ponsonby’s newest addition, Khu Khu — an inviting and intimate 20-seater Thai restaurant. It happens to be entirely vegan, but somehow that pales into insignificance given that Khu Khu is home to some of the most delicious Thai fare that we’ve had in a while. At this eatery it’s the food, more than the food category, that deserves the fanfare.  

Michael Khuwattanasenee was inspired to open an all-vegan restaurant following the obstacles he faced during his 30-Day Vegan Challenge. He found himself struggling to find plant-based options when dining out, particularly in Asian eateries given their proclivity for not just meat, but also subtle animal-based ingredients like fish and oyster sauces. Khuwattanasenee, who is Thai himself, decided to take matters into his own hands. He assembled a team of Thai chefs who share his dietary values and together, they have come up with food that mimics unique Asian flavours, yet is made with straightforward, fresh, vegan ingredients. 

Kumara spring rolls

Khu Khu’s menu is short and succinct. Khuwattanasenee believes in the aphorism ‘quality over quantity’, exemplified in the near-perfect execution of each dish. Every plate that emerged from the kitchen had us beyond impressed. The deep-fried kumara spring rolls were filled with glass noodles and purple kumara which, despite our initial reservations about a tuber-filled spring morsel, added a hearty kicker to them. An absolute delight. However, the entree highlight for us was the crispy sliced daikon — incredibly crispy vegetable fritters, similar to a hash brown, and served with a side of tangy tamarind sauce.

Panang curry

According to Khuwattanasenee, the main dishes such as the curries and noodles, presented the greatest challenge when curating the menu. Replacing meat with only tofu lacked some element of excitement for him, so the chefs spent months of trial and error to come up with a variety of tasty alternatives. Their hard work has paid off if the Pad Thai and our favourite, the Panang curry, are anything to go by. Tempeh in the pad Thai imbued this bowl of noodles with a nutritious, strong, nutty richness. It was also loaded with umami. Meanwhile, the potato base of the Panang curry had some crispy fried tofu and deep-fried lotus root added in, all of which satisfied and satiated the taste sensors.

Another firm favourite was the Thai green papaya salad —  bright with living green freshness and a lively crunch that was elevated by a generous sprinkle of cashew nuts. The bursting cherry tomatoes added a brightness to the dish. In fact, colour seemed to be a recurring motif in each of the dishes we tried. Khu Khu’s menu is built around this strong and vibrant energy of fresh, colourful ingredients, designed to be as exciting to the eye as they are to the tastebuds.

Thai green papaya salad

Throughout January, Khu Khu is adding in lunch hours, opening its doors from 12pm until 2pm, while continuing its regular dinner services. With just under two months since first opening, Khu Khu is already sought after by Aucklanders with a vegan palate. And beyond its sensational veganism, we predict that it’s well on its way to being the talk of the town for the high standard and presentation of its fine culinary offerings.

Opening hours:
Tuesday — Sunday: 5pm until 9pm

Khu Khu Eatery

171A Ponsonby Road,
Ponsonby

www.khukhu.co.nz

Gastronomy

The Alderman is the laid-back and light-filled new eatery in Henderson you need to know
Denizen’s definitive guide to the best toasted sandwiches in Auckland
Embrace the season with our edit of all of the compellingly great reasons to head out this winter

These Sydney eateries are making a good case for heading across the ditch

We’re always the first to sing the praises of Auckland’s conveyer belt of exciting, new hospitality offerings. But we’re not afraid to admit that Auckland has a way to go before we rival the seeming frenetic pace of change Sydney-side — and with everything from a flamboyant bar makeover to an intimate pasta and wine bar, Sydney’s gastronomy is tempting us to fly the Tasman right now.

The Gidley
The brains behind underground eatery Bistecca, James Bradley and Warren Burns, now add The Gidley to their impressive repertoire. Inspired by old-school steakhouses, the lavish basement restaurant is dimly lit but robustly welcoming with its loud jazz music. The menu glorifies one dish in particular: the Riverine black Angus rib-eye, which it offers up in three ways from classic prime rib roast, to chargrilled on-the-bone, and also spinalis steak. As with Bistecca, phones are banned here so make sure you go with someone whose conversational skills you value. 

Shwarmama
With a simple Middle Eastern-inspired menu of just four items — lamb shawarma with laffa flatbread, pita stuffed with fried falafel, sabich (an Israeli breakfast sandwich) and NHSP (not Halal snack pack) — Surry Hills’ new takeaway joint, Shwarmama is a vibrant drop-in, set to corner the market for those looking for the perfect bite to go.

Left: Shwarmama, Ragazzi

Ragazzi
The classic pasta-and-wine-bar is experiencing a Sydney renaissance, and the city’s newest version exemplifies why, done properly, it can be a recipe for big success. Ragazzi is the new CBD spot serving handmade pasta dishes with wines from a 300-strong list (mostly Italian), in its intimate 38-seat restaurant. Ragazzi has a good heritage. It’s the brainchild of the team behind Dear Sainte Éloise and Love, Tilly Devine, so it’s little wonder that it carries big expectations, despite its small size. 

Stanley’s on Stanley
Having gone through a succession of owners, Stanley’s is included here as more of an enticing refurb than a shiny new opening. While the same fuschia first impressions of the party-spot remain, the kooky visual style of Wes Anderson have now been swapped for interiors with a Miami Vice vibe. There’s an effervescent fifteen-strong cocktail list to match the switch.

Xopp
From Billy Wong, the man behind legendary Sydney spot Golden Century, the new Haymarket eatery XOPP serves modern Cantonese cuisine which gives its traditional roots an innovative spin. Named after Golden Century’s signature dish, ‘Pipis with XO sauce,’ the restaurant promises deliciously unique Chinese flavours, in a fun, vibrant atmosphere.

Xopp

Madame & Yves
He’s a renowned pastry chef, and now Yves Scherrer — coach of the 2019 Australian team in the World Pastry Cup no less — is embarking on his own venture, helming the kitchen of this sweet pastry -and- ice-cream haven. Offering eclairs, lemon tarts, sultana rolls, baked cheesecakes, almond raspberry croissants and a few of Scherrer’s staple creations — including the gluten-free orange and chocolate cake and the toasted sesame ice-cream — Madame & Yves is a paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Nikkei Bar and Restaurant
As the name suggests, this fresh opening has nikkei, a particular kind of Japanese fusion fare, at its heart. The straightforward menu offers a Peruvian-Japanese-Tapas mixture which means you can expect simple but delicious sharing plates, like tuna tartare, swordfish ceviche, hokkaido scallops and yuca fries, alongside an exquisite coastal wine list. 

Gastronomy

The Alderman is the laid-back and light-filled new eatery in Henderson you need to know
Denizen’s definitive guide to the best toasted sandwiches in Auckland
Embrace the season with our edit of all of the compellingly great reasons to head out this winter
In-n-out double-double burger

In-N-Out is coming to Auckland, so we examine the ins and outs of this burgeoning burger brand

The In-N-Out Burger is well-known around the globe, yet the chain staunchly insists on serving its famous hamburgers only on the west coast of the United States. So it’s causing something of a sensation that today, for one day only, Auckland has In-N-Out popping up from 11am until 2pm at Kingsland’s Portland Public House. We investigate the brand’s history and whether the taste justifies all the hype.

History and Background 
In-N-Out dates back to 1948 when Harry and Esther Snyder set up California’s first drive-thru hamburger stand in Francisquito and Garvey in Baldwin Park. Prioritising freshness and premium quality, Harry would be up before dawn to source the finest ingredients which he would then prepare by hand. Esther ran the accounts and finances from their home, just around the corner from their tiny ten-foot-square burger shop. Over 70 years later, and In-N-Out is now a 500-million-dollar business, with over 345 shops fanning out along the West Coast of the United States. 

The Burger 
Renowned for its impossibly fluffy bun, fresh iceberg lettuce, crisp onions, vibrant tomato and succulent beef patty, over which oozes a slice of melted cheese, the In-N-Out Burger is rapidly becoming one of the world’s iconic foods. It looks picture-perfect and, according to many who have tried it, it tastes even better.
The chain has installed a policy that all shops must be located within a day’s drive from one of their patty-making and distribution centres, where they themselves grind the meat. Free of all preservatives, additives and fillers, the patties are guaranteed by In-N-Out to be top quality and bursting with freshness and flavour.
Freshness is also the key for the vegetables that nestle in between the buttered and toasted buns. Every morning, In-N-Out employees slice the onions and tomatoes by hand, while even the iceberg lettuces are hand-leafed. And this isn’t a burger with a run-of-the-mill couple of onion rings. Instead, a whole sliced onion (served raw, unless otherwise requested) adds a healthy, crunchy hit to each mouth-watering bite.
By comparison with most other hamburger chains, In-N-Out seems to have hit on a guaranteed formula for the filling-to-bun ratio. Perhaps that’s linked to the buns they use. They buy from Puritan Bakery, a Southern Californian family-owned business producing old-fashioned light-as-air buns, that can take up to 7 hours to make. This fluffiness creates a bun with just the right thickness to enhance the flavours, and let the fillings take centre stage as they marinate in the Thousand Island dressing and mesmerising melted cheese.

Fun Facts
– In-N-Out has only 15 items on their menu, and CEO (and daughter of Harry and Esther Snyder) Lynsi Snyder has no intention of expanding its offerings.
– In-N-Out is renowned not only for its delicious burgers, but also for its stellar service. That includes a willingness by employees to customise burgers if requested. Customer suggestions have been so successful that In-N-Out compiled the ‘Not-So-Secret menu’, a list of the most popular requests for burger variations.
– You might presume that In-N-Out’s popularity depends partly on it keeping its doors open every day of the year. However, as a passionate Christian, CEO Lynsi Snyder insists on closing at Easter for all In-N-Out stores.

Gastronomy

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The Climate Change Debate: We look at two different sides of the argument

“Humans are to blame” — James Renwick
James Renwick is a lead author for the IPCC and a weather and climate researcher and Professor of Physical Geography at Victoria University.

The majority of the population recognises Climate Change and Global Warming, as common parlance, but few are certain of what they truly mean. One of many avid researchers trying to change this is James Renwick, a climate and weather researcher, and Professor of Physical Geography at Victoria University, who has studied the happenings of our planet for over 30 years.

Renwick puts it simply: the term Global Warming comes from the fact that the globe is, literally, warming. Yet Climate Change is a more commonly used expression because it serves as an umbrella term for the entire scope of the issue, generally referring to the rising temperature’s knock-on effects — including the change in seasons, weather systems, and ice numbers. 

The fact that the world’s climate is changing is evident, and, in terms of the composition of the atmosphere, we are in a completely unprecedented state. Indeed, whether you are a climate researcher or not, the evidence is compelling. Global temperatures, according to Renwick, “have risen about one degree in the past 100 years,” while periods of abnormally hot weather are swiftly becoming commonplace. This year’s record-breaking heatwaves in Europe are a testament to that alone, while melting ice caps and forest fires in unusual places (Norway’s rampaging fires have been fuelled by the country’s lack of rain and rising temperatures) can hardly be ascribed to normal Earthly behaviour.

 A subject that’s a little more up for debate is not whether or not Climate Change is happening, but why. Something which, if Renwick is anything to go by, is blindingly obvious. “There’s nothing going on in the natural world, beyond what humans are doing, that can explain why the globe is warming up,” he states, going on to describe how the temperature and the climate are only sensitive to two things: the brightness of the sun and greenhouse gases. Researchers like Renwick “know that the sun isn’t getting brighter, and we also know that carbon dioxide concentrations are almost 50 percent higher now than they were 100 years ago.” It’s basic physics, he says, that the gases we produce from burning fossil fuels absorb heat and warm the Earth, so there’s no escaping the notion that if we burn more fossil fuels, and add more greenhouse gases to the air, then temperatures are only going to skyrocket further. 

It is a big claim to make, attributing the entire changing of the Earth to human behaviour alone. But, the evidence is irrefutable and is widely accepted by the research community. So much so that the last report in 2013 produced by the IPCC — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — stated that there is at least a 95 percent chance that most of the warming since the middle of the 20th century can be attributed to humans producing greenhouse gases. It’s not quite 100 percent, explains Renwick, “because there are a few natural events going on” that make a difference over decades, but it is humans that remain an extremely likely cause. 

In regards to the future of our planet, if we continue to carry on producing greenhouse gases at the rate that we are currently, we would have put enough C02 in the atmosphere by 2030 to guarantee one and a half degree warming, and enough by 2040 to guarantee a two degree warming.

It would take another five to ten years for the temperatures to rise to those levels, but they would be locked in by 2030 and 2040, if we do nothing to reduce emissions. For New Zealand specifically, this would bring a whole host of issues. Not only would we be looking at far warmer temperatures and drier conditions in the summer — which in turn would exaggerate the risk of forest fires — but rising sea levels would mean that those living on the coast may need to retreat inland, a potential financial disaster for those who have sunk their savings into waterfront homes or baches.

High tide lines, according to Renwick, will be 50 or 60 more metres inland by the end of the century. He warns of many public health dangers too, explaining how, as the climate becomes more tropical, the country will be able to cater to more tropical pests that are capable of bringing a whole raft of new diseases. 

On a global scale, not only can we expect rising sea levels and hotter days, but far more extreme weather incidents, too. Tropical storms like cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons will rampage harder and longer,
as they, explains Renwick, will be able to feed off the rising energy and temperatures.

It’s a scary future we’re possibly facing, but one that doesn’t necessarily have to come to fruition. To stop the Earth’s temperatures at 1.5 degrees, Renwick explains, “we need to halve the rate of emissions globally by 2030, before arriving at zero emissions by 2050.” It sounds like a difficult feat, but it isn’t an impossible one. “It’s simple, really. As soon as we stop emitting greenhouse gases, the climate will stop changing. There will be a bit of a lag, and we might get another tenth of a degree, but the warming would stop in a decade or so.” And there’s nothing stopping us, he attests, as we already have the solutions. “We have the technology already, as far as solar panels and things go,” he explains, “we just need the political will.” 

Above all, Renwick is adamant that we have the power to stop Climate Change. It is a very real, very serious problem, with “the potential for disaster around the world” being huge, but one that can be avoided if we just pull our heads out of the sand. The future of the planet is undeniably in our hands and it’s time, Renwick explains, that we took action. 

“It’s a natural cycle” — Doug Edmeades
Dr Doug Edmeades, MSc (Hons), PhD. Dip Management, ONZM — prominent soil scientist and head of agKnowledge Ltd.

Edmeades, a prominent soil scientist and Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit — whose accolades include an ANZAC Fellowship, an Arthur Yates award and a Landcorp Communicator of the Year award, amongst others — is a Climate Change sceptic, part of a wider scope of sceptics called the Climate Change Coalition. 

He doesn’t refute Climate Change itself as the process is evident whether you are a scientist or not. Rather, he is unconvinced that the reason for the rise in global temperatures is down to the activity of humans, more specifically, human-produced greenhouse gases. The reasons why he is sceptical about this hypothesis (despite it being widely accepted as true), are vast and varied, and contain a huge amount of what he dubs, “serious science.” Here, we delve into a few of them. 

First of all, Edmeades explains, the climate has always changed. “These changes took place long before man was on the planet, and long before he learned about coal and oil,” he says, describing how, while this does not disprove the current global warming hypothesis, it does strongly suggest there are other mechanisms at play that are controlling the global temperature.

This includes, according to Edmeades, the sun. “In our recent past the world has been warmer — with the Medieval Warm Period between 950-1250 — and colder — via the Little Ice Age, which took place between 1700-1850 — than it is today.” In the last 100 years we have been emerging from the Little Ice Age and thus, the temperature warming, ice caps melting and sea levels rising over the past hundreds of years are all consistent, as far as Edmeades is concerned, with the natural cycle of our planet. 

In regards to recent temperatures, Edmeades is adamant that there is nothing new to report. “Our best measurement of the temperature on earth isn’t from land-based thermometers, it’s from the satellites which run around the world going over the water and the land. This data shows no significant warming in the last 20 years.”

Now, if you talk to those who believe in human-induced Climate Change — and Edmeades has — they will say that you need at least 20 years of data before you can determine what the climate trend is over time. If the recent data does, in fact, say that there has been no statistically significant warming in the last 20 years — despite an increase in global CO concentrations — that would then correlate with Edmeades’ theory that we have been coming out of the Little Ice Age, and that process has now peaked. 

This is one of many points that Edmeades makes in his paper, “Is the hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change correct?” (Which can easily be found on the Internet.) A paper which he has sent to people on both sides of the argument — including the media — specifically inviting them to identify flaws in his logic. He is still yet to receive any form of response. 

It’s the media, according to Edmeades, that’s partially to blame. In his opinion, it’s the fourth estate that sensationalises Climate Change, often dishing out misleading information to the public. Examples of this can be spotted when watching the news. Surely, you will have seen those TV reports on Climate Change, delivered alongside an image displaying chimneys belching out ominous, thick, white fog. This, according to Edmeades, isn’t an entirely accurate depiction. “Those plumes of gas are not CO, because CO is actually colourless.” 

So what about the freak weather events — increasing tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis — that get paired alongside Climate Change in news reports, “The IPCC themselves” — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — “say that there is no relationship between the warming of the planet and the incidents of extreme weather. None whatsoever.” 

It is the IPCC, too, that Edmeades doesn’t believe has much credibility. Take the IPCC report of 2001, for example. It claimed that the warming in the late 20th Century was unprecedented and that it was most likely to be due to greenhouse gases. Central to this conclusion was the infamous “hockey stick graph”.

This graph was first published in a 1999 paper by Michael Mann, and later used to shock audiences in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and showed how temperatures over the last 2000 years had been steady, until the 20th century when they skyrocketed, thus creating a ‘hockey stick’ shape when displayed on a graph. “This graph has been exposed as a mathematical fabrication,” he explains, “most obviously, it contradicts the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age — for which there is ample global evidence.” 

Edmeades has tried “damn hard” to get the appropriate academic institutions to look at the issue of Climate Change fairly and squarely, even writing to the Royal Society of New Zealand to ask “whether they would facilitate a proper debate on the subject,” to which they usually respond with a statement saying that they don’t have the time. 

Above all, Edmeades is open to being proved wrong, he is a sceptic as opposed to an aggressive denier. “Show me the data that says humans are affecting the normal cycles of warming and cooling on the planet,” he says “and I’ll believe it.” That data, according to Edmeades, is still yet to surface. 

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