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. 

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4 face mists that are essential for when the heatwave hits

We have a love-hate relationship with the big heat of high summer. Certainly, sprawled on a beach or unwinding in a backyard around the pool, the humidity and beaming sun become far more enticing. But even then, we all have commitments that require a put-together appearance. To avoid a crimson complexion or melted make-up, be sure to stock up on these cool, and very cooling, face mists.

Soothing Mist by Janesce
Not only does Janesce’s Soothing Mist deliver a hydrating hit to parched skin, but also its plethora of all-natural cooling ingredients have been specifically singled out for their ability to treat hot, inflamed skin.

Hydrating Face Mist by Dr. Barbara Sturm
With aloe vera to soothe, hyaluronic acid to deliver a drench of hydration, purslane to reduce inflammation and prickly pear to activate healing through antioxidants, Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hydrating Face Mist is the go-to that’s ticking all the boxes.

Janesce Soothing Mist, Dr. Barbara Sturm Hydrating Face Mist, Kora Organics Calming Lavender Mist, La Mer The Mist

Calming Lavender Mist by Kora Organics
Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics makes us misty-eyed with its rich trio of ultra-soothing ingredients: bergamot water, organic lavender flower water and aloe vera. The lavender is a special hero, as its calming scent also helps to destress and calm the mind — something that’s much-needed on the muggy morning commute.

The Mist by La Mer
Packed with a concentrated percentage of La Mer’s renowned miracle broth, with its luxurious inclusion of kelp, The Mist not only hydrates the face, but also renews the complexion in a way that echoes the revitalising power of the brand’s coveted line of skincare. The epitome of effortless cool for your summer sang froid. 

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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Highlighting the humble popsicle, this joyous exhibition is one you won’t want to miss

It’s rare that an exhibition, or even a single piece, exudes so much joy and whimsy that it evokes an almost instant feeling of happiness. Yet that was the emotional response when exploring the new exhibition by Sydney-based artist Simone Rosenbauer. Showcasing at Sanderson Contemporary Art gallery from 1st February to 22nd February, we suggest to anyone needing a New Year mood boost to head to Newmarket as soon as you can.

The second instalment to Like Ice In The Sunshine, her well-received earlier exhibition, Rosenbauer’s latest endeavour displays an enticing assortment of vivid, radiant popsicles.  Simply entitled Like Ice In The Sunshine II,  the work ranges from the classic, chocolate-encased ice cream to the frozen treat with a double stick, all rendered in colour- saturated hues, with each image as beguiling and alluring as the next.

Each of these cool summer essentials is photographed in various states of melt, with ice cream and colour pooling around the quintessential paddle pops. In fact, by capturing various states of disappearing in each visual, the artist offers a stark reminder that summer itself is fleeting. That said, those who want to capture and experience the glory of Rosenbauer’s seasonal works all year round, are able to purchase the pieces — they come in two different sizes (85 x 85cm and 35.5 x 35.5cm), with prices varying between $2,400 and $7,800.

Given the prevailing political climate and relentless turmoil currently raging around the world, there couldn’t have been a better time for Simone Rosenbauer’s exuberant, joyous works to show up. For those who are wanting to meet the creator of this simple, welcome and nostalgic relief, Rosenbauer will be attending Sanderson’s hosting exhibition on Saturday 1st February at 11am, along with coffee and croissants from the neighbouring business Camper Coffee.

Sanderson Contemporary Art

Osborne Lane
2 Kent Street
Newmarket

www.sanderson.co.nz

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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

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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


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Treat yourself to a Powersurge online shop, and receive a generous restaurant voucher for paying it forward

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


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Treat yourself to a Powersurge online shop, and receive a generous restaurant voucher for paying it forward