The History Of The 90s

5 podcasts that the Denizen office are listening to right now

Like most offices, that of the Denizen comprises a varied bunch of personalities. As a consequence, a vast range of material is brought to the table when it comes to discussions on the quality TV, film and podcasts we’re investing our time in. From lighthearted pop-culture to engrossing conspiracy, these five podcasts are what the Denizen team are tuning into right now.

After Work Drinks
What: Culture
After Work Drinks is essentially just two best friends — journalists Isabelle Truman and Grace O’Neill — shooting the breeze over Friday Night Drinks, and that’s exactly why we’re all for it. With a no holds barred approach the comedic duo discuss everything pop culture, news and entertainment. New episodes, for example, cover the likes of the Harvey Weinstein saga and an unknown dating show that might just be the next ‘Love Island.’ Lovers of The High-Low, this one is for you.

White Silence
What: Documentary
This new podcast from Stuff and RNZ explores the shocking story of New Zealand’s deadliest disaster and is perfect for anyone who loves a gripping conspiracy theory. In 1979, an Air New Zealand jet with 257 passengers on board took off from Auckland Airport, destined for Antarctica. Hours later, everyone was dead. With lies and cover-ups in abundance, White Lies will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about the infamous Mount Erebus disaster.

The 27 Club
What: Music
Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and many more musical icons lost their lives at 27, contributing to what has since become known as the infamous ’27 Club’. This podcast delves into the lives of each and dishes all to the listener via top-notch storytelling, ticking off every wild story and then some.

The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow
What: Culture
Pulitzer-Prize winning Journalist Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill recounts the many challenges he faced while chasing the horrific stories of Harvey Weinstein. Now, his podcast of the same name is here to give us even more of an insight. Each episode is built around an interview with a subject from the book, all of which are direct and frank, and combined with the hours of audio he recorded during the initial investigation.

History of the 90s
What: History
Whether its discussing legendary film Scream and how it gave new life to the horror genre, talking over the details from the Columbine High School Shootings, exploring the rise and fall of the beloved Beanie Baby toy franchise or delving into our collective devotion to TV series Friends, this podcast has you travelling back in time through the stories that defined a decade.

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Skin feeling parched? These four, extra-nourishing body creams deliver hydration in spades

If your dry skin is yearning for moisture and hydration, a basic body lotion just won’t cut it — to truly achieve softer, silkier skin it pays to invest in something a little more hard-hitting. From an offering from cult beauty brand Augustinus Bader to an über luxurious La Mer iteration, the following four are the crème de la crème of the beauty world.

Augustinus Bader: Body Cream
Arguably the most googled name in skincare, Augustinus Bader has truly given new meaning to the term cult beauty. Suffice to say, when news broke that the Professor was launching a new product this year, attention was piqued. Harnessing the same Trigger Factor Complex as the applauded The Cream, this new product will offer avid fans rewarding skin rejuvenating benefits from the neck down.

Costa Brazil: Body Cream
The Body Cream by Costa Brazil, a brand from former Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa, only contains around 10 to 20 percent water, and so is brimming with an impressive array of undiluted active ingredients, including Vitamins A, B3, C and E and omegas 3, 6, 9. It is also aloe leaf juice-based, meaning that it packs a seriously hydrating punch. Vegan, cruelty-free and made with responsibly sourced ingredients, this is one moisturiser that deserves pride of place in the beauty cupboard.

Augustinus Bader, La Mer, Dr Barbara Sturm, Costa Brazil

La Mer: The Body Crème
It’s luxuriously thick and whipped for optimum silkiness, but the real magic with La Mer’s The Body Crème lies with its ingredient list. Combining the brand’s famous Miracle Broth, which harnesses the profound healing properties of a particular kind of sea kelp, alongside rare blue algae, La Mer has ensured that its body cream formula is intensely repairing and especially hydrating — upon using, skin feels instantly saturated, cushioned and smoothed.

Dr Barbara Sturm: Anti-Ageing Body Cream 
Dr Barbara Sturm’s silky body moisturiser is specifically designed to cater to ageing skin, and so is jam-packed with a medley of nutrient-rich oils and hard-working antioxidants. Like purslane, for example, an antioxidant powerhouse that helps calm the skin, or the white almond and elderberry blossom extracts, which have profound skin-tightening abilities. Plus, the lightweight texture means it absorbs quickly and easily, so you can slip right into your clothes after applying.

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Bombe Crumpets from Percy

This game-changing airport cafe is taking off

Whether you’re departing or arriving in Auckland, the last or first meal in this city should hold more allure than the fast and quick food-court fare. Percy finally fills this gap, offering a modern café setting to travellers who are seeking a more elevated eating option. You can enjoy its tasty offerings and sophisticated ambience knowing you are a mere five-minute drive from the terminals and airport carparks. 

Roger Liu, who was recently responsible for Newbie and Fields, has added Percy to the growing line-up of establishments which comprise Woozoo, his newfound hospitality group. Award-winning architects, RTA Studio, mapped out the sleek lines of the space, while Material Creative took charge of the interiors to showcase, yet again, Woozoo’s signature modern, funky aesthetic. 

Percy

With an impressive capacity that holds up to 120 patrons, the tables and seating are cleverly arranged to create an airy, inviting space that feels wide, and open, and welcoming. Perhaps it’s due to the peaceful lakeside setting, or perhaps it’s because of its location in the calming vicinity of The Landing Business Park that Percy’s ambience is noticeably serene, which makes it the perfect spot to relax before or after your flight, as well as giving weary travellers a calming contrast to the bustle and noise of the airport precinct itself.  There’s even an onsite playground to keep the little ones entertained, while you enjoy some downtime.

The menu was designed by Logan Wang, who created the respected offerings at Fields. There is a similar concept of contemporary brunch fare in both, but Wang’s innate creativity means there are also brand new dishes available exclusively at Percy. Having registered the lack of savoury French toasts in our local café scene, Wang has magicked up a Mushroom French Toast. What it lacks sugar, it more than makes up for in decadence. A slice of brioche offers a fluffy bed for a medley of mushrooms that have been doused in a creamy parmesan sauce, salty pancetta and paired with semi-sweet caramelised onions, feta and truffle crumbs. Mouth-wateringly good.

Mushroom French toast

Drawing from his Chinese background, Wang has also added a breakfast bao which marries the traditional pork belly slit bao with a Kiwi-centric breakfast bap. Served deconstructed, it targets the diner’s own tastebuds to decide how much hoisin and pickled onions they would like to add, or when to include the sunny-side-up fried egg. We suggest a liberal lick of sweet hoisin and pickled onions, followed by a few bites to test the tanginess of  the bao’s Asian flavours. And then you can slide in the egg and enjoy the yolk’s rich kick added to the whole dish.

Breakfast baos

For those with lunch-friendly options on their mind, Percy serves a lamb rump complemented by a rivulet of ratatouille, with juicy tomatoes on the vine, and homely baby potatoes. It makes for a hearty homecoming and is even more delightful when paired with a pint of Brothers Beer, served on tap, or a glass of the many wines that are offered at this licensed and luminous café.

Lamb rump

The menu is unashamedly savoury-focused but its short and concise offerings of sweet dishes look divine and were, in fact, the highlight of our whole Percy experience. The bombe crumpets leave normal crumpet recipes far behind, given there’s a stack of impossibly fluffy,  meringue-coated crumpets, torched to achieve a flavour reminiscent of the best fire-toasted marshmallows. Cleverly, the sweetness is balanced with lemon whipped ricotta. The whole dish is given a final added depth and texture from natural honeycomb, combined with a sprinkling of white chocolate crumbs. 

Bombe crumpets

Just like Liu’s other establishments, there is a cabinet filled with house-baked goods made by Rae Cheong, who is the maestro behind Woozoo Group’s renowned treats. Be sure to grab a caramel slice with your cup of Kokako coffee on your way out, to give a memorable and satisfying sweetness and delight on which to end your Percy visit. 

Caramel slice

Having opened its doors less than a month ago, it seems that knowledgeable flight passengers and locals of The Landing Business Park and have already caught on, and are heading in their droves to this airport café as their first, or final, destination. But given the delicious uniqueness of the crumpets alone, we suggest you don’t need to have overseas travel plans to find an excuse to make the journey out to this enticing Mangere eatery. 

Opening hours
Monday — Friday: 6:30am until 3:30pm
Saturday — 8am until 3pm
Sunday — Closed

Percy

2 Te Kapua Drive,
The Landing Business Park
Mangere

www.percycafe.co.nz

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Fish cazuela

The remake of Parnell’s local-favourite tapas bar is bigger and even better

Three years ago, Sarah Ginella and Nico Mendez opened a humble tapas bar tucked away in a cosy corner of Faraday St in Parnell. Little did they expect the buzz about Barulho to spread so quickly around town. Before they knew it, customers were queuing for a place in the rapidly-renowned but compact eatery. Over time the queues and reputation have only grown, and now it’s time for Ginella and Mendez, and their Barulho dream, to evolve. 

Barulho

After taking over the neighbouring carpark, Barulho’s era as tapas bar is no more. Meet Barulho the restaurant. The seating has quadrupled, with room for up to 100 patrons. There is also an atmospheric private dining room, and a kitchen large enough to finally meet the demands of a voracious and appreciative Auckland eating public. In fact, every element has undergone a significant upgrade in size and sophistication. The resultant quality upgrade means its popularity is sky-rocketing. 

Barulho

While Spanish fare remains the Barulho focus, Ginella and Mendez are promising to expand their menu offerings to make the best use of their much larger kitchen space. The renowned pork chop and clam paella, as well as the hand-cut beef empanadas, remain from the tapas bar era but, from our taste test, now have even greater flavour and finesse. Our paella rice boasted an airy fluffiness, while the richly nutritious pork sings an aromatic aria with the subtle and satisfying seafood. The empanadas were a perfect pairing with one of their many cocktails, particularly the Caipirinha — a refreshing and simple concoction of sweet Cachaça, lime and sugar.

Handcut beef empanadas

These signature dishes may have retained their star status, but perhaps it’s the menu additions, such as the fish cazuela or the grilled octopus, that are going to turn heads. The cazuela serves up a smouldering sauce of vibrant tomato-base on a bed of fideos, which resemble pasta noodles that have been chopped up, with tender pieces of market fish, juicy prawns, mussels and clams combining to create a seafood lover’s dream. 

Patatas bravas

As for the grilled octopus, we would rank it as one of the tastiest renditions in town. Grilled to achieve a crispy exterior, the octopus flesh had a mouth-melting chew to its texture. The flavour was offset by a deliciously nutty and garlicky sauce, known as ajo blanco. Salty slivers of chorizo and juicy blood oranges gave a pleasing colour palette to the plate, while also adding a nice cut to the richness of the creamy sauce. As a side, we had the patatas bravas — potatoes fried to perfection and gently bathing in a golden, saffron-infused aioli with spicy tomato. The whole meal offered a predominance of balance and pleasing gastronomic aesthetic.

Grilled octopus

Barulho officially opened its doors only last night (Tuesday, 18th February) and given that Auckland’s plugged-in gastronomes will no doubt be moving this spot near the top of their dining favourites, we suggest you act fast and book now. This is one opening where the heat of the anticipation is matched only by the hot-blooded passion of Barulho’s loyal and growing clientele.

Opening hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday — Saturday: 12pm until late
Sunday: TBC

Barulho

2—6 Watt Street,
Parnell

www.barulhoparnell.com

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Pride is on show at Viaduct Harbour with a vibrant Rainbow Week

With all shades of colour shining out in Rainbow Week, Viaduct Harbour has joined forces with Rainbow Pride to bring us these seven days of fun-filled festivities and epic parties. The entire precinct will be illuminated with fairy lights that boast every colour of the rainbow and an animated PRIDE light show, designed by the one and only, Angus Muir, every half hour from 7-11pm each night throughout the week. You will definitely want to be somewhere over this rainbow.   

Celebrations kick off on 17th of February.  But on Saturday night, there’s an especially vivid Viaduct Yacht Club’s Outrageous Disco, hosted by the iconic Anita Wigl’it from Caluzzi, Auckland’s festive Drag Queen bar. It will be a flamboyant affair of absolute fabulousness.

Viaduct Yacht Club invites guests to dress to impress and to get among the live music and entertainment in a boogie wonderland of dance and outrageous outfits. The very limited tickets are selling fast, so if you love the idea of joyful celebration, we suggest you get in as quickly as possible. It’s a nice touch that 10% of proceeds contribute to the Rainbow Pride Auckland community — click here to buy tickets.

The following day, Soul Bar & Bistro will be concluding the week with the grandest of finales, Pride Punch. Although the tickets to this soirée have already sold out, Soul is extending their invite from 3pm, for everyone to join the dance floor and boogie to the beats that will be provided by DJ Peter Urlich and surprise special guests.

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This innovative showerhead has us reimagining traditional bathroom design

It is imperative that the bathroom, as one of the most utilised rooms in the home, is practical and functional. But ensuring that practicality remains first and foremost often leads to little care being given to the design. Determined to remind us that aesthetics are just as important as purpose is bathroom fixtures brand Zucchetti.Kos with Closer, its sleek, wall-mounted showerhead.

With the Closer, a creative reimagining of the classic showerhead form has resulted in a silhouette that is reminiscent in aesthetic to that of a sophisticated desk lamp. It is both sophisticated and playful in design, while remaining inherently functional due to a simple three-joint system that ensures multi-directional movement to control and direct the outpouring jet of water. Rendered in smooth matte black chrome, it makes for an undeniably sleek and contemporary addition to any bathroom design.

Available locally from Robertson Bathware, this simple shower room addition is making sure we remember that, sometimes, the devil is all in the detail.

Robertson Bathware

25 Vestey Drive
Mount Wellington
Auckland

www.robertson.co.nz

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By Far, the latest label to land at Workshop, is inciting some serious nostalgia

For those who are wondering, the nostalgia trend isn’t going anywhere fast. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a plethora of esteemed brands pay homage to the cult designs of yesteryear, but there’s one, in particular, that’s long caught our eye — and it’s now more accessible than ever before. New to Workshop‘s impressive repertoire is BY FAR, the Australian-European accessories brand encouraging us to take style cues from the days of old.

Founded by twins Valentina Bezuhanova and Sabina Gyosheva and their best friend Denitsa Bumbarova, By Far is a brand that oozes a very particular kind of ‘cool girl’ style. The creative trio are continuously inspired by the late 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, and so all of the shoes and bags have been designed with a fun, comfortable and festive aesthetic in mind.

From strappy sandals and circular block heels to the classic baguette bags, the entire range covers a variety of alluring accessories that both feel at once nostalgic and inherently contemporary. Take the Mini Croco bag, for example, which sees a quaint top handle bag crafted from glossy croc-embossed leather, or the Tanya sandal, a barely-there classic that forever remains at the forefront of the fashion scene.

The arrival of By Far to Workshop marks another step forward in our love for all things of the past. Suffice to say, we’ll be sporting its enticing selection of accessories long after future trends have been and gone.

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Duck from Sid at The French Café

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best duck dishes in town

It’s rich, succulent, deliciously fatty yet with a heavenly crisp — duck is, hands down, one of our favourite meats. No matter where we’re dining, if duck features on the menu it’s always added to the order, so we like to think we have a sound understanding about which establishments have the best game in town. These are the restaurants that are serving duck to delight.

Caramelised duck from Cassia
This modern Indian restaurant is a firm favourite, with food that is always flavoursome, hearty, and extremely satisfying. Every dish on the menu has its own highlight, but the caramelised duck occupies a special place in this gastronomic galaxy. The duck melts off the bone, swims in a pool of tangy chettinad sauce with pickled onions, and shines next to the perfect accompaniment of the house garlic naan and jasmine rice. 

Duck Breast from Sid at The French Café
From the same executive chef and owner of Cassia, Sid Sahrawat takes duck to an entirely new level at his fine-dining restaurant, Sid at The French Café. On this season’s menu, the delicate piece of duck boasts the perfect fat-to-meat ratio. This richness is then enhanced by pairing it with pork belly. And for a final flourish, the medley of meats comes with a complement of sweet dates and the contrasting, semi-bitter, radicchio.

Culprit Duck from Culprit
A signature dish that has been on the menu since day one and for one reason only — it’s superb. Taking the duck and blowing it with air to separate the skin from the meat, chef and owners Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald add a pork sausage stuffing, creating a triple layer of succulent meat, heart pork and crispy skin. Served with a side of hoisin sour cream, plum sauce and lettuce, this dish is the modern take on the traditional Chinese Peking duck pancakes. 

Culprit Duck from Culprit

Peking Duck from Empress Garden
No mention of Peking duck would be complete without Herne Bay’s favourite, Empress Garden. The Peking duck from this Chinese restaurant is noted for its authenticity and rich taste, boasting an impossibly crispy skin that melts in the mouth, along with the rich layer of fat. The pancakes are perfectly thin and served fresh, giving full range to the fragrant flavours of the duck.

Buttered Maltagliati with Duck from Baduzzi
Everybody knows about the meatballs from Baduzzi, but it’s the buttered maltagliati with duck that draws us back again and again to this Italian restaurant. The duck, slow-cooked with porcini mushroom, achieves a rich and juicy ragu that slathers itself on the pasta sheets. Sprinkled with pickled black walnuts for pungent flavour, this is easily one of the best pasta dishes in Auckland. 

Peking Duck Tacos from Euro Bar & Restaurant
Although Euro is renowned for European cuisine, the Asian-inspired Peking Duck Tacos prove the versatility and skill of this restaurant. The thin taco wraps are slathered with hoisin sauce for a delectable sweetness to enhance the flavours of the braised duck. Garnished with slivers of cucumber, each mouthful is as heavenly as the next.  

Peking Duck Taco from Euro Bar & Restaurant

Duck Confit from The Engine Room
An unbeatable European classic, the duck confit is a dish that embodies pure comfort. The Engine Room’s rendition of this timeless delight is an absolute must when dining at the North Shore restaurant. The accompaniments vary according to the seasonal ingredients, but most recently they offered bursting cherries and a bed of kumara purée to enhance their mouth-melting tender duck with a beautifully balanced mix of sweet and savoury. 

Duck Confit from Ponsonby Road Bistro
Another restaurant that serves a duck confit is Ponsonby Road Bistro. As it effortlessly falls apart, this duck is served with a cranberry glaze and paired with a side of potatoes roasted in duck fat. To cut through the ricocheting richness, there’s a fresh salad of radicchio and almonds. Delightful. 

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Quindici Chaise Lounge by Mattiazzi

These are the pieces we’re craving from Simon James’ current sale

The Simon James sale is something that we here at Denizen look forward to with hot anticipation. It is where exquisite homeware and covetable sartorial offerings are found alongside one another, making it possible to update one’s wardrobe and interior space in one fell swoop — and at a fraction of the price we usually would, too. Tomorrow, the sale descends upon Auckland, taking place at both the Upper Queen Street and Herne Bay stores — with up to 70% off a wide scope of selected, desirable items.

Always the go-to for fine home furnishings, it should come as no surprise that we’re already besotted with the medley of homeware that’s on offer. Our favourites include the sleek, wooden Quindici Chaise Lounge by Mattiazzi, Menu’s elegant yet minimalistic Tribeca Franklin Chandelier and the sculptural, handmade range of Petite Pendants from Secto.

Tribeca Franklin Chandelier by Menu, Petite Pendant by Secto

Classic and polished, we’re already envisioning where we would place Menu’s honed brown marble Pepe Mirror in our homes, as are we the captivating cast-iron Spin Candelabra by Tom Dixon. From the enticing fashion line up, we’re particularly taken with the beautiful silk Charlotte Top by Paris Georgia, and the ultra-sophisticated Hartsfield Weekender Tote by Want Les Essentiels.

Pepe Mirror by Menu, Spin Candelabra by Tom Dixon

With such a glorious array of alluring wares on offer, we have strong suspicions that Simon James’ latest sale might just be their best yet. But don’t just take our word for it, we suggest you head to your closest outpost and take a look for yourself.

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5 of the most binge-worthy TV series that you should be watching right now

It’s only February, but we’re already betting that 2020 is the year where television finally meets our lofty expectations. Not only are there now more streaming services than you can shake a remote at, but the current productions are of such calibre that we suspect our collective habit of TV bingeing is only in its infancy. Are you hungry for some prime viewing material? These are the TV shows that we can’t binge enough right now.

The Stranger
What: Netflix’s new nail-biting thriller series opens on a mystery woman revealing a powerful secret to a man about his wife, and delivering a devastating blow to his seemingly perfect life. The eight-parter is brought to life by a plethora of fine British talent, including The Hobbit‘s Richard Armitage as lead character Adam Price, Antman and The Wasp‘s villain Hannah John-Kamen and Ab Fab‘s brilliant Jennifer Saunders.
Where: Netflix

Little America
What: Writers Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Gordon (both of The Big Sick) and Lee Eisenberg (formerly of The Office) have joined forces to create this series inspired by the true stories of immigrants in America. Each episode tells a different tale, from a Nigerian student exploring Oklahoma’s cowboy culture, to a young boy who discovers his parents have been deported.
Where: Apple TV+

Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens
What: Crazy Rich Asians‘ funnywoman and actress, Awkwafina, stars as Nora Lin in this new comedy scripted series. Based on her own beginnings in New York’s Queens, it follows her as she navigates young adulthood in the Big Apple with her whacky family grouping of cousin, dad and grandma.
Where: Sky TV, Comedy Central

The Goop Lab
What: The first episode of this Netflix newcomer kicks things off in Jamaica, where a group of Goop staffers are cross-legged on the floor, ready to use mushrooms to explore psychedelics in a therapeutic setting. A spinoff of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop enterprise, this series of The Goop Lab ventures into “ideas that may seem out-there or too scary” — whether that be vampire facials, psychedelics by the beach, or diving into a frozen lake. One person’s gobbledy-goop may be another person’s treasure. 
Where: Netflix

The Outsider
What: Stephen King’s spooky novel has been adapted for television and, while the novel didn’t exactly make waves, it looks as though the series sure as hell will. Jason Bateman is bloody (in the literal sense) brilliant as Terry Maitland, a man who is suspected of the grisly murder of an eleven-year-old local boy. There is irrefutable evidence that places him both at the scene of the crime, and also 200 miles away at the exact same moment…
Where: Neon

Culture

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We talk to Kiwi actor and director Rachel House on her incredible, enduring career, how she selects roles, and what the future holds