Olive oil poached Hapuka
Photo: Olivia Kirkpatrick
Onslow's entrance
Aged Wakanui beef roast

Onslow is the refined yet relaxed new restaurant from Josh and Helen Emett

When dining out, one of the most important aspects of any well-rounded offering — aside from the culinary element — is heart. With the opening of their new restaurant Onslow, renowned New Zealand chef Josh Emett and his wife and business partner Helen Emett have that in spades. 

Situated on the entrance level of highly-anticipated, luxury residential development The International, Onslow will open on 15th October, bringing a sophisticated yet welcoming fusion of tradition and modernity to the prime Princes street location. 

Earlier this year, the Emetts took over Waiheke Island institution The Oyster Inn, and with this opening they are firmly establishing themselves as a key part of Auckland’s varied, world-class food scene. And, while Josh’s impeccable culinary credentials are widely-respected, this is the first restaurant either of them will have established from the ground up. 

The central location resonated for several reasons: the proximity to Albert Park, the Northern Club and Auckland Art Gallery, as well as the main business hub of the city. British-born Helen feels the surrounding streets have something of old England about them, wider than the rest of the city with history-rich buildings.

Josh’s key experiences cooking in the UK occurred at Michelin-star restaurants alongside Gordon Ramsey at the Savoy and Claridge’s hotels, two London institutions. It’s fitting, then, that Onslow’s position was once home to the revered Grand Hotel, which the Earl and Countess of Onslow opened at 9 Princes Street in 1889. 

The soaring lobby of The International makes for quite the impressive entrance; as one enters, a sashay rather than a mere walk seems appropriate for the journey to the back of the space where the 100-seater Onslow awaits through striped glass doors. The building’s interiors are designed by Rufus Knight of Knight Associates, and inside Onslow the feeling is one of elegant warmth and comfort, large windows at the rear framing the cityscape. 

Described as ‘refined but not fine-dining’ Onslow is dedicated to quality and provenance. “It needs to be classic and quite timeless,” explains Josh. “We’re focused on providing a really nice level of warm and attentive service.”

“One thing we’ve really tried to get across to our staff is we want people to feel something,” adds Helen. “Rather than just having great food and saying the service was really good.” Both owners are passionate about Onslow patrons feeling that their time at the restaurant went above and beyond, tailoring the experience for each and every diner to be special and memorable. It doesn’t have to be fine dining for this to happen, they say. “You want to walk into a restaurant as a regular, and for people to know your name. That goes such a long way.”

The menu, as per Josh’s preferred style of cooking, starts with incredible New Zealand produce.“The food will be very simple, very approachable, which is the way I love cooking, but it’ll be packed full of flavour.” With exquisite local ingredients as the base, he’ll be creating food that’s timeless and classic — “Dishes you’ll recognise, but me doing them in a way I think is their best possible version.”

A highlight is the salmon trolley service, whereby your waiter will carve 48 hour-cured Big Glory Bay salmon gravadlax at your table. Served with fennel, honey mustard dressing, pickled cucumber and dark toasted Swiss rye bread, it’s sure to be unmissable.

Other dishes include an olive oil-poached Hapuka with spring peas, wild garlic, onion fries and flowers; aged Wakanui beef roast; a moreish snack of fried bread with stracciatella and a starter of confit yellowfin tuna with endive hearts.

For dessert, one of the signatures is a nostalgic chocolate soufflé served with hazelnut ice cream. 

Regardless of the challenges that have been faced by the hospitality industry this year, the duo are excited about Onslow. “The truth is, forget any point in history, people want to go out and eat,” says Helen. “We’re teeth-grittingly determined to make it bloody good — from how they feel when they’re here, to the service, to the wine.” Every tiny detail within Onslow has been touched by the Emetts to make it as outstanding as it can be, aiming to resonate with diners for far longer than just the length of a meal.

Onslow is open from 15th October and taking reservations now, click here to book.

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday: 12pm until late

Onslow
9 Princes Street
Auckland 1010

www.onslow.nz

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Contemplating adopting a pup? This dog rescue is the perfect place to start

If you’re looking to welcome a pup into your life, it’s well worth considering adopting one of many abandoned dogs before you opt to visit a breeder. Albany-based dog and animal shelter Last Lamp Post rescues dogs and puppies in the hopes of helping them find their forever home, making sure these animals have the safe and loving future they deserve. 

During the first lockdown they managed to re-home more than 40 unwanted dogs that would otherwise have been euthanised. Pictured above is Ted, who was one such pup, who now has a loving family that adores him.

Founded by Auckland property developer and dog lover Andrew Davies, Last Lamp Post was opened in 2018 after Davies, a longtime SPCA volunteer, had his eyes opened to the magnitude of abuse and neglect dogs are often exposed to.

Having found a property in the upper reaches of the Waitematā Harbour, Davies set to re-building the farm house and renovating the shed to make it a manager’s cottage, with an adjoining kitchen and nursery for puppies. In addition to secure areas for older dogs, there is accommodation and a four garage utility shed for the caretaker, plus a purpose-built clinic with the intention of having a vet on site in the future.

Even more vital since the SPCA started reducing their frontline services throughout the country, Davies works closely with Summer Johnson from the Bay of Island Rescue Centre and Ros Stewart of Bridge Bully Rescue. Over the past three years, Last Lamp Post has been involved in the rescue and re-homing of over 200 dogs and puppies

Unlike many other rescue centres, at Last Lamp Post the dogs spend most of  their time out of cages, running free on the secure property, enjoying the ponds and paddocks. “The puppies learn from the older dogs what they can and can’t get away with,” says Davies, “and with a bit of love and attention, we see them developing the confidence they need to be able to integrate successfully with their new families.”

With their motto “adopt, do not shop” Davies and centre manager Louise Burgess ensure the adoption process is thorough and strive to find the right match between their pups’ personalities and the lucky families they go to. Declining homes if they don’t think it’s in the animal’s best interests, they’ll look after a dog for as long as it takes to find the perfect home.

Follow Last Lamp Post on Facebook for updates on new dogs that require homing.

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Fashion label Wynn Hamlyn’s first dedicated boutique is a literal ray of sunshine

Since establishing his eponymous label Wynn Hamlyn in 2014, Auckland-based designer Wynn Crawshaw has seen the demand for his highly sought-after designs only increase. Going from strength to strength both on our shores and internationally, stocked on global e-commerce giant Moda Operandi, in Bloomingdales in Kuwait and Harvey Nichols in Dubai, the focus has now shifted closer to home with arrival of the very first dedicated Wynn Hamlyn boutique, opening today in Commercial Bay.

Taking up residence in the precinct’s Little Queen Street laneway, where the brand will be joining the already-established selection of premium New Zealand designers, the opening is a declaration of optimism towards the end of a very challenging year. For the team at Wynn Hamlyn, it could certainly have been worse. “This year has been good, which is a relative term,” says Crawshaw. “There have been ups and downs, and lots of challenges — but, on the whole, we’re really grateful to still be going and have this opportunity to try different things. So, good in that sense.” 

The store is a result of a changing of circumstances for the business; while a large part of Wynn Hamlyn’s growth has been from the international wholesale side of the business, now’s a good time to diversify and focus on direct-to-customer local sales, rather than being so reliant on an international market. “Secondarily, it’s a great place to control the message of our own identity,” explains Crawshaw. “We can put our whole collection in here, and have it displayed the way it was intended.” 

The shop itself is unconventional in the best kind of way, with around three quarters of the space and floor painted a vibrant, yet not fluorescent, yellow. Buster Caldwell from concept and interior design studio Wonder Group worked on the initial structural design with Crawshaw, with the brief to create a kind of haven where customers could feel like they were in a private, Wynn Hamlyn world.

This involved constructing a wall, painted that same yellow, to sit in front of the existing large glass windows of the store front. “We want people to feel like you can come in here and have a little session, and walk around and try things on,” says Crawshaw. Anto Yeldezian and Jack Roy of spatial design studio Stockfile helped to conceptualise the feel of the space, with the walls a slightly rough-textured finish compared to the vinyl floor, contrasting with long, heavy cream curtains. The strong structure of the space, and that yellow — shade name: Sweetcorn — allow the fluidity of Crawshaw’s designs to stand out nicely against them.

In terms of where the brand’s at, Crawshaw is enjoying the fact that Wynn Hamlyn now has a very defined aesthetic after just over five years. It’s the perfect time to introduce menswear, he says, which is arriving with the spring/summer 2021 collection early next year, and the store gives them the opportunity to do made-to-measure and alteration services as well.

With the Wynn Hamlyn studio only a few hundred metres away on Anzac Ave, the boutique’s location within Commercial Bay makes sense in more ways than one. “It’s perfect for us,” says Crawshaw. “It kinda feels like our own neighbourhood store.”

Wynn Hamlyn
Commercial Bay
7 Queen Street
Auckland 1010

www.wynnhamlyn.com

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Try these herby chermoula chicken skewers for a deliciously healthy dinner

For a healthy meal that delivers a full-on flavour punch, look no further than this chermoula chicken skewer recipe from Miss Polly’s Kitchen. Simple yet irresistible, this dish makes the most of herbs and spices to create a tasty chermoula sauce that’s bound to become a forever favourite. Pro tip: Pre-soak skewers in warm water for 10-30 mins before cooking to prevent burning.

Chermoula chicken skewers recipe
Serves 3

Ingredients:
Chermoula sauce
¾ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
¾ tsp coriander seeds, toasted
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of salt
Pinch chilli flakes
Zest of one lemon
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
1 cup parsley
1 cup coriander

Skewers
500g chicken thigh
½ red onion, cut into quarters
1 large red capsicum, cut into small chunks
1 cup of yoghurt for the dipping sauce

Method
1. Turn the oven to 200°C fan bake.
2. Blitz the cumin and coriander seeds in a food processor until they are mostly ground up. Add the garlic, paprika, salt, chilli flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice and oil, then add in the herbs. Whizz together into a nice paste.
3. Chop the chicken pieces into bite-sized pieces, as well as the onion and capsicum. Using half of the chermoula, coat the chicken, onion and capsicum and then thread it onto pre-soaked skewers. I did chicken, onion, capsicum — repeat.
4. Bake for 15-17 mins depending on the size.
5. Mix the remaining chermoula with a cup of yoghurt and enjoy as a dipping sauce.
6. For the salad, try combining ½ a sliced fennel bulb, cherry tomatoes, peas, blanched beans and a ribboned zucchini along with a big handful of basil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy.

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Kowtow founder Gosia Piatek on circularity, tenacity and why sustainability is a journey

Gosia Piatek sits at the helm of one of New Zealand’s most internationally successful clothing brands. Since 2006, Kowtow has been steadily amassing global recognition and stockists, and is now sold at over 250 retailers worldwide including the likes of Galeries Lafayette in Paris. As founder and creative director Piatek isn’t one to shout about her success, but the stratospheric rise of her brand all over the world is certainly worth acknowledging.

Aesthetically, Kowtow is known for its clean lines and figure-skimming fits, but it’s the brand’s sustainability ethos that has made it a pioneer in the fashion industry. Piatek and her team live and breathe their values of sustainable and ethical manufacturing, from overseeing the cultivation of organic, fair trade cotton seed planted from the outset, to ensuring each impeccably-designed wardrobe staple is manufactured in an ethical manner. This unwavering conscious commitment has become the signature of a brand that is respected the world over.

The trailblazing creative director with a penchant for pushing the status quo shares her journey and divulges what it is that keeps her moving forward.

I used to spend a lot of time in remote places in nature throughout my teens and early twenties — deeply connecting to it and seeing it for its amazing wonder. On the side, I did jobs that I felt meant so little to me and wanted to combine my passion for the natural world, the people in it and my personal life. The concept was simple and continues to be today, 15 years on. A transparent, ethical and sustainable supply chain for certified fair trade organic cotton, with respect for people and nature at the forefront of all decision making. 

I did a commerce degree at university. With my family being Polish, you don’t get a choice whether you go to university or not. My brother’s naturally academically gifted and I’m not, I’m more curious about life, I wanted to travel. And actually in hindsight, maybe that’s a good thing, that I went to Uni and it was a bit hard, and I got a degree in the end.

Kowtow’s Wellington boutique designed by Knight Associates. Photos: Simon Wilson

I think hardship is actually a positive, not a negative. It teaches you to be focused, and resourceful, and you’ve got to be resourceful with fashion. 

As a company, we’re quietly very focused. I wonder if it’s because we’re in Wellington, and quite removed from the New Zealand fashion scene which is in Auckland, and then we’re removed completely from the global scene being in New Zealand. But, we tick away at things.

I don’t like the idea of being a show off, it embarrasses me. I define my own personal success as very low-key and down to earth.

Kowtow blossomed further when I hired people to take over my role after stepping back to have my son Laker in 2014. At the time, it was a rather impossible situation — I had a newborn, I didn’t have all the systems in place and was doing newsletters at 2am after I gave birth. Everybody at Kowtow is truly passionate about the vision and the purpose, and through me letting go and delegating, the people I employed took the company to a whole new level.

I have that hard graft tenacity. If something is important, I just have this focus, I want it completed and I want it done. And my arm’s very easily twisted — if someone gives me an idea, I just want to make it happen, I’m like that in my personal life too, I’ll give anything a go. I’m not scared of change, I’m not scared of risk.

There was international interest from the get-go. The world has always seemed like a small place, and the brand’s ethics and sustainability are a global issue. That’s what’s always driven the overseas hunger for success.

We’ve never had any investment as a brand, it’s always been self-funded and the profits have been reinvested into the company. It’s just slow and steady. It’s quite amazing, because we now have warehousing in Canada, America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and we have a logistics manager who manages all of that. It blows me away sometimes. I’m like, “how does that extra small, white V neck T-shirt make it to Iceland?”

Now that half the world’s working from home, we’re lucky we design the clothes we do, because these are the kind of clothes people want. The materials are natural and comfortable and they breathe.

I see other successful businesses as a challenge to do better. As soon as something impresses me, I can already see flaws and ways to improve. The goalposts are always changing. 

One of the biggest things I’ve learned throughout running Kowtow is that sustainability is a journey and admitting to mistakes means we can problem-solve them as a group.  

Kowtow’s Auckland boutique designed by Knight Associates. Photos: Simon Wilson

I’m really proud to be working on circularity within Kowtow — it makes so much sense. As designers, we are accountable for the life of our product, so having the ability to take it back and repair it or put it back into a circular company ensures it does not end up in landfill.

I’d love to learn how to relax, but I’m not sure if it suits me.

The hiccups are all solvable and only make things stronger and better.

As a species we need clothing, however there just seems to be way too much choice in the world. I feel confident that making a natural and circular product is the way forward and it’s what makes me want to continue to get up and go to work. I think synthetics have no place on the planet anymore so providing an alternative is an important mission.

The motto I live by is “trip, stumble, fall, then get up again.”

COVID has been the most significant thing I’ve had to overcome in business. Our stores were closed, 200 international retailers closed, we couldn’t ship online orders or access the workroom and both factories were also closed. But somehow we are navigating through it with my amazing team and supportive customers. I guess this proves anything is possible in business.

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The best new films to watch for a movie night to remember

From time-bending tales to thought-provoking documentaries, there are plenty of new and noteworthy films to catch at the moment. Whether you want to stream from home or spend an evening at the cinema, these movies are an excellent way to stay entertained.

A Life On Our Planet
International treasure and naturalist David Attenborough is back on our screens at the age of 93, this time to tell his greatest story yet — the arc of his extraordinary life, and the monumental environmental decline he has witnessed during it. Sombre and soul-stirring, this documentary will stay with you long after the credits roll. Watch on Netflix

Tenet
The new Sci-Fi spectacle from lauded director Christopher Nolan (of Interstellar and Inception fame) centres around a secret agent tasked with preventing World War Three, who embarks on a journey of international espionage that will take him beyond real time. Filled with shocking moments of revelation, time- and mind-bending twists and gripping action, this is Nolan’s own take on a Bond film, albeit through the auteur’s typically gritty, consistently complex lens. Rent on Neon.

Savage
Director Sam Kelly’s feature film debut Savage is just as the title suggests, a gruelling and gritty examination of gang culture in New Zealand. Set over three chapters, the film follows Danny (aka Damage) from childhood to adult, mapping a pathway to his crime-fueled life in fictional gang the Savages. Confrontational and emotional, this film has garnered critical acclaim.

Enola Holmes
Based on the YA novels by Nancy Springer, this upbeat film centres around (you guessed it) Enola Holmes, the cheeky, unconventional teenage sister of detective Sherlock Holmes. Starring Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown as Enola (alongside Helena Bonham Carter as her mother and Henry Cavill as Sherlock himself) this is a light-hearted, playful watch for both the young and young at heart. Watch on Netflix

The Trial of the Chicago 7
Based on the notorious trial that followed the protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, this hotly-anticipated film was written and directed by Oscar- and Emmy-winning, Aaron Sorkin and features a cast that includes Michael Keaton, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Eddie Redmayne. Watch on Netflix

Black Is King
Conceived, directed and performed by Beyoncé, Black Is King is the multi-hyphenate performer’s new visual album, a cinematic experience brimming with zeitgeist-shifting fashion and symbolism. Framed by the body of work she conceived after voicing Nala on The Lion King, the breathtaking cinematic is a celebration of the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. Watch on Disney+

Da Five Bloods
Following four African-American war veterans who return to Vietnam in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader (as well as a stash of buried gold), the latest offering from renowned auteur Spike Lee is driven by its action sequences as much with its brilliant performances. Watch on Netflix

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From Prada to Versace, see our highlights from the spring 2021 ready-to-wear collections

It was a fashion month like no other, and really it could never have been the same as all that came before. In a way, it was impressive that as many designers pulled together collections as they did, but — as was so eloquently expanded upon in this piece — fashion will always be there to either reflect or distract from the times. With many designers eschewing the usual format of in-person runway show after runway show, online viewers have been given another perspective, and often a deeper one. From puppet shows to underwater fantasy worlds, here are just some of the ways designers interpreted the new season.

Prada
The most highly-anticipated collection reveal of the season, Prada’s spring 2021 collection saw the collaboration of two of fashion’s most revered creatives come to its first fruition. Following his appointment to the brand earlier this year, Raf Simons has officially joined Miuccia Prada as co-creative director, and rather than stage one of the usual extravagant runway shows, coronavirus restrictions in Milan meant the release was shown via video, with models walking around a yellow curtained and carpeted room — empty, save for cameras and screens mounted on robotic arms. Following this, Ms Prada and Mr Simons treated viewers to a thoughtful, intimate conversation, answering questions sent through online. And what of the clothes? The collection was called ‘Dialogue’, with fundamental design elements from both creatives successfully imbued throughout. As Vanessa Friedman wrote for The New York Times, “it wasn’t quite a return to first principles; more like a renegotiation. One done with great harmony.” Beginning with uniform-like ensembles of matching tunics and trousers, clutch coats and logo-fronted tops, prints were gradually introduced along with 50s-style skirts and knitwear, cleverly layered over hole-punched polo necks. An inspiring first outing from the unprecedented partnership, we’re already looking forward to the duo’s next collection.

Christian Dior
Following last season’s impressive ode to craftspeople via a show held in Lecce, Puglia, spring 2021 saw Dior’s creative director look to women whose craft is honed within the intimacy of their homes “…wrapped in infinite layers of color, like Virginia Woolf, or dressed in a simple white shirt, like Susan Sontag.” Apt, indeed, for these times. A loosening occurred within this collection, again taking into account the casual bent of the daily attire for most of the planet this year, with fluid fabrics reinterpreting garments that would have been traditionally more structured. A clever reinvention of the emblematic Bar jacket is rendered in denim, while Chiuri’s essential man-style shirts become tunics and dresses, worn relaxedly over flowing trousers and skirts. Covetable waist belts stopped everything from being too oversized and sloppy, adding just the right amount of structure to the embellished, embroidered and variously patterned ensembles.

Dries Van Noten
The master of print and pattern, Mr Van Noten was also inspired by an artist, and this time one from our side of the hemisphere. Looking to the early work of 20th century New Zealand artist Len Lye, Dries Van Noten channeled Lye’s pioneering celluloid film paintings with an uplifting effect. The result is an optimistic collection doused in psychedelic colour combinations, and prints spanning celestial suns and moons, light bars and palm trees. Rather than stage a show, the designer opted for a photoshoot and a video to showcase his spring 2021 collection, melding mens and womenswear for the first time. If we ever considered opting for a monochrome uniform, Van Noten’s artful designs always have us rethinking this temptation.

Moschino
Ever the jokester, for Moschino’s spring 2021 presentation, designer Jeremy Scott decided to put on a puppet show, certainly one way to ensure the team and audience were safe from the perils of Covid-19. The marionette models — and marionette front row — were created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for a short film showcasing shrunken versions of Moschino’s latest collection. Titled ‘No Strings Attached’ (get it?) the puppets wore their garments inside-out, exposing zippers, corset structures and pockets. “In 2020, the apparatuses of what we know have been largely exposed,” said the brand. “Scott has chosen to reflect this phenomenon, and to build from it.” Added Scott: “As the world seems to be splitting along the seams, the bare inner workings of something new will be exposed.” While many designers are opting for dressed-down versions of their usual, Scott’s glamorous spirit has clearly not been squashed throughout lockdown, and coming into party season in newly-level 1 Auckland, that’s something we can appreciate.

Valentino
Moving to Milan from Paris for its spring 2021 mens and womens-wear show, Valentino re-connected with its home turf after showing in Paris for the last decade. Another designer for whom fantasy was tempered with a far larger dose of reality than usual this season, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli still presented his signature romanticism, but this collection was more wearable than ever before. In a genius move, the brand brought back the rockstud shoe — virally popular since its inception in 2010, and sure to be just as in-demand now in a supersize, flat iteration. Among Piccioli’s upliftingly colourful pieces were doses of black (mostly rendered in lace and laser-cut fabrics as to not seem too heavy) and, also savvy, a surprise collaboration with Levi’s. Finishing the show with a series of floaty, featherlight dresses, Piccioli reminded us it’s possible to embrace both the casual and the elevated in these times while remaining comfortable and, above all, optimistic.

Versace
In a live-streamed show that was closed to the public and attended only by staff, Donatella Versace shared her vision for an underwater haven — Versacepolis. Dubbed “a utopian settlement created on the seabed and populated by strong and confident men and women”, the audience-less show still managed to be a spectacle for the internet to enjoy. Taking many of the seashell and sea creature motifs from Gianni Versace’s spring 1992 ‘trésor de la mer’ collection, Ms Versace reimagined them for today. A veritable explosion of colour and print, Versace backed its optimistic vision with inclusive, body positive casting — a welcome sight in an industry that still needs to get with the times.

Louis Vuitton
Closing Paris Fashion week, the Louis Vuitton spring 2021 show opened with a model wearing a shirt emblazoned with a very relevant message — especially to us in New Zealand and in the US: VOTE. A pity, remarked Vogue, the shirt isn’t available to wear now to the voting booths. Held in the impressive La Samaritaine department store, just around the corner from the Louvre, the show cleverly blended reality and virtual technology. While a socially-distanced live audience lined the multi-story space, it was interspersed with cameras that swivelled 360-degrees, beaming the happenings to a private link for fashion media. The public were also able to watch via a livestreamed video. Creative director Nicholas Ghesquière once again channeled his favourite era for this collection, leaning even further into the 80s silhouettes with voluminous, high-waisted trousers, floor-scraping duster coats and oversized shoulders. Poppy graphics both opened and closed the show, with an overarching, purposeful androgyny to the pieces.

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The mozzarella sando with spinach, potato rosti and tomato chutney

Young George is the new hidden gem serving tasty sandos in the suburbs

We love a hidden gem, and nestled in a tiny block of shops in the suburbs, Young George is providing the neighbourhood with great coffee, tasty bites and friendly chats. 

The brand new cafe opened last week in Mount Albert, much to the joy of any locals craving an expertly-brewed cup of joe — plus a woman who had driven over from Westmere during our visit because she heard from a friend the coffee was that good. 

Helmed by George Bristow, Josh Young and Georgie Duncan, Young George is very much a family-run vibe, with the team all lending their hospitality expertise to the venue. Chef Young previously worked as head chef at Chinoiserie and Bristow as a barista at neighbouring cafe L’oeuf, while Duncan helped out at both and did a stint at Coco’s Cantina. 

From left: The chicken sando; Young George’s interior

“Young George is about starting out small and growing with the community,” explains Bristow. A humble operation with a fit-out by the owners themselves using mostly upcycled, secondhand furniture and even cooking ware, the interior of the cafe fits with the team’s values of reusing and recycling where possible. It’s something they’d like to extend to things like more outdoor furniture, a cup-swap system (negating the need for disposable takeaway cups) and eventually a commercial composting system.

The food offering is succinct but delicious, with a current focus on the sando — traditionally a Japanese street food — remixed in Young’s inventive style (he is also the brains behind ghost restaurant Young Sandos, sold on Ubereats during lockdown). The chicken sando is unmissable, comprising juicy crumbed free range chicken slathered on one side with tonkotsu sauce and the other in a deliciously tangy mayo — reminiscent of Big Mac sauce or something similar — with iceberg, sandwiched between ultra-soft Japanese milk bread, toasted for a bit of crunch. 

The beef sando

The beef sando will satisfy anyone with a craving to indulge; essentially a burger in a sandwich, beef patties are slathered in melted cheese with a subtle hint of chilli heat that lingers on the tongue. The mozzarella sando hits the spot between decadent and wholesome with housemade, melted mozzarella oozing over sauteed spinach and a potato rosti, finished with tomato relish. We also tried the karaage chicken, and can confirm it’s delicous.

The team’s aim is to provide a positive, welcoming space for the community to come together, to sit in the sun outside while their kids draw on the pavements with chalk. In this way, food and the places that serve it can be about so much more than just eating, and with Young George embracing this holistic philosophy, we think that’s well worth supporting.

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday: 7am – 3pm

Ed’s note: There will be intense construction taking place in Mt Albert from the end of October, resulting in road closures surrounding Young George for several weeks. Follow their Facebook page for updates on how to access the cafe.

Young George
86A Hendon Avenue,
Mount Albert

www.instagram.com/younggeorgenz

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Stay ahead of the curve with the coolest up-and-coming local musicians to save to your playlist

The New Zealand music industry is brighter than ever, with emerging artists revitalising the scene despite the year’s hardships. The volume of talent is pretty astounding, given the size of our wee island, so this list could be three times as long — not that we’re surprised; we all know our countrymen and women are a creative bunch. The following is a round-up of just some of the music industry’s brightest rising stars, which we hope will inspire you to seek out and support our local artists.

Paige
22-year-old singer-songwriter Paige Tapara, known professionally by her first name, has been honing her prodigious musical talent since she was 9 years old, and has just released a beautiful new EP titled Always Growing via Sony Music Entertainment. With over 500k monthly plays on Spotify, Paige is definitely at the ‘up’ end of ‘up-and-coming’. Her solid fanbase of listeners is thanks to her luminous voice which she layers over upbeat melodies with world-wise lyrics, solidifying her reputation as an old soul with a bright future.
Listen to: Waves

Vayne
Having already played packed out shows at venues like Whammy and Neck of the Woods, rapper Vayne is the name on everyone’s lips — especially since the release of her much-anticipated debut EP Gutta Girl, a raw and honest ode to Mana Wāhine. With her hypnotic flow and irresistible melodies, catch Sony-signed Vayne (and Paige) performing at Rhythm and Vines this year. 
Listen to: My Best Yet

Deryk
Madeleine Bradley, who performs under the moniker ‘deryk’, has been garnering increasing attention for her unique and brooding sound, reminiscent of Portishead and PJ Harvey. With her debut single ‘Call You Out’ dubbed an “incredible first impression from a new artist” by Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, we recommend checking out her debut EP Womb, released 2nd October via Universal.
Listen to: One Star

Teeks
Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi, who performs as Teeks, has a special gift. Anyone familiar with the award-winning singer/songwriter — as many people now thankfully are — will know his velvety timbre imbues every one of his songs with a deep soulfulness, memorable for far longer than the length of a track. This August, Sony-signed Teeks released Without You, his first single since 2017, to widespread acclaim, with the Tom Gould-directed music video debuting as a US Vogue exclusive. We’re hanging out for Teeks’ full debut album, currently appearing in instalments with the full release out in February 2021, and can see only bright things on the horizon for this talented creative.
Listen to: Without You

Neko
Nganeko Newman has one of the most heavenly voices to delight our ears of late. The 18-year-old has featured on tracks by rap duo Church & AP and Taite Music Prize winner Troy Kingi, and has just released her debut solo single Serious. A catchy and soulful tune, Neko co-wrote Serious with Josh Naley (Wells*) and Jordan Arts AKA High Hoops, and fans of her sound can catch her Troy Kingi on his October tour. We predict big things for this lil’ lady.
Listen to: Serious

Navvy
With her infectious electro-pop sound, Navvy — real name Phoebe Lee Jasper — has been steadily garnering both local and international attention since releasing the first of three EP’s last year, with the third released this September. All exploring a breakup and the heartache, then eventual catharsis, that comes along with it, her versatile, assured voice lends itself to heartfelt ballads as beautifully as more upbeat melodies.
Listen to: Somebody Else

Wells*
Several of the people in this article have enlisted the musical skills of singer, songwriter and producer Josh Naley, AKA Wells*, including Paige, Navvy and Neko, and he’s worth a listen in his own right. Bringing his own idiosyncratic style to the realm of pop, Wells* recently released a catchy three-track EP called Tape 2, with another one on the way.
Listen to: Night & Day

Jordan Gavet
R&B singer Jordan Gavet might have only released her debut single Hesitation last year, but she’s already an award-winning artist, taking home the award for ‘Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist’ at this year’s Pacific Music Awards on 3rd October. With a nostalgic 90s edge to her irresistible sound, Gavet’s latest track Do Better came out in March this year, and fair to say we’re hooked.
Listen to: Do Better

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This Japanese whisky masterclass is bringing top-notch drops to downtown Auckland

Nothing says sophistication quite like a whisky on the rocks. Sipped slowly with good company, it may just be the perfect way to kickstart or cap off an evening.

For three nights only, Tommy’s Champagne Parlour will be hosting an introduction to the fascinating world of whisky with a Japanese whisky masterclass from the House of Suntory.

Hosted by New Zealand House of Suntory brand ambassador Rory Donnelly, this promises to be an evening to remember, exploring Suntory’s rich history as Japan’s first whisky distillery and the innovative whisky it proudly produces — the newest being Toki — a blended whisky which is both groundbreaking and timeless.

Tickets include a Toki Highball on arrival, alongside a range of expressions including Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Yamazaki Distillers Reserve, Hakushu Distillers Reserve, Hakushu 12YO, and Toki.

Attendees will also be treated to an assortment of delicious shared dishes made by renowned Chef Yukio Ozeki of Azabu, designed to complement each tasting.

Be sure to secure your tickets now as spaces are limited. There is also an opportunity to purchase this exceptional whisky on the night (limited stock only).

Masterclass in Whisky is $120pp and takes place Thursday November 12th, Friday November 13th and Thursday November 19th from 6.30pm. Find tickets online here.

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