Viaduct Harbour’s inaugural Matariki celebration is almost here and we have all the exciting details

Matariki, the māori name for the star cluster also known as the Pleiades, signals the start of the Māori new year. The date changes every year, following the lunar calendar rather than the European calendar. Traditionally, Māori engaged in a week-long Matariki celebration which commenced once the Matariki star cluster had risen during specific lunar phases— an astrological event that will begin this week on Friday 2nd July. However, to accommodate an expanding programme, Auckland’s Matariki Festival now runs for a full month across Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) from 19 June to 11 July.

The significance of Matariki stems back to ancestral Māori, for whom astronomy was interwoven into all facets of life. It is seen as a time to celebrate new life, providing communities the opportunity to come together and acknowledge the year gone by, and make plans for the one to come. For both indigenous and non-indigenous people, it is a chance to celebrate our unique country and pay homage to tangata whenua, past and present.

Ngā Mata o te Ariki.

An experiential Matariki celebration will be taking over Viaduct Harbour for nine days from the 2nd of July. Appointing creative director Tuhirangi Blair of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei and clothing label Lucky Dip to oversee the events, the iconic waterfront destination will, this Friday, unveil a breathtaking installation, named ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki’ (‘The Eyes of God’).

Created by renowned New Zealand light artist Angus Muir, Ngā Mata o te Ariki will illuminate Market Square in the heart of Viaduct Harbour in its full-scale glory, bringing the stars from the Matariki cluster to life through colour and moving depictions on the ceiling of the installation. Configured so that viewers are required to look up to observe it, Muir’s piece invites us to find a moment of stillness and contemplation of the infinitely awe-inspiring cosmos.

Not only is the ongoing celebration enriching our surroundings but it is also set to treat our tastebuds, with several Viaduct Harbour restaurants putting on special Matariki menus until the 10th of July.

Saint Alice’s hangi pork sando.

Saint Alice’s executive chef Maia Atvars (Ngāi Te Rangi) has created three special menu items that include a hangi pork sando with kūmara mayo and pickled radish; trevally sashimi with cultured cream and kawakawa and a mocktail made with Wai Mānuka honey sparkling water and kiwifruit.

Cocktail bar Parasol & Swing is serving up kumara skins with New Zealand goat cheese, honeycomb and foraged herbs, along with bacon bone croquettes with smoked and breaded pork bones served in a kumara foam with truffle oil.

Honouring Waitā (bounty of the sea), Oyster & Chop has created a menu featuring oyster beignets, grilled scampi, smoked hapuka, pipis, mussel fritters, saffron pickled fennel and an aromatic fish broth.

Parasol & Swing’s bacon bone croquettes and kumara skins.

This immersive commemoration is being launched with a free public karakia Matariki ceremony led by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, at 7am in Market Square on Friday, the 2nd of July, followed by a ticketed breakfast at Saint Alice. The breakfast will feature a delicious sharing menu by Maia Atvars that includes kumara sourdough bread with hangi kumara butter, scrambled eggs with native bush seasonings, kawakawa and horopito — and more tasty dishes. Bookings for this breakfast are essential via the Saint Alice website.

Particularly leading up to Matariki becoming a public holiday in 2022, Viaduct Harbour’s inaugural event is all about inspiring and educating people to discover and participate in Matariki celebrations — so we suggest you get involved.

Viaduct Harbour Karakia Matariki ceremony on Friday, 2nd of July:
6:30am: free coffee available in Market Square
7am: Karakia Matariki ceremony begins
7:45am: Breakfast served at Saint Alice

Matariki at Viaduct Harbour
Friday, 2nd July to Saturday, 10th July


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Build a Bloody Mary like no other at Soul Bar’s month-long cocktail extravaganza

While many of us might seek a Bloody Mary as a remedy after a night out, the classic cocktail itself is more than worthy of being highlighted as the main event. Savoury, spicy and satisfying, a well made, well-timed Bloody Mary hits the spot as little else can — a fact that Viaduct Harbour favourite Soul Bar & Bistro has recognised with its July special ‘Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary’.

The extravaganza is occurring every Sunday during July, starting on the 4th, and will be taking the moreish mixture to new heights with a range of optional additions that far outstrip just the usual celery stick. Start with the classic — vodka or tequila (known as a Bloody Maria) is mixed with tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, Culley’s habanero sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, horseradish, lemon, olives, and celery.

You can then bolster your Bloody Mary with a dill pickle or freshly-shucked Te Matuku oyster; a skewer of prawns or a bite of beef jerky. Should you wish to go the whole hog (or bird?) you can always choose to order your drink garnished with a fried chicken slider — or, test the balancing skills of the kitchen and your own mettle with The Mother of All Marys, a dazzling drink that encompasses all the aforementioned garnishes.

Taking place 11am to 4pm every Sunday until the end of July, walk-ins are welcome but bookings are recommended — simply call the friendly Soul team on 09 356 7249. We’ll see you there.

Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary at Soul Bar & Bistro
Sunday 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th July
11am – 4pm


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These innovative treatments are here to deliver the full brows you’ve always longed for

While beauty trends seem to come and go at lightning speed, thankfully when it comes to our eyebrows we can leave the tweezers firmly locked in the bathroom drawer as the collective preference for fluffy, full-looking brows still reigns supreme. 

When we need a little help in this department, we find ourselves turning to the team at Cityworks Depot beauty studio Lash Noir who are (as the name would suggest) experts in the lash department, but certainly know their way around a pair of brows, too.

“Our philosophy is a balanced approach”, says Lash Noir founder Rebecca Hutchinson. “We take into consideration the intensity of your other features such as lashes and natural brow hair, to design something that looks good with a full face of makeup, and also without a full face of makeup.” 

The Lash Noir team specialises in the sweet spot of enhancement that doesn’t look applied, but instead fits in with its surrounding features. “Brows are best tackled conservatively and less truly is more. We follow the contours of the face and don’t overcorrect.” 

Whether you have patchy brows, down-growing hairs or are blessed with full brows and want to simply keep them groomed, here are the best treatments to consider.

For a natural-looking result with your own brows, plus minimal investment and minimal maintenance: Lash Noir’s signature brow shape (and optional tint) is called Brow Magic. What sets this 30-minute treatment apart is the detailed face-mapping technique used to plan a well-suited shape to the client’s facial features. “We love goal-setting, and working towards your best brow,” says Hutchinson. Available both with wax and without for sensitive skin, Brow Magic can be done with fully customisable colour, and make sure you ask for Christina or Zoe.

For those who are keen to create bold and defined brows, or have patchy or uneven brows: Utilising a unique henna/tint combination, the Hybrid Colour service is specially designed to not only define the brows but to also stain the skin underneath. Staying in place for between eight and 14 days, this technique eliminates the need for brow pencils, powders and pomades, and is customisable to create warmer or cooler shades depending on your skin tone. It also doesn’t discolour or fade in a patchy way like some other skin stain options can, and we would highly recommend Zoe, Hana or Kirstin for this 40-to-50-minute service.

From left: Brow Magic; Brow mapping; Ombre Mist Combo.

For those who draw their brows on daily, or want an overhaul of their shape plus previous tattoo cover-ups: The Ombre Mist Brow Tattoo treatment involves a super-soft powder effect that sits on the skin like a mist behind the brow hair. More low maintenance than hair-stroke tattoos, it can be used on a wide range of skin types — including oilier skins that might not be well-suited to a hair stroke-style tattoo — and offers a wide colour range. Even if you have little to no brow hair, it still looks natural. There is also the Ombre Mist Combination service, which offers the defined tail with powdered mist as mentioned but softens it through the fronts using hair strokes. This is perfect for people with sparse areas at the front of the brow. Specialists Britney and Ellen are Lash Noir’s star therapists for this one, and it requires two visits of around one-and-a-half hours each

For those who want a textured fluffy look, have downturned brow hair growth or are after a ‘feature brow’: Using a keratin-based lamination product, Yumi Brow Lamination sculpts the hair into the desired direction and sets it close to the skin, resulting in a more manageable textured brow. Lasting four-to-six weeks, this treatment takes one hour and both Kristen and Steph are the experts to take your brows to wow.

From left: Hybrid Colour; Feather Touch Tattoos; Yumi Brow Lamination.

For those who want a seamlessly realistic effect, volume with texture and who don’t like a soft, powder look: Great for people who are happy with their natural brow placement but wish to perfect and add to it, the Feather Touch Tattoo offers the most realistic and natural result. Best suited to normal skin types, as oily skin types can blur the strokes, this tattoo treatment seamlessly blends in with the natural hair, with a customised shape design and stroke pattern. It will take two-to-three two-hour sessions, and while all the specialists will do right by your brows, we’ve been recommended Tahlia and Brogan.

For those who are after a take-home product to help with a lack of natural hair and patchy hair growth: If you’re not naturally endowed with full brows or have had too much taken off in the past, Revitabrow Growth Serum is a miracle worker and key component in brow rehabilitation. Working brilliantly with any one of Lash Noir’s other services, it takes roughly eight weeks of daily use at home but the great results speak for themselves.


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From the duo behind Jo Bro’s Burgers, this new taco truck is one to make a beeline for

The food truck formula is tried and true, and when we saw the founders of one of our favourite burger food trucks had branched out into tacos, we were immediately excited. 

Chefs Brody Jenkins and Josh Barlow both boast impressive CVs — having met at fine-dining restaurant The Grove, Jenkins then went on to Ben Bayly’s other eatery, The Grounds, while Barlow took up tenure at The Sugar Club. The duo cooked up the idea for Jo Bro’s Burgers in 2019, and since launching it has only gone from strength to strength. 

It was during New Zealand’s first lockdown in 2020 that they started thinking about adding a sister truck to their offering, and now Loco Bro’s has arrived, specialising in delicious tacos and Mexican-inspired snacks made with high-quality ingredients.

Josh Barlow (left) and Brody Jenkins.

The taqueria works with the same philosophy as Jo Bro’s — which they describe as “taking something that’s already done well and that people love, just doing it better. Better techniques, better produce, all while doing our best to keep it at an affordable price-point.” 

Keeping the flavour profiles as traditional as possible, the duo use their chef-trained cooking techniques to elevate the offering, using Mexican spices from supplier Tio Pablo, fresh New Zealand chillies and handmade corn tortillas from Napier business Hands Down which uses Gisborne-grown corn. 

Loco Bro’s Doble Birria taco.

The selection of snacks includes house-made blue corn tortilla chips, available with queso dip (made with three cheeses including Oaxaca mozzarella), and other classics like guacamole and roasted tomato salsa — plus hot chips and wedges. 

There are three enticing flavours of tacos so far but this is set to grow — currently, the Doble Birria comprises slow-braised beef and lamb, fresh onion and chipotle; Escalfada Chicken has poached organic chicken, roasted tomato mole and pickled onion; and for those after a plant-based option, the Chilli Con Carne is made with vegan chilli, vegan queso and fresh onion. 

While the taco truck is the mobile arm of the business, and at the moment can be found most often at The Beer Spot’s various locations, Jenkins and Barlow will also be opening a brick-and-mortar Loco Bro’s in an exciting new hospitality development coming to Titirangi in mid-July. Keep an eye on our channels for more on that particular new opening, and for now, we encourage you to seek out the Loco Bro’s taco truck for a hit of some of the tastiest tacos in town.


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Your first look at Working Style’s newly-debuted tailored womenswear offering

It’s official, one of New Zealand’s most beloved menswear and suiting brands has introduced its first foray into womenswear — coming 34 years after it first launched, it’s more than worth the wait. W by Working Style debuted with a bang last Thursday night, with a spectacular showcase held at the Mercedes-Benz Auckland showroom in front of a crowd of 600 guests. 

Showing a curated selection of 27 looks, the show demonstrated the variety within W by Working Style’s bespoke range, from more casual, effortless cotton and linen suit separates, to sumptuous wool suits, silk satin and velvet jackets — all impeccably tailored. The Director and Designer of the new W Collection is Sharon Orquieo, who has been with the Working Style brand for over 15 years, and her strong vision was integral when it came to creating a collection that stays true to its beginnings while adhering to the core design principles that make great womenswear.

“The Working Style brand and the W by Working Style collection is all about inclusiveness and the proud New Zealand tailoring heritage that these brands stand for,” she says.

Having been treated to this initial preview of the offering, we can’t wait to see what more is to come from this exciting new venture.


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Meet the North Shore residential development that’s offering resort-style living in a metropolitan setting

Any prospective home buyer who has had to make the choice between a contemporary, design-led apartment and a nature-immersed lifestyle will know, it’s not an easy toss-up to make. The acquisition of greenery, airiness and proximity to water might come with a home that doesn’t necessarily include all the desired mod cons, and vice versa.

This is not the case with Elementum, a premium residential project that offers resort-style living in the heart of Long Bay Village — mere minutes walk from the beach and Long Bay Regional Park. Presenting as a hidden oasis of landscaped spaces, it will boast both apartments and terrace houses that will ensure you can escape the suburban norm for beachside living, while enjoying all the benefits of a premium design aesthetic.

Elementum is being developed by Templeton Group, which has overseen other popular projects such as the NXN apartments in Kingsland, and has a stellar reputation for attentively crafted, quality places for people and families. Award-winning cross-disciplinary practice, Studio Pacific Architecture is behind the design, having completed numerous high profile residential, civic and commercial projects including Wynyard Quarter development 30 Madden Street.

The Elementum complex will be formed of nine, three-storey buildings, comprising 107 apartments and 15 terraced homes. The walk-up apartments are available in a multitude of designs, and will feature open-plan living that harmoniously encompasses secluded balconies, overlooking green spaces. With a price range of $560,000 to $1,100,000, there is a range of layouts to choose from to suit a variety of lifestyles.

Each apartment will be imbued with a welcoming, homely feel thanks to exceptional details like high ceilings, fully tiled bathrooms and high-spec kitchens featuring European appliances and stone benchtops.

The 15 terraced homes will be north-facing and overlook the landscaped internal space, each facade denoted by a sloping, mansard roof and white brick exterior. Starting from $1,475,000 for a four-bedroom terraced home with a two-car garage, those who live in these beautiful abodes will also be privy to a hidden green oasis of native plants and trees.

The layout design includes high-quality kitchens on level one with European appliances and stone benchtops, and an open-plan living and dining room, while the master bedroom and ensuite sit alongside a second bedroom and bathroom upstairs, with two more spacious bedrooms and a full-sized bathroom completing the top level. A two-car garage sits on the lower level, with a laundry and ample storage.

“I love the challenge of understanding the environment we’re working with, how we work with the land,” says Templeton Group founder Nigel McKenna. “With Elementum, the coastal context lends itself to natural and raw materials and plenty of lush planting. The apartments and terraced homes are set in an oasis of landscaped spaces, creating a relaxed, tropical sanctuary. Within collections of foliage sit interwoven timber platforms and boardwalks with bench seating creating places to gather and connect.”

In terms of Elementum’s location, beachside community Long Bay is located approximately 22-kilometres north of Auckland city, with a direct bus route to the extensive Albany retail precinct (which offers a park and ride system) and the Northern Express bus to Auckland CBD. The on-ramp to central Auckland is a 10-minute drive away.

Long Bay Village Centre won the 2021 Auckland Architecture Award for planning and urban design, thanks to its impeccably considered positioning and design. With Elementum’s proximity to the village, a vital sense of connection and community can be cultivated with ease.

“You have all the amenities you need as well as plenty of shared open spaces and hubs where people can gather and meet which fosters connectivity and a sense of belonging,” adds McKenna. “Our aim at Long Bay is to create a unique living environment that connects the people who live there with the stunning surrounding environment.”

Visit the Elementum sales suite to discuss your options.
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 3pm
88 Te Oneroa Way, Long Bay Village, Auckland 0792 (Opposite New World)
For a private appointment please contact Colliers.


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Joshua Heares.

Porter James Sports Founder Joshua Heares on smart decision-making, golf and a life well designed

Having launched his label Porter James Sports only six months ago, Joshua Heares is seemingly well on the road to success. Recently chosen as an amici of Italian beer brand, Peroni, we learn a little more about the man behind the brand. 

Why did you decide to create Porter James Sports? Having worked for a decade in the advertising and branding industries, I was craving change. Clothing and fashion is something I’ve always loved and when a few opportunities presented themselves, I went after this dream. Porter James Sports is a blend between streetwear and menswear. Something really refined but also a style that isn’t unattainable. The label is only six months old, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive and for that, I’m super grateful and motivated to take this as far as I can.

Porter James Sports is all about “a life well designed” — how does this concept look in practice for your own life? One day, while employed with a “good” job I spoke to my friend and mentor (Shout out Ravi Patel) about my next steps. I was perplexed as to where I should take my career, i.e. what is my next job title? What is my dream job? He told me to forget my dream job and to design my dream day.

Ultimately this led me to the place I’m at now. A life designed exactly as I want it, working with purpose, creativity, incredible people and for the most part, on my own terms. Porter James Sports takes this a step further, with the idea of “well-designed” expressed in an aesthetic I regard as timeless.

What has been one of the biggest things you’ve learned? One of my most significant learnings is understanding the weaknesses in my own decision-making process. As a solo founder, I’ve sometimes been too quick to make decisions without consulting my peers or support network. I also think creative decisions should be slept on, at least for one night. Sometimes I find I see things completely different the next day.

What’s something you’re passionate about? A life well-designed is one that lets you play or practice golf a lot! I was a keen junior golfer and then took a bit of time off in my 20’s but I have the golf bug badly again. When I’m not working it’s pretty much all I think about.

What’s coming up next for you? At this point I’m just trying to launch my next range at the highest quality. I’m not in a rush, or chasing seasonal trends. I just want to get it right while I’m still new. Also I have a couple of global brand collaborations in the works, which should release later in the year. In a nutshell, continually asking myself how I can grow the brand correctly, irrespective of sales.


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Meet the exciting subterranean bar and eatery serving delicious Filipino-inspired fare

Blink and you’ll miss the latest new opening we’re excited about, tucked down a city-fringe back street and marked by a black door and a subtly lit, dark red sign. But head through the door and downstairs to the subterranean space, and once you’ve had a taste of what Bar Magda has to offer, you’ll be glad you found it. 

Located at 25B Cross St, Bar Magda is owned by a trio with extensive and varied experience in the hospitality industry — Carlo Buenaventura, Craig Thompson and Matt Venables. Buenaventura is a familiar face from all over the food scene, having moved from his native Philippines to Aotearoa in 2010 and worked his way up the ranks in Queenstown, Wellington and Auckland for eateries including Matterhorn, Orphans Kitchen, Burger Burger, Culprit and Gemmayze Street.

Carlo Buenaventura.

He has worked as both a chef and front of house, in management roles and assisting roles, always with the aim to absorb more information, practices, techniques and strategies for when he would eventually open his own venue. 

Buenaventura’s most recent venture was his popular The Cult Project restaurant pop-ups, which took place in eateries country-wide including Waipara Valley’s Black Estate, Madame George, and Hillside in Wellington. He and co-owners Thompson and Venables knew each other from around the hospo circuit, and all bring different strengths to the venue. Thompson was the bar manager at Orphans Kitchen and runs Bar Magda’s drinks programme, and Venables also comes from a bar background on more of the operations side.

The space itself has a darkly cool vibe, like entering a subterranean club but more polished. Which makes sense, because it’s in what previously used to be X nightclub. Glowing, red-tinged lights line the underside of the bar and floor, with jewel-like round pendant lights dotting the space. Exposed brick walls, wooden banquette seating, concrete floors and glass tiles all come together to create a textural yet unfussy ambience.

Bar Magda seats 52, and is cleverly divided into three zones — there is a more intimate, quiet dining area near the open kitchen, and then a bar and dining space through a glass door that has both standing room, tables and bar leaners, with a dividing curtain separating the solely dedicated bar area.

Lamb ribs.

In terms of the food offering, Buenaventura describes it as ‘seasonal produce through a Filipino lens’. It’s not ‘modern Filipino food’, he says but the main direction of the kitchen, flowing through to the bar, is focused on the flavours he grew up with. “Some of the dishes are not in any way, shape or form a traditional Filipino dish”, he says, “but, there are flavours in there that people who grew up in the Philippines would find familiar.”

Bar Magda, like the name suggests, certainly has a strong drinks focus, but equally, it is a dinner destination, serving a fairly comprehensive menu of sharing plates that span snacks, and both hot and cold larger plates. Expect flavours that centre on sour-salty, sour-sweet, sour-spicy, and desserts that are more sweet-salty. When we visited we were struck by how different the food is from anything else we’ve seen locally.

The house-made bread of the day can be ordered with a very intriguing-sounding parmesan custard spread, garnished with preserved scallion and sweet gherkin — addictively creamy and cheesy with a bite of freshness from the scallions, it turns out that it’s inspired by Cheez Whiz, which Buenaventura grew up eating. Served in this iteration, we can certainly get on board. From the ‘something cold’ section, triangles of preserved kohlrabi are incredibly tangy and spicy, made with a riff on a traditional fermentation method that is normally done with shrimp paste but Buenaventura has replicated with other spices for the same effect, and coloured with beetroot. They are topped with creamy dollops of a boiled potato, saffron and egg mixture, which adds moreish contrast.

Yams with oyster mushrooms.

A dish of roasted, slightly smashed yams topped with oyster mushrooms and pickled mushrooms is beautifully comforting and earthy, and has added richness from a duck fat buttercream (which can be left off to make it vegan). We also highly recommend the lamb ribs ‘pyanggang’ with herbs and green sambal — the ribs are cooked until tender, meltingly soft and slightly charred, topped with a herbaceousness that cuts through the fat.

“We want the dishes to be generous but not too much”, says Buenaventura; for two or three people, you could order four or five dishes to share, plus dessert. With Bar Magda’s kitchen being open later than most — 11pm during the week and 12:30am on the weekends — the team are happy to cater to diners spaced out through the evening, coming in later rather than the typical 7pm slot.

Bar Magda is in its ‘soft opening’ phase until the 17th of July, meaning they’re still seeing what works and what doesn’t, ironing out kinks and refining the offering for what it will be more permanently moving forward. Regardless, we think it’s more than worth a visit, and can almost guarantee you’ll try something you have never tasted before.

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Thursday: 5pm — 12am (kitchen closes at 11pm)
Friday & Saturday: 5pm — 2am (kitchen closes at 12:30am)
Sunday & Monday: Closed

Is there a new opening you believe should be on our radar? Let us know at [email protected]

Bar Magda
25B Cross Street
Auckand CBD


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Music lovers, listen up. These exceptional artists deserve a place on your playlist

Shake up your classic playlists with these exceptional artists. With extraordinary voices and moving tracks that showcase their inspiring talent, these four artists are who you should be listening to right now.

Already an accomplished singer-songwriter at just 26, Celeste Epiphany Waite has been lauded for the way her music is causing mainstream listeners to tune into new wave British Jazz. While her powerful voice hints at Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse, her stirring vocals feel entirely unique when coupled with her expressive lyrics, destined to draw the listener in. Come for the precise musicianship, stay for the storytelling. 

Jon Batiste.

Jon Batiste 
Not only is he the longstanding band leader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Music Director at The Atlantic and the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Jon Batiste, a multifaceted musician and talented Jazz practitioner has (at only 34 years old) already won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for his music compositions on acclaimed animated film Soul. A true, shining talent.

Nilüfer Yanya.

Nilüfer Yanya
With tracks like ‘Keep On Calling’ and ‘Baby Blu’ (with over 12 million and 8 million listens on Spotify respectively) already to her name, this 25-year-old Londoner is making some serious waves in the music scene. From her evocative lyrics to her soft, breathy voice, this jazz-pop singer is one to add to the playlist, stat.


While she may still be up-and-coming, Jenevieve’s soft, sweet vocals and sound that amalgamates jazz, R&B, disco, new wave and pop will have you hooked from the first few lines. Start with her single ‘Baby Powder,’ for a tune you’ll want to keep on repeat. 


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Denizen’s definitive guide to the best restaurant-quality pies in town

What’s not to love about a hot pie? The pastry-laden dish is a national favourite for a reason — filling, a bit indulgent and ultimately very satisfying, pies are the quintessential comfort food and we’re craving them regularly now that a chill has set in. While we aren’t scared to admit we love a service station pie as much as the next person, we thought we’d go for a slightly more elevated experience. Without further ado, here are our favourite restaurant-quality pies in town. 

Otago lamb shank pie from Akarana
Akarana’s signature pie is recognisable indeed, thanks to the (slightly confronting) bone sticking out of the middle. Despite the presentation, it’s always a winner, with rich lamb filling, expertly crafted pastry and a side of mashed peas with mint, and gravy.

Prego’s The Pie.

The Pie from Prego
The arrival of Prego’s world-famous-in-Auckland pie usually heralds the start of winter, making the onset of short days and long nights all the more bearable with its presence. Set upon a luscious bed of mashed potato, the Prego pie’s flavour changes regularly but is always delicious. Currently, it’s smoked kahawai with sweet leek and dill, and a lime and dill hollandaise. Other iterations that might be on offer are spiced lamb ragu, beef short rib or occasionally, depending on supply, venison. While Prego’s classic Italian fare is divine, we usually find ourselves forgoing pizza and pasta if this pie is on the menu. 

Meat Pie Croquette from The Lodge Bar & Dining
The delectable Meat Pie Croquette is part of Commercial Bay eatery The Lodge Bar & Dining’s snack menu and it packs a big hit of flavour in a small mouthful. Perfect for when you want the taste of a pie without the inevitable full belly, this clever morsel comes out shaped like an innocuous croquette but bite into it and a delicious meaty filling with smoked cheddar will have you questioning why you ever ate anything else.

From left: Ostro fish pie; Ostro pastry-top pie.

Fish pie from Ostro
Widely acclaimed for their sensational fish pie, filled with snapper and prawns and finished with a creamy potato top, Ostro has led the charge on restaurant-quality pies since it first opened. While the pie may not be on the restaurant’s dine-in menu, you can order it from the Savor Goods website to heat and eat at home. And if seafood is not your thing, the braised beef pie with red wine, bacon and mushroom or chicken and vegetable with a pastry top is equally as compelling — each serving four people. 

Pies of the day from Daily Bread
Admittedly these pies can be taken away and eaten fresh out of the brown paper bag but they can also be enjoyed onsite at one of Daily Bread’s bustling bakeries — we had to include them as they are, like everything from the baked-good maestros, always of exceptional quality and are very delicious. The flavours change with seasonal availability, but the current flavours are bolognese and mozzarella, mint and mutton, and pumpkin amaretto (a great one for vegetarians out there).

Lamb and cheese savoury from Ahi
Another snack-size pie, the lamb and cheese savouries from Ahi are a must-order (along with the tahr tartare and the scampi corndog). With moreish, flaky pastry forming the base, a topping of lamb and melted Clevedon buffalo mozzarella makes these bites all the more luxurious and decadent.

Fed Deli’s sweet pies.

Sweet pies from Federal Delicatessen
It would be remiss of us to skip a sweet pie when celebrating national pie day — after all, the best is often saved for last. The Fed’s sweets menu is renowned for how impossible it is to resist, and while we love the NY-style cheesecake, it’s the pies we’ll be making a beeline for this time. The lemon meringue pie is oh-so silky, while the banana and toffee pie with caramelised popcorn is heaven for fans of banoffee and the pecan pie is everything we want the classic pie flavour to be.

Apple pie from The Pie Piper
Is there anything better than a hot apple pie served with cold whipped cream or ice cream? We challenge you to think of anything after tasting the classic apple pie from The Pie Piper. Sliced apples are tossed together with a mixture of sugar and warming spices, then encased in a lattice-top flaky pastry. Available for takeaway and serving six to seven people, this pie is perfect for an easy, ready-made dessert.


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