This modern office space is a tranquil reinterpretation of the traditional working environment

Studio Piet Boon’s Office Brabant is a tranquil, modern space that makes a case for businesses to adopt a more personal, aesthetically-aware approach. 

The Piet Boon RAAF coffee table and two Bo sofas available from ECC, in the lounge mimic the natural form of stone.

The modern office has deviated from its stiff-upper-lip beginnings. Now, more and more businesses are realising the importance of cultivating a work space that is not only functional, but is an aesthetic representation of the values they hold. The nine-to-five is, after all, where people end up spending most of their time, which has meant that companies are increasingly thinking about making sure their headquarters are beautiful, smartly-designed spaces that employees are happy to spend time in. 

The formal dining room’s vaulted ceiling takes inspiration from the barn-like structures in the surrounding rural land, and features eight of Piet Boon’s Kekke dining chairs and the RAAF dining table available from ECC.
Utilising raw natural textures like dark wood and leather, this modern office features Piet Boon’s Ella Armchair and Hero side table available from ECC.

It was a similar approach that informed Studio Piet Boon’s plans for this Dutch office. The iconic design studio took inspiration from the barn-like structures that could be found on the rural land surrounding the development, and gave the simple, spacious structure a contemporary treatment. Designing a visually-arresting, single-story office that comprised two typologies — one comprising two, pitched roof-structures with thick brick walls lined with dark wooden slats, the other offering simple brick ‘boxes’ with flat roofs — the team at Studio Piet Boon focused on creating a comfortable, casual, residential vibe, going in an entirely different direction from the formal office environment of old.

To do this, the designers opted for a serene, unsaturated colour palette and utilised a number of raw textures, including a liberal use of natural stone alongside an expertly-chosen suite of furnishings in sophisticated finishes like dark wood and leather to offer quiet, contemplative moments within the wider space.

Featuring two of Piet Boon’s Kekke bar stools available from ECC, the kitchen champions this project’s serene, understated colour palette.
Piet Boon’s Gijs Loveseat available from ECC

From the delightful way the light stucco walls offset the wooden beams to the private garden courtyard and tranquil water feature, to the way that the design maximised the site’s view onto a golf course, Studio Piet Boon left nothing to chance. This office is an infallible example of the ultimate working environment for the modern age.

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Colour vs Neutral: Pick your wardrobe palette and commit from head to toe

Fashion’s style spectrum is vast and varied, and within its grey areas it can be difficult to find your place. However, most of us know whether we gravitate towards a neutral palette, or more colourful pieces — or a bit of both.

A key trend for several seasons, seen on both the street style set and on the runways, is to pick one and commit head to toe. The effect is much more wearable than you would think, as it provides visual cohesion — even if you go the colourful route. And if you do, we applaud you!

NEUTRALS

Clockwise from top left: Nanushka Manouk Cream Blazer from Muse, Ava Twisted Knit Crop from Camilla and Marc, Ultimate Ankle boot from Louis Vuitton, 04 Audrey Mini from Paris Georgia, Isabel Marant Chunky Chain necklace from Workshop, Mae Trench Coat from Camilla and Marc, Victoria Beckham VB642S Sunglasses from Parker & Co., 30 Montaigne Bag from Dior, Anaa Cashmere Sweater from Workshop, The Hacker Project maxi GG skirt from Gucci.

STATEMENT SHADES

Clockwise from top left: Loulou Studio Borneo Coat from Workshop, Crepe Knit Bralette from Scanlan Theodore, Misha Earrings from Christie Nicolaides, Valentino Oversized silk-faille shirt from Matches, Laine Wide Leg Pant from Camilla and Marc, Cleo shoulder bag with flap from Prada, Bottega Veneta Terry Slides from Net-a-porter, Remmy Top from Paris Georgia, Micro Lady Dior Bag from Dior.

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Market Galley at the Auckland Fish Market.

Head outdoors with 10 of the best fish and chip spots in Auckland

It’s a simple pleasure at the core of our Kiwi being: fish and chips, enjoyed on the beach (or at least among the great outdoors). Serving up some seriously gratifying situations, we’ve matched many of Auckland’s best purveyors with the most scenic spots around town to devour them.

Fishsmith eaten at Sentinel Beach
Herne Bay’s takeaway joint is the ‘supper’ stop you want in on. Whether it’s the classic order or the tasty tacos with fresh slaw, cart it down to nearby Sentinel Beach for a seaside picnic.
200 Jervois Road, Herne Bay

Market Galley at the Auckland Fish Market eaten at the Tidal Steps
Market Galley heralds both sophisticated seafood dishes, such as grilled Big Glory Bay salmon and poached prawns alongside family favourites like beer-battered snapper and salt and pepper squid. Order up and stroll down to the Tidal Steps to take in Auckland’s seaside skyline.
22 Jellicoe Street, Freemans Bay

Catch a Fish eaten at Judges Bay, Parnell
Get a hit of battered goodness (mind you, we hear the mushy peas are excellent too) at this Gladstone Road pitstop before devouring either in the romance of the Rose Gardens, or the picturesque Judges Bay.
6/64 Gladstone Road, Parnell

Tipene’s Takeaways eaten at Fowlds Park
There’s something for everyone at hidden city fringe gem Tipene’s Takeaways, with a bounty of the freshest catch available, burger buns made daily by a local bakery and in-house made sauces. We would recommend trying the mixed portion of chips featuring the best of both worlds with both potato and kūmara and (if you’re feeling particularly gluttonous), the deep-fried Oreos with cinnamon sugar will really hit the spot.
648b New North Road, Morningside

The Mariner eaten up Mount Eden
This fish and chippery’s reputation is known far and wide. Serving the adored combination in a wholesome and reliable manner (by a team who cares), your best bet is to earn your dinner by hiking up the nearby Maungawhau summit and devouring it there. The view is second to none.
157 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden

The Chip Shop eaten in Cornwall Park, Epsom
Renowned for its gluten-free menu (we can vouch for the oysters), stop in to place a generous order before winding your way through Maungakiekie and finding a quiet position in the romantic landscape.
711 Manukau Road, Royal Oak

Takapuna Fish Shop eaten at Takapuna Beach
The online reviews say everything you need to know about this highly recommended takeaway joint. Some say it’s “the best on the Shore”. Do what you need to do (they’ll cook anything that’s fresh), and take your bounty to Takapuna Beach to accompany it with that view of Rangitoto.
444 Lake Rd, Takapuna

The Local eaten at Oneroa Beach, Waiheke
The most dependable takeaway stop on the island happens to be only a stone’s throw from the lovely Oneroa Beach. So get your order in (not forgetting the delicious pineapple fritters) and meander down below to enjoy.
151 Oceanview Rd, Oneroa

The Fish & Chip Shop eaten at Westmere Park
Ranked among the best — as per the various awards noted on the website — if you’re looking for a quiet location to enjoy some classic fish and chips, this seaside suburb’s namesake park is it.
127 West End Road, Westmere

Kohi Fresh Fish and Takeaways eaten at Kohi Beach
Run by the same family for more than 27 years, this locale is hugely popular for its fresh fish and burgers, which does mean you should probably phone ahead to order. Take your paper-wrapped bundles to the beach down the path opposite the tennis courts and make the most of a breezy summer evening.
41 Melanesia Rd, Kohimarama

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Completely handcrafted in New Zealand, here’s why Bayside Rum Co is on everyone’s lips

With artisan liquors popping up everywhere — and many others crafted from ethanol by-products — discerning drinkers are seeking out authentic, naturally fermented craft spirits to wet their whistle. 

As a slake solution, expert mixologist and trained distiller Egor Petrov has founded Bayside Rum Co, an Auckland-based company that is set to compete on the world stage. In the interest of full disclosure: Petrov’s wife Anna Savelieva is Denizen’s Creative Director, and she can vouch for this as Bayside’s perspicacious tastetester.

A shining example for all of us, the first batch of its Three Moons rum is handcrafted from 100 percent locally-sourced ingredients and uses a kūmara fermentation method to impart many unique qualities.

“We have made a very conscious effort to commit to sustainable, locally sourced ingredients,” says Petrov, who has been a bartender for over 12 years, and moved back to New Zealand in 2020 to perfect his own spirit. “From the kūmara and the molasses to the ex-Pinot Noir wine barrels in which the rum has been aged, we want people on the other side of the world to drink our rum and think, ‘damn, I want to go to New Zealand’.”

Twice distilled in a New Zealand made pot-still, and aged in said wine barrels for three months before being blended with filtered pure rainwater, the end product has notes of golden kiwifruit, honey, pear and citrus. “We have developed a very unique and very Kiwi rum that has been hand-crafted to give a broad appeal to both the rum connoisseurs and the new-age drinkers in search of exciting experiences,” adds Petrov.

Having mixed many iconic cocktails, including at Dubai’s Atmosphere on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, and in his current role as the Bar Manager of the Viaduct Harbour establishment Rooftop at QT Auckland, Petrov has ensured Bayside can enhance even the most complicated of rum-based cocktails, wherever in the world.

“While we are a very much a rum drinking country, New Zealand-made rum is only in its early stages of growth. Now, with the introduction of Three Moons, we will be able to proudly enjoy a 100 percent Kiwi rum,” he adds.

Respecting the highest standards of traditional rum production, while infusing an Antipodean influence, Bayside has us pouring a glass of rum, to see what we can become.

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Amano Scampi Chitarra.

Staying home currently? Take a night off cooking and support local eateries with these delicious takeaways

Among our networks, it seems like the number of people isolating due to being a close contact has sky-rocketed — along with daily Omicron case numbers. While the definition of ‘close contact’ has changed under response Phase 3 (to now only include household and household-like contacts), understandably there will still be a number of people remaining at home or playing it safe. 

The close contact regulations have also greatly affected local hospitality businesses, many of which have had to shut their doors due to being short-staffed. Those that are still operating need our support now more than ever. While dining out is business as usual currently — and most restaurants are taking every precaution to keep diners safe — should you be laying low, we suggest you peruse these utterly delicious takeaways, most of which are available for delivery. Make sure you keep an eye on individual eateries’ social media, as that’s often where they update on sudden closures.

Culprit, Savor Goods.

Culprit
With its immensely popular ‘Culprit @ Home’ offering, the Wyndham Street eatery is taking meal kits to another level. The Deluxe Duck Kit is truly exceptional; three courses (four if you count the tasty pre-mixed cocktail included) comprising gourmet ingredients like heirloom tomatoes and chicken liver parfait; a main of Culprit’s ‘Famous Roast Duck’, with pork-stuffed roast duck and duck leg confit, to be served with plum sauce, hoisin sour cream, pickled cucumber and lettuce cups. Plus, dessert to finish. The kits are $149 and are available for delivery Fridays and Saturdays, to Auckland, Tauranga, and Hamilton via a special overnight tracked service. Order online here.

Gemmayze Street
After a short stint being closed, our favourite Lebanese restaurant has reopened. For the time being, Gemmayze is just offering takeaways — which we’re actually stoked about, because they were one of the best parts of lockdown. Order from a mouth-watering selection such as the Mezza box (filled with goodies including that famous silky hummus); a three-to-four-person hot Jeeb feast with lamb shoulder and the works; and more. The sable tart dessert special looks incredible, too.

Savor Goods
Love lobster rolls? How about pasta from Amano? You’re in luck. Savor Goods is the ultimate go-to for all things delicious. Order these from the Savor website, along with a range of meals to finish at home such as NSP’s Wagyu lasagne, Ostro’s slow-cooked Te Mana lamb shoulder or Harmony pork belly; and even family-sized sushi platters from Oji Sushi. Plus, if you’re in the mood for a tipple, there’s an excellent selection of cocktails, wines and champagne. Savor just offers contactless pick-up, rather than delivery, so keep that in mind depending on what your situation is. Order online here.

Lillius on Toast
Having reverted temporarily to takeaways while staff are off isolating, Eden Terrace fine dining restaurant has put its own, very delectable spin on toast with toppings. Much less basic than the phrase would suggest, Lillius’ take includes the likes of house-made quail terrine, truffled creamed corn and curried egg salad — which you can buy along with loaves of its sublime sourdough, focaccia or gluten-free walnut loaf, made fresh each day.

Cafe Hanoi, Fatimas.

Cafe Hanoi
A hankering for the freshness and flavour of Vietnamese food can be satiated thanks to Cafe Hanoi’s at-home menu, available for delivery via Uber Eats. On offer are fresh rice paper rolls, main dishes like wok-seared market fish and roast duck, curries and vegetable dishes, salads and more. Order online here.

Ima Cuisine
The beloved Fort Street restaurant is the home of some of the best Middle Eastern fare in the city, with so many menu favourites available for delivery via Delivereasy. Choose from moreish pita pockets stuffed with falafel, chicken or lamb, to flavourful platters, Brick Lane-style hot beef sandwiches and more. Plus, Ima’s famous hot cross buns have started hopping their way out of the oven — we’re particularly drawn to the hot cross bun bread pudding. Heavenly. Order online here.

Bali Nights
A culinary trip to Bali just became possible thanks to Bali Nights’ delivery menu. Order delicious street food-style dishes such as beef rendang, nasi goreng and more, and have it brought right to your door via Uber Eats. Order online here.

Fatimas
For those in need of their Fatimas feed, online ordering is available for delivery from its Ponsonby store via Delivereasy. Fatima’s full, fresh menu is ready to go, including pitas, salads and charwarmas, as well as sweet treats and even pantry stockers of Fatima’s tasty sauces for home cooking. Order online here.

Bar Magda, Mumbaiwala.

Bar Magda
The Subterranean Cross St bar and eatery has a ‘Magda Family Feast’ menu available for contactless pick-up, comprising a selection of its unique Filipino-inspired fare. It includes hot dishes like BBQ lamb ribs pyanggang and pork and duck albondigas, plus vegetable sides like charred carrots with chifa sauce, beetroot relish and walnuts. There are also add-ons available such as dessert and a full drinks list including Bar Magda’s new take-home cocktails. Order online here.

Jess’ Underground Kitchen
While not a restaurant per se, a Jess’ Underground Kitchen order will offer benefits far past just one night — especially if you go for one of the multi-meal care package bundles. Delivering across Auckland and the North Island, these comprise delicious frozen meals (far more wholesome than what you could find at the supermarket), and can be mixed and matched so you never get bored. Choose from the likes of chicken and mushroom pie, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, pulled pork and fennel ragu with pappardelle — and many more, including a variety of sweet treats. Order online here.

Ginger
When it comes to takeaways, Thai is one of our favourites for fresh and flavoursome fair. Ginger in Remuera is offering contactless takeaways and deliveries on its colourful menu — from classic ka ree puff and tom yum soups to sweet chilli snapper and papaya salad. Order online here, or over the phone on 09 523 2626.

Mumbaiwala
We certainly feel for any business that launched just before the omicron outbreak, and new Ponsonby Road Indian eatery Mumbaiwala was humming along nicely. They have a succinct selection of their flavourful street food-style dishes on offer for takeaway, a perfectly delicious antidote to the stress of these trying times. Order via phone on 09 213 4152.

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Knead on Benson's Banana Cake.

New Remuera eatery Knead on Benson is satisfying all our café needs, with class

On a coveted corner of Remuera, a new café has polished its plates, and rolled out its outdoor table settings in time for a hot, sometimes socially distanced, summer. 

With the utmost attention to detail, Knead on Benson has entered its neighbourhood with something for every discerning diner. From artful pastries (cinnamon rosettes and scones) to scrumptious pies and sandwiches, its ever-evolving cabinet goods are as gourmet as you’d expect of its address. There’s even ‘dogscotti’ for the Remuera retrievers. 

Left: Seasonal Stonefruit Danish.

For those dining in (or streetside, should we say), at Auckland’s level red setting, there is a refined menu championing local produce. It includes smashed eggs adorned with halloumi, courgette, almond and chilli, and scampi spaghetti twisted together with tomato, fennel, chilli and pangritata. Of course, you can order eggs any way you would like, along with an Allpress Espresso coffee.

While dining is only available out the front at the moment, Knead’s large windows open upwards to allow a glimpse at their gorgeous, intimate interior and stacked shelves. Being so open to the street, the café is a welcome new entry to what is already a dining destination for the suburb — including the stalwart success that is Benson Road Deli and the more recent bistro and bar, Morell.

Almond Croissant,  Rosette.

Judging by the locals we have already seen lining up for a slice of Knead on Benson, since it opened in early December, this is one haunt that is here to stay. 

Opening hours:
Daily: 7am — 3pm
Outdoor dining only during Red

Knead on Benson
76 Benson Road,
Remuera Auckland

www.kneadonbenson.co.nz

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In Out chair by Gervasoni from ECC (ecc.co.nz) and the Zeus side table by Zanotta from Studio Italia (studioitalia.co.nz)

This quietly refined home embraces its glorious coastal location with harmonious, intelligent design

From its prime Sydney coastal location, shaded by a heritage eucalyptus tree, Cove House radiates serenity. This family home was reimagined by Sydney-based design studio Decus Interiors, the property’s existing bones reinvigorated to allow the architecture, interior and surrounds to seamlessly harmonise.

With an emphasis on natural light, and natural materials throughout, Cove House embodies contemporary and sophisticated Australian living through quiet yet layered design. In order to flood this home with as much light as possible, a glass cupola was added over the formal dining area and the entire ceiling was intentionally raised, with 13-metre-high glazed sliding doors installed to connect the interior with the spectacular ocean-facing views.

Catering to the client’s love of entertaining, the terrace houses an outdoor bar and a pizza oven, while indoors a secondary work area is concealed behind the main kitchen bench, furnished with another pantry, a wine fridge, sink and bespoke cabinetry also designed by Decus Interiors. 

The outdoor area features the Mood club chair and Natal Alu by Tribù from Dawson & Co. and the Berry pouf and Sciara table by Paola Lenti from ECC

A tranquil, tonal colour palette in the living areas provides an amicable backdrop for curated artwork, furniture and objects to add texture and richness to each of the spaces, ensuring predictability is not on the cards. Softness is added through furniture pieces such as the Redondo armchairs by Moroso from Matisse, and interest through additions like the Atollo table lamp by Oluce from ECC in one of the spacious wardrobes.

Redondo armchairs by Moroso from Matisse and the Tab F floor lamp by Flos from ECC.
The wardrobe features the Atollo table lamp by Oluce from ECC

By intelligently elevating this project to embrace and reflect its glorious surroundings, Decus Interiors have created a home with liveable sophistication, ensuring it effortlessly nurtures the needs of its residents for years to come.

The entranceway features the Match console by Poliform from Studio Italia
Atollo table lamp by Oluce from ECC and the Gli Oggetti Zhuang by Poltrona Frau from Studio Italia

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How the lossless audio movement streams songs of the highest quality

Few moments can compare to listening to a song you love and being transported back to your favourite memory, or off on a new fantasy. But have you noticed that the longitudinal waves that lift you up are slowly lowering in quality over time?

Since the advent of the iPod and miscellaneous MP3 players in the early 2000s, the music we listen to has been compromised, and it’s not just the vinyl collectors lamenting the loss of authentic sound. The size of digital music files has been flattened by 90 percent, which is much less than CD-quality.

While recording artists have more advanced equipment than ever, the music that is eventually streamed to the listener, known as a lossy, is a far cry from the original track. “We’re making music to the highest level; it sounds more amazing than ever before, in my opinion. And [yet] we’re listening to it on this platform where it’s compressed,” announced DJ/producer Calvin Harris at the official launch of Jay-Z’s Tidal service in 2015.

Tidal started the mainstream conversation around ‘high-fidelity’ lossless streaming. Since then, others have developed streaming technologies that are so close to a studio master, they can also transport you inside the recording room only a famed few have access to.

Arguably the largest streaming service, Apple made its catalogue of 75 million songs available in opt-in lossless audio this year. On the same day in May, Amazon Music was quick to notify its millions of subscribers that they would remove the charge for its HD lossless streaming. Tidal even relaunched an uncompressed HiFi audio tier. Now, Spotify’s subscription is eagerly awaited.

No longer reserved for the realms of the audiophile, lossless streaming preserves the details agonised over by sound engineers — so you can hear the light pluck of an acoustic guitar at the same time as a cymbal crash. “The soul and life of the mix is sitting in the extra bits of data that are stored in the lossless file,” said American producer Piper Payne at Apple’s launch. “As a mastering engineer, having the ability to convey the music to the listener at its highest quality is the end goal.”

Without having a philosophical meltdown — is what I hear what they hear? — the podcast Song Exploder highlights the kinds of details you might only notice in high-quality audio. In one episode, special guests Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas revealed that in ‘Everything I Wanted’ layers of often-whispered backing vocals give a sonic depth that is only noticeable as distinct voices when listened to closely in high quality.

At these unprecedented levels, many high-resolution streams have a dramatic dynamic range of 24-bit audio, which means you can hear a sound range from a pin dropping on the floor to a shotgun being fired right next to your ear. Without denouncing your musical taste, this doesn’t seem that necessary.

It’s widely acknowledged that human hearing can achieve around 20,000 vibrations per second (known as a hertz). Lossless audio streamers can reproduce frequencies as high as 96,000Hz, which means every second of a digitised song has been sliced into 96,000 intricate sections of sound waves, known as samples. The difference in this extra level of detail may be detectable to bats, but would likely be difficult for humans to hear.

While our cochleas are catching up, so too is our listening technology. Many Bluetooth devices, such as portable speakers and wireless ear-buds, can only receive compressed songs, they can’t play high-quality songs as their high-quality specs promise — until leading brands find a solution.

In the meantime, you can turn to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which comes either built into speakers and headphones or as an accessory. Some newer Android smartphones have headphone jacks that are all set, while your average laptop or tablet will need an add-on. If you want the room to fill with lossless sound — and you will — a DAC can be connected to high-quality speakers through a stereo preamp, integrated amplifier or standard audio receiver.

Because higher-quality files require more space and data, portable music players with their own headphone jack are best for carrying sound waves on the go. They’ve come a long way from unwieldy Walkmans, playing direct stream digital (DSD) files — the highest quality digital music available.

For those who are determined to be cordless, all-in-one systems that connect to your home’s Wi-Fi are the most seamless for now. And there are plenty of other ways to amplify your listening experience, from surround sound speakers to specially designed spaces. Still, not all systems will match all services, so it helps to have an idea about your gear.

For those who want to travel to a new dimension, Apple has rolled out Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. The latter lets artists place each voice or instrument of a song in its own space, including above and below the listener, for a transcendent soundscape experience.

“Since recording began, artists, producers, and engineers have [been] transporting listeners to worlds they never knew existed, even when the sound came from a single speaker,” said Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, and composer Giles Martin. “Now with the dawn of immersive audio, we can take the music lover inside the music. From the feeling of hearing your favourite artist in the same room as you, to the experience of sitting directly in the middle of a symphony orchestra, the listening experience is transformative and the possibilities for the creator are endless.”

While there are fewer Dolby Atoms songs — thousands as opposed to millions — the category, and its number of collaborators, is increasing. Soon the tracks will be the default on most Apple products, as well as for the Lucid Air, an anticipated luxury electric vehicle that has had its interiors configured for forward-moving music.

In a new sonic fantasy, we’ll not only be carried away by crystal clear sound waves but floating in an ocean of songs that break new ground.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition, Solid-Body Custom-Fit Earphone.

Lossless audio files drastically improve our listening experience, delivering uncompromised sound as the artist originally intended it to be. But how do we make sure we stream these songs in a way that brings crystal clear music to our ears?

Here is the best tech for turning it up:

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition
For those who want to get the best out of their headphones, the Naim amplifier allows you to connect your cans to digital streaming libraries, wireless AirPlay and even old-school, plugged in turntables.

Solid-Body Custom-Fit Earphone
Campfire Audio’s earphones, which you can use with a matching cord, are custom engineered for a personal fit and finish. Designed in the USA, we’re keeping our ear to the ground for New Zealand audiologists taking impressions.

Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 Portable High Resolution Audio Player, Audio Quest Dragonfly DAC.

Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 Portable High Resolution Audio Player
Astell & Kern is known for its impeccable MP3 players — as seen in its A&norma. Designed with a touchscreen on a lean, it connects to streaming services over WiFi and can process high-quality tunes in no time.

AudioQuest Dragonfly DAC
One of the sleekest digital-to-audio converters for headphones, this Dragonfly has a colour- changing LED to signal the sample rate of your track — intentionally limited to 96kHz for the optimal experience.

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This blossoming caramelised white chocolate brownie recipe is a simple yet sensational sweet treat

Covered in romantic edible flowers, this caramelised white chocolate brownie is not only blooming lovely to look at, it’s utterly delectable to eat — and much more straightforward to make than it looks. Created by Liv Glazebrook, a.k.a Kitchen of Treats, this is one impressive sweet treat that’s sure to serve many sighs of delight.

Kitchen of Treats Blondie Pressed Flower Brownie Recipe

Ingredients
300g butter
¾ cup dark cocoa
2½ cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cups flour
250g Whittaker’s Blondie chocolate
1½ tbsp neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil)
Pressed edible flowers (refer to method below on how to press)

Method 

Brownie
1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan bake.
2. Grease and a line a 20x30cm baking tin (we used one with high sides)
3. In a large saucepan, melt butter and cocoa over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add brown sugar.
4. Quickly beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in flour and pour into the prepared tin.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm around the edges. Remove from oven, allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooking rack.
6. Once completely cool, return to the baking tin.
7. Break up blocks of Whittaker’s Blondie Chocolate and melt with oil in the microwave (in short increments to avoid burning). Pour onto the top of the cooked brownie.
8. Leave for 10 mins until partially set, then lay edible pressed flowers on top of the soft chocolate.
9. Allow to set completely and then cut into squares (to ensure a clean cut, place the brownie in the freezer for 5 mins)

Pressing Flowers
1. Use scissors to cut the flower as close to the bottom of the bloom as possible.
2. Place the blooms on a paper towel and lay another paper towel on top.
3. Place them inside the microwave and weigh down the flowers with a microwave-safe dish.
4. Make sure the entirety of the flowers are under the weight.
5. Microwave strength will vary, so we recommend microwaving your flowers for a minute to start and check the flowers as you go.
6. Heat the flowers until they are dry and appear flat.

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Cheese on Toast's Chilli Scramble.

The tantalising Cheese on Toast opens a new outpost on the other side of town

There’s nothing better than a classic cheese toastie — with vintage gouda, maasdam and parmesan, to be precise. At Cheese on Toast, the ingredients are really that simple, and savour-able.

Founders, and partners, Steve Kennedy and Yang Yang have mastered the art of making toasted sandwiches with house-made sourdough bread and layers of seasonal produce with their Guerilla Grill food truck, as well as their first Cheese on Toast site in Three Kings.

Their formula is clearly working as they open the second Cheese on Toast outpost — rising through the covid challenges at their comfort-food locale just down from the Birkenhead village on Hinemoa street.

The store is in the Hellaby’s Building, built in 1912. Honouring the heritage of the building while still keeping things fresh, the Birkenhead site does look different to the Three Kings space. Rather than a garage roller door and concrete floors, there are large front windows and vintage tiles. But both have now-familiar touches, including its casual wooden tables and seating, and approachable grab-and-go counters.

From left:  Braised Sichuan Pork belly with green capsicum and ginger sauce. Bacon and eggs on house made sourdough.

The toastie menu is far more superior to what we could put together from home. The Truffle Mushroom, with sautéed white and portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic and truffle oil, melts in the mouth. The Rump Steak, with spring onion, lemon coriander, soy, chilli and garlic sauce, satisfies with every crunch. And, with their newfound kitchen space at Birkenhead, we’re told there will be more creative Cheese on Toast choices to come.

Certainly, we have no doubt Kennedy and Yang will keep the new regulars happy. “Toast and cheese toasties are humble offerings but we put so much effort into making them special so I’m really stoked when I see people loving it and working us into their weekly routine,” says Kennedy. “We’re absolutely stoked to provide our community comforting, high quality, feel-good food and drinks and we won’t stop any time soon!”

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday: 8am — 2.30pm
(Closed public holidays)

Cheese on Toast Birkenhead
96 Hinemoa Street
Birkenhead, Auckland

www.cheeseontoast.nz

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