Tagged: review

Best 3 Cafes In Central Auckland

Bunker

What a find! Bunker cafe is hidden away – just off Great North Road – not the easiest place to find, however when you do: bliss. I personally love ‘hard to find’ quirky, urban cafes that don’t do conventional. ‘Bunker Cafe’ is just that; a converted container surrounded by designer bean bags, wooden benches, pews and a concrete garden. Atomic coffee is on offer, along with oversized sweet & savoury brioche, gourmet pies, sweet fare and gastronomic European sandwiches filled with a multitude of choices. I decided on the bacon & egg ciabatta that was winking at me. Everything is takeaway: served on disposable plates. Service is fabulous and personable. Parking is scarce. Ambience is a writer’s dream. You better go now before everyone knows about it!

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Kokako

BIG fan – not sure why I have not been here before as its in my neighbourhood! Located on the corner of Great North Rd & Williamson Ave, it’s central Grey Lynn. The space is modern, bright and inviting. As I approached the counter, the barista was beaming as she asked “how are you?” Fantastic: personable, engaging and gives’ a sh*t. Some cafes are just too busy to care – “Kokako” does care. The cabinet food looked fresh, appetising and healthy with all the usual options available: berry muffins, scummy sandwiches & other mouth-watering treats. Reasonably priced from $4.50. I was looking forward to the coffee, of course. It didn’t disappoint – my triple shot flat white. The cafe was extremely busy for a morning weekday; that explains a lot. Very impressed with this flagship cafe: “Kokako”!

Lot 23

Lot 23 is a place that you may read about in ‘Viva’; then make the (conscious) decision to visit, before it’s everyone’s hang-out.
Located in Minnie Street, Eden Terrace which happens to be where TVNZ ‘Step Dave’s’ (blue) house is situated!
As you enter the space: walls are filled with the latest art curated by Natalie Tozer, concrete floor, wooden old-school chairs, complimented with a super-slick white interior that acts as a great canvas for everything art!
The menu is delectable: ‘Ugly bagels’ topped with lashings of cream cheese, capers and fresh salmon, daily soup choice/s, croissant filled with Camembert, tomato and ham off the bone, ‘Baghdad eggs’ and coconut ice!
Every mouthful is ‘gastronomy’ and flavoursome. I particularly love the ‘Brazilian coffee’ that stimulates the senses – like coffee should. I can’t get enough of Lot 23.

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Review: Odettes

Odettes is red-hot: appearing in Denzien, Metro and recently Vogue Living Australia. The aesthetics are pure eye-candy to patrons: carefully selected mosaic tiles, European-style seating, exquisite art hanging on the wall, with intimate lights to drool over. I have been here for coffee and lunch/brunch a few times. Service is excellent and the wait staff are very attentive. Food is orgasmic: salmon salad for a healthy option, or decadent crepes (with blueberries) for a sweet choice. Full bar. Good wine list, I had Miners Daughter by the glass- great. Loos are shared by both men and women which proved an interesting experience. Nothing feels rushed or onerous. Beautiful place for a meeting, celebration or utter indulgence. Try the crab sliders, if you dare.

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#SMCAKL: Has Sharing (Content) Peaked?

What do you think? After attending the last Social Media Club – Auckland 2014 event this week, I am (still) of the opinion social media is a ‘game changer’ for the greater good. Without Facebook and LinkedIn I wouldn’t have met people virtually all over the world. Twitter is my ‘godsend’ for finding anything with a hashtag. Instagram, Vine & YouTube let me showcase video and stills for free. Yelp & WordPress are global communities, that I applaud. The panel: Pebbles Hopper (Gossip Columnist), Matt Nippert (Reporter) & Rick Shera (Internet Lawyer) discussed the subject of information sharing and the consequences. Pebbles thinks the Internet is revolutionary and social media is a good thing. Matt talked about Google (best search engine), how social media is so immediate with ‘breaking news’ and how data is collected on everybody when posting on FB, swiping your loyalty cards and uploading photos. Corporations build profiles on their customers, spending habits and food preferences. Rick spoke about ‘A Right To Be Forgotten’ legislation here in NZ, copyright and general legal matters. Unanimously they all agreed ‘social media’ is beneficial and what you share with the world – the Internet will always remember.

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Review: Bunker Cafe

What a find! Bunker cafe is hidden away – just off Great North Road – not the easiest place to find, however when you do: bliss. I personally love ‘hard to find’ quirky, urban cafes that don’t do conventional. ‘Bunker Cafe’ is just that; a converted container surrounded by designer bean bags, wooden benches, pews and a concrete garden. Atomic coffee is on offer, along with oversized sweet & savoury brioche, gourmet pies, sweet fare and gastronomic European sandwiches filled with a multitude of choices. I decided on the bacon & egg ciabatta that was winking at me. Everything is takeaway: served on disposable plates. Service is fabulous and personable. Parking is scarce. Ambience is a writer’s dream. You better go now before everyone knows about it!

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Show Me Shorts Film Festival: Listen Up

I am an arthouse (film) girl; so naturally when the opportunity arose to attend ‘Show Me Shorts’ Film Festival at Capitol Cinema (previously Charlie Greys), I went. I enjoyed the short films very much. This Neo-Greek building is slightly dated; however still beautiful. The wine list is better than I expected, not bad for $9. The foyer was filling up with people by the minute; the atmosphere was friendly and eclectic, all demographics in the audience. Doors open, everyone scurried for their seats: grand and deliciously comfortable with ample leg room.

The screening ‘Listen Up’ has a run time of 79 minutes and we’re told in the programme “These short films have tales to tell from the margins of society.” Can’t wait; I love great storytelling. The music video “Cry If You Want To” by Mulholland (NZ) was definitely an ‘intergalactic’ experience with visual intoxication. “The Last 40 Miles” by Alex Hannaford was an animated American film, featuring ‘Ronald’ who was on death row, who travelled with two prison guards to the execution chamber. He reminisced about the ‘what ifs’ while in transit. Extremely gut-wrenching and captivating, based on a true story. “The Phone Call” by Mat Kirkby was a conversation between a helpline call centre woman called Heather, and the man on the other end of the phone, gave a fake name: Stanley (Jim Broadbent). I felt what ‘Heather’ felt: desperate to know what was wrong and why he was unhappy. This UK film was dramatically complex when their truth fuelled friendship; for the duration of the phone call. Isn’t it amazing how strangers can turn your life upside down? I hung on every word and hoped for a good outcome – brilliant film. “In The Rubbish Bin” by Riwia Brown was another animated NZ film, about a child called Pippa who spent her birthday with her teddy bear, Chubby. Pippa ended up in a rubbish bin to shelter from the rain. This NZ film is an intense roller coaster of emotions in 4 minutes. “Box Of Sound” is an American music documentary by Chuck Przybyl who creates music from his environment and circuit benders reinvent cigar boxes into synthesisers. Incredibly fascinating, with a touch of pizzaz. “Toilets” by Gabriel Bisset-Smith is a UK film about three characters who continually meet up in loo’s over a period of time. Two women, and one male who party, experiment with drugs, sex, friendship and support each other through life lessons: Comical, light-hearted and human. “Sounds Perfect” by Allan George is a NZ mockumentary about the adult film industry. Dave is the audio enhancement engineer who is extremely creative when recording ‘sex’ sounds. Highly entertaining, with much hilarity from the audience. Last up “Condom” by Sheldon Lieberman is an Australian film about a 6yr old boy who finds a used condom and wants answers from his Dad. Absolutely laugh-out-loud. I think all parents will embrace this footage and smile. What a successful screening: insightful, dramatic, hilarious and brave.

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Review: First Scene (Fancy Dress)

Are you having a fancy dress party? This is the place to venture to – if so. Word. Whether it’s an Elizabethan gig and you’re looking for ruffs, pantaloons, jerkins, corsets, queens & kings wigs – they have this covered. Or maybe you’re after Bollywood attire? I have indeed hired ruffs, tutus, props, wigs and costuming from First Scene. It’s rather overwhelming place to visit – so make sure you ask someone for assistance – if you’re short on time. I particularly like the selection of false eyelashes, theatre makeup and their shoe selection. All the staff are suitably friendly and helpful. Based just over the hill from Kingsland’s Main Street (shops and cafes) so very convenient and centrally located with parking right outside the building. Cool. Majestic. Transformative. Check it out.

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Yelping At Ponsonby Central

Recently I attended a Yelp event: Yelp Pairs Cider & Cheese at The Dairy, Ponsonby Central. Hosted by the cool crew from Yelp Auckland namely Alex the Community Manager and Tara, Owner of The Dairy & Foxtrot Parlour. A good crowd attended (as always) and we were educated about the hip ‘Zeffer’ Cider brand established in 2009 and has been successfully winning awards internationally. All the cider was partnered with heavenly cheese from The Dairy: St Benedict Buffalo Brie with Zeffer Crisp Apple, Mahoe Blue with Zeffer Pear, Wangapeka with Zeffer Hopped Up Pippin and lastly Earth Sheep Cheddar with Zeffer Mahana Red Apple. It was indulgent, superbly overwhelming and undoubtably enjoyable – with all the tastings and information buzzing in my head. I loved all the cheese and craved more. My favourite cider was the Crisp Apple that is honest, simple and deliciously dry. Cider is slowly taking preference in the supermarket aisles and as for the cheese – you need to shop at Ponsonby Central, and be wowed at The Dairy.

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