Auckland – Sidart

For our last meal we went to a restaurant that like to push the boundaries and offers a Discovery menu. The six amuse were quite good and fun and not very filling while we both thought the celeriac and scampi dishes were lacking in big flavors. The scampi could’ve used salt or been cooking in ghee. The fish was great and was K’s favorite and while I liked it too the pork and duck really did it for me. Just don’t like how the protein was hidden under veggies on a few dishes.

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Miso – olive, thyme

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Pomme Souffle – vinegar

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Carrot – farro, linseed

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Pecorino – artichoke, sumac

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Daikon – sesame, nam jim

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Shiitake – white soy, kaffir lime

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Celeriac – bone marrow, hazelnut, apple

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Scampi – nasturtium, seaweed

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John Dory – kohlrabi, macadamia, horseradish

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Pork Belly – mushroom, leek, turnip

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Duck – radicchio, date, foie gras

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Parmesan – black garlic, Sauternes

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Fennel – sorrel, cucumber, passionfruit

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Pine – black sesame, raspberry, eldferflower

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Salted Caramel

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We had the chef’s table so got to see all the action

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Waiheke Island – Wine Tour

We did yet another wine tour on our last day in New Zealand. It was my fourth of the trip and second for K. I think I might have a drinking problem, but got to try wines I’ve never heard of and probably difficult to get back home. It was a beautiful ferry ride over to Waiheke, the boat is much faster than the ferries in WA so we got much farther away from the city. On the way we saw many of Auckland’s 50 volcanoes including Rangitoto which is the tallest. We went to Mudbrick, Cable Bay, and Te Motu vineyards. They were all good but their bottles were quite a bit more expensive than the ones on the South Island.

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Auckland – Giapo

We finished the evening with insanely fancy ice cream at Giapo. The owner was there and gave us many samples as we awaited our creation to be done. We just ordered a half scoop of two flavors and didn’t expect the toppings. The hazelnuts were very fresh and the marshmallow very light, it was extruded from a nozzle.

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Cool Italian Chef? Check

Auckland – Dr Rudi’s

After the quick top up we went back to Dr Rudi’s where we had a late lunch when we arrived. Pictures from that are here, we really liked the food so came back to try a few more items. It was packed with the after work crowd but it slowly got a bit less crazy as it got closer to 7.

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Crispy Snapper Wings

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Beef Croquettes Рmozzarella 

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Tempura Broccolini

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Crispy Polenta Parmesan Sticks

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Lost Souls – pepperoni, venison salami, jalapenos, mozzarella and sage

Auckland – Occidental Bar

After a long day of hiking we were hungry and went to a few places to get food. First went to a Belgian bar two blocks away for some moules frites.

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Green lipped mussels – lobster bisque brandy sauce

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Titirangi – Deco

We stopped here for a big breakfast before hiking in Waitakere. My meal was an American sized portion and I couldn’t finish it, what was better is that it had meatballs and roasted tomatoes and mushrooms instead of a ton of carbs.

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Turkish coffee

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Spicy chai latte

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Deco Breakfast – eggs, bacon, meatballs, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast

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Eggs Benedict

New Zealand – Waitakere Ranges Park

To work off some of the calories, I rented a car to drive out to this wonderful regional park less than an hour from downtown Auckland. There was so much to see we went to the visitor’s center first and they put us on three different hikes to experience most of the various aspects of the park: beaches, views, and waterfalls. They should’ve included a fourth, mud and lots of it as the main 8km hike we did was up and down a ridge that was slippery and boot sucking mud.

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With the nasty bit out of the way, it was a great hike with views and the incredible black sand beaches.

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We found Wilson!

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Finished the day with a 2.8km fairly flat walk, which our legs appreciated, to Kitekite Falls.

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