Where We Ate: Winter Hibernation Edition

We make no bones about it, we are definite foodies in this household. We love to dine out, both as a couple and as a family – for us life is more about experiences than stuff. So each month or two, we bring you “Where We Ate”, a post that outlines the new places we’ve tried and hopefully encouraging you to try a few new places too!

Does anyone else find that they hibernate a little bit in the winter? Compiling this list, I found that there were less new places that we’d tried, instead preferring to prepare meals at home or stick to some tried-and-true favourites. That being said, there were still some yummy places on our radar and one I needed to warn you about!

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St Margaret’s Cafe

Sometimes you just don’t want to tackle the crowds that come with larger garden cafes. We love the Auckland Botanic Gardens but the lunch crowd there can be mental so instead we drove out to St Margaret’s Cafe. With a divine pavilion setting and gorgeous gardens to roam in, it was a total hidden gem. I was astounded at the quality of the meals – I’m still having dreams about the spiced apple and pear chutney – and it allowed CJ and I to have the quiet meal and walk that I was looking for.

Check out my full review here

La Vista

When thinking of Tamaki Drive eateries, most people turn their minds to Mission Bay but we’ve always had good luck and less crowds trying out the St Heliers Bay area. For a rare date night out, we headed to La Vista. The restaurant was beautiful although slightly cramped and the meals were fairly good, especially for the price point that they were offered at. If you’re in the area and looking for an Italian meal, it’s definitely worth considering – although try and get one of the tables down the back rather than a banquette table up the front.

Check out my full review here

Food Truck Garage

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I’ve been keen on trying this place ever since celeb chef Michael Van de Elzen popularised the brand back with the TV show “The Food Truck”, promoting healthier versions of take out food. Even though Van de Elzen has now moved on, the menus and pictures still looked amazing and I leapt at the chance to attend with several other blogger friends. The service was pretty good – a couple of minor blips, quickly rectified, which you expect when dining with large groups – and the food was to die for. I’m sitting here still trying to work out what my favourite dish was as I really loved them all! If I had to only recommend one thing I’d say try the Jelly Tip sundae. It’s a healthier spin on the quintessential Kiwi ice cream; the tartness of the raspberry chia jelly and the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate set off the probiotic vanilla yoghurt to perfection.

Check out my full review here

Blondies All Day

I don’t usually post about negative experiences but this has to be up there with the worst dining experience I’ve ever had. Unfortunately held as part of a captive audience, a group of friends and I visited this bar and restaurant as part of a fundraising quiz night. The food was average and overpriced, the service took the experience from terrible into the ridiculous – to the point where all you could do was laugh. And then head up the road to the next pub and spend your money there instead.

Read my full review here

 

Firm favourites revisited: Monarch Cafe, Nick’s Cafe, Moa’s Nest.

If you’ve got any favorites to share, from the wider Auckland area, I’d love to hear them!

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