© NZPocketGuide.com
© NZPocketGuide.com

The Perfect Rainy Day Activity in Auckland #2: The Big Foody

© NZPocketGuide.com

326 Days on the Road

Here we are waking up in Auckland with a hangover and rain crashing against the windows of ACB Base. Luckily for us, our activity today should remedy both of these – well, it won’t “stop” the rain but it will sure keep us out of it for the most part. Yep, today we are going on The Tastebud Tour with The Big Foody!

The Tastebud Tour

We hit the bustling streets of New Zealand’s largest city this morning to go to our arranged meeting place on Hobson Street. The streets are mostly sheltered under verandas, keeping us partly out of the rain. It’s not long before our guide, Elle, is picking us up in a high-tech car which lightly jokes has all sorts of crazy functions. We are also joined by two girls from the Netherlands and that’s a full car! Let’s hit the streets of Auckland and get some food!

A morning in Auckland always starts with coffee!

As we have said in previous stories, we used to live in Auckland about 327 days ago to be precise, and one of the things our friends always loved about the city was its food! Any country, style or specialty, you’re likely to find it in Auckland. As we’re about to find out, there is always something new to try, starting with coffee!

How can a morning foody tour in New Zealand start without coffee? Kiwis go nuts for coffee, especially in Auckland! Elle parks up in an unsuspecting backstreet that you would never think to venture down unless you were looking for somewhere, well, to park! Elle proudly states that it’s the “best coffee in town” as we quickly hustle into Miller’s Coffee.

Visiting the coffee roasters

We walk into this small industrial-esque cafe with exposed bricks and wiring on the walls, a distressed logo painted on the concrete floor, and an intriguing-looking machine at the back of the room. Elle takes us to a coffee roasting machine, because, yes, Miller’s roasts their own coffee beans! She explains the coffee roasting process with beans that have gone through different stages of the roasting as visual aids. There’s nothing left to do after learning the coffee-making process other than tasting the final product itself! She takes our coffee orders and comes back with a plate of chocolates decorated with a chocolate gold coffee bean on top.

After sharing the backstory of the chocolates and being served the coffees with a side of sparkling water, we bite into the chocolates made out of Whittaker’s – a New Zealand brand chocolate – with a melt-in-your-mouth gooey centre.

We get ample time for some banter and to fuel ourselves with caffeine, before dashing from the cafe to car and onto our next foody destination!

Tasting all kinds of goodness at Sabato

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Where the chefs go shopping…

As we drive to the suburb of Mt Eden, Elle tells us that we are now going to a place where chefs buy their produce. She’ll leave us for a few minutes to have look around the store of Sabato before meeting up for some tastings. With that, we are left to our own devices in the fine food supermarket – a supermarket full of tasters. We think you know what happens next…

Balsamic vinegars, dipping oils, pestos, sauces, chocolates, cheeses, meats… After being on the road for so long having the same budget-friendly convenient-to-make meals, it feels so good to taste some new flavours!

Tastings, tastings, tastings!

A table at the side of the supermarket is set up with various condiments and a few extras for us to try. Elle has picked a selection with a story behind each one. Her bubbly personality makes it an entertaining tasting yet she really knows her stuff being a food judge. There are some foods that some of us don’t like: oysters, mushrooms and wasabi, but everyone tries it anyway, some being pleasantly surprised while others are hilariously coughing while Laura sticks a camera in her face. To top it all off, we head to the deli to try some sensational artisan cheeses from all over New Zealand.

The Auckland fish market

Our final port of call is down to Wynyard Quarter, a waterfront location lined with bars and restaurants, as well as the infamous Auckland Fish Market!

We have a quick look around the fish market selling colourful displays of fresh fish, literally straight off the fishing boats. Elle explains how we would cook certain fish, and shows us fish that we have never seen before!

A lunch of surf and turf

What better way to round off the trip than with a platter for lunch. We head down the Fireworks Smokehouse with meat sizzling away on the open kitchen. We get some drinks in, and Elle orders a meat platter, seafood platter and fries. We are served a beautiful array of oysters, beetroot salmon and various fish twizzlers; succulent sausages, steaks and shanks. It’s the best of both worlds of New Zealand’s foods: from the land and the sea. However you want to put, we stuff ourselves!

Hangover cured and feeling delightfully full, we are dropped off back in town. We say goodbye to our fun and quirky guide and head back to the Base hostel. Who knows what big city activity lies in-store for tomorrow – we’ll see what the weather will do! See you tomorrow!

Ending the Big Foody Tour with a big foody feast

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See you tomorrow!


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