Posts Tagged ‘punjabi dhaba’

Yes, yes, I know! I am talking about food again.

Well today, I am going to talk about my recent discoveries in terms of food and a list of food haunts I have enjoyed most. Maybe you could all try out and let me know how you liked these places! If I don’t love it, it wont figure on my list below.

Mecca/ Mission Bay Cafe –
I am unforgiving if coffee doesn’t taste good. Don’t we all love to kickstart our day with the most enticing and hot cup of well brewed coffee? Imagine the hot brown liquid steaming around the rim of the mug, the warmth of the mug seeping through your palms and the rich aroma of the ground coffee beans doused with milk and sugar and at first sip swirls through your senses to give that warm hug feeling. Pure poetry and what a spine lifting shot for starting your day!

For that perfect cup of Coffee-Picture courtesy-www.elev8.com

Well I have tried various places for that evasive “perfect cup” of coffee. I recommend only 2 places for really good coffee.

If you are in Auckland, a must try will be Mission Bay Cafe previously known as Mecca. I still like to call it Mecca! They make a wicked flat white. While you are there, do try some of their newly baked baklavas and sigara berogi. Well baklava by now you will know from my previous post. Sigara boregi happens to be another phyllo masterpiece rolled in the shape of cigars (hence the name ‘sigara’)filled with a mix of mashed potato, feta cheese and herbs served with 2 different varieties of hummus -roasted capsicum hummus and original hummus and garnished with a sprig of parsley.

Rapaura Water Gardens & their “Dam” Good Coffee
The second place, best by far and remains unparalleled, but not so accessible or affordable only because you need to travel miles away from Auckland. But this dream place called Rapaura Water Gardens in Thames have their own brand of coffee and they pride themselves in serving “Dam” Good coffee which lives up to its name and is also very much part of their marketing campaign. This to me is by far the best ever coffee I have tasted in my entire life. No other coffee shop can ever hold a candle to the Dam Good Coffee they serve. I highly recommend this.

Wagamama –
Unusual name? Well sure it is! A Japanese restaurant. Never in a million years did I think I would appreciate Japanese Food after being brought up on flavourful rich Indian food! Well, this is not what I would exactly call authentic, more a fusion of sorts, but they can cook up a storm with surprising flavour and blissful presentation on your platter. With tones of ginger, coconut, citrus and a lot of greens, one can never feel guilty when you eat here.

I am predominantly a vegetarian and draw my line with chicken as far as non veg food goes and maybe some sea food varieties, but that is a rarity in itself.

The Yasai Katsu curry is the best on their vegetarian menu served with steamed rice with spicy curry sauce accompanied by eggplant and kumara slices deep-fried in a batter with a crumby texture and green leafy salad with a yummy tasting seasoning that adds a zing to the salad.

And their dessert menu is something really unique. You gotta try out their Ginger and Lemon cheesecake and Banana Katsu with vanilla bean ice cream. If you think the ginger flavour is going to be overpowering, well you are going to be in for a surprise. The blend of the flavours are so perfect they are in perfect harmony. And this is indeed something very delicious.

As far as banana katsu goes, ripe banana is halved into two lengthwise, coated with breadcrumbs deep-fried and served with vanilla bean ice cream and dusting of cinnamon garnished with mint. This was a masterful stroke of genius in terms of execution. The vanilla bean ice cream with cinnamon is a delight and the ripe sweetness of the banana is a pleasant surprise oozing through the crumby texture of the deep-fried banana.

Sher a Punjab-
For those homesick Indians, this is a place that offers solace to those who miss the genuineness of the flavours of Indian cooking. They whip out authentic and hearty Indian food. The portions and food are generous in portion and spirit. The aroma of spices cooked flagrantly reminds us of home and eating at a street side Punjabi dhaba back in home soil. The colour, aroma and taste is simply beautiful. If you are looking for an ultra stylish interior, you will be disappointed. This place has a typical dhaba feel to it. Sher a Punjab’s signature item is their paratas. Oh the paneer paratas are so mouth-watering and the hot factor is not for the faint hearted. The paneer pakoras on the menu are simply delicious and have proper chunks of paneer fried in a batter mixed with spice powders.

Authentic Indian Food-Picture courtesy-www.expressentree.com

Punjabi Dhaba-
Another jewel in the Indian cuisine world in Auckland. Overall menu and food is delectable and rich catering to different crowds. The restaurant setting has an old palace like interior. Their USP and most memorable item is the Amritsari Kulfi. Not even in India, have I tasted this sort of heaven on earth. The richness of the dairy and the dry fruit and nuts awash in the kulfi is something that can be understood only when it is experienced.

NZ Natural-
Ice cream haven. The variety of flavours in NZ Natural is simply mind-blowing and puts other major players in the market to shame. Unique and simply marvellous. And not just that, you get to try out the ice cream before you can decide which one you want. It doesn’t happen in all stores!!! One can find an array of flavours such as boysenberry, raspberry with white chocolate, walnut and butterscotch, english toffee, green tea, rocky road, cookies and cream, rum n raisin etc and these are just from the top of my head. The ice creams are so unique and very creamy in their consistency leaving you wanting for more. Another one of the must haves in New Zealand.

I have saved the best for the last. We all call her ammamma, an elderly Telugu lady who has the power to infuse taste and flavours in her food with just the wave of her hand. Had the privilege of meeting this wonder woman through my husband who was boarding at her house during his bachelor days. And of course he always was in awe about her food. And what I respect most about her is the openness of her mind to experiment and try out new things. My most loved item from her magic wand is called a “Padarpeni”. These are sweets that are made from flour deep-fried in the form of mini discs that are layered and soaked in sugar syrup and kept aside to dry, crystallize and harden. This remains my most favourite in her menu. Her “adhirsam” is also quite special and executed quite well. Her food is traditional in spirit, execution and taste. And reminds you of your grandmother’s cooking. If you want some catering done by her, let me know I can email her business phone number.

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