Thursday, July 16

Tuesday, July 14

Food Review: St Pierre's Sushi

If making sushi is an art, then at St Pierre's it's the equivalent of a chimpanzee flinging mud at a blank canvas. Stale rice, slimy fish and disgusting nouveau combinations await you at this prolific chain.

Break your sushi chastity at any of the other sushi options, for not one of them could be worse.


167 Karangahape Road, Auckland
Under $10 for most sushi packs

Thursday, July 9

Food Review: Mexican Cafe

Cuisine: Mexican/Tex Mex
Price: $15-20 most mains
Location:  67 Victoria St West, Auckland Central, Auckland

Another day, another bland ‘Mexican’ restaurant. The wooden décor has some character, and portions give you bang for your bucket. The prawn tacos are the only noteworthy item, the rest of the menu you could cook yourself, blindfolded and with one hand.


Wednesday, July 1

Food Review: Meet Fresh

Cuisine: Taiwanese/dessert
Price: Under $10 a dish
Location:  6-8 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland

Doughy starch. Sweet starch. Bean starch. Sweet, thick milk. Jelly!

Such describes the predominant ingredients of the concoctions at Meet Fresh. Serving Taiwanese desserts, the café features various hot/cold dishes and drinks, which almost all feature some kind of heavy starch. The execution of the dishes isn’t impressive, with most of the ingredients coming from a bucket, but the sugary variety of textures can be enjoyable. The herbal jelly (No.4) and red bean porridge, either hot or cold, are some of the better items. The hot version served in warmed milk, the cold with ice. Red bean is a favourite of mine, so the porridge is a no brainer, though it pales in comparison to the similar Malaysian dish: pulut hitam.
The café is frequently busy, so take away may be your only choice.

Starchy and sweet, Meet Fresh is a one of a kind dessert café. Your enjoyment will hinge on appreciation of its limited choice.


Thursday, June 25

Food Review: Loco Pizza

Cuisine: Pizza/pasta
Price: $20 a large pizza
Location: 407 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

With the strikingly macabre skull silhouetted on the window, and streaks of red inside, you might mistake this pizza parlour as a Hell Pizza chain. Instead Loco Pizza stands on its own, serving some of the better pizza in Auckland. This ain’t a cheap joint, no $5 pizzas here, a deal for two large pizzas costs $35. There are a multitude of topping choices between the seventeen pizzas, to the point of overlap. Less is more for me, but at least you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The pizza comes out fast, within twenty minutes. What’s striking is the doughy treat resembles actual food, as opposed to conveyor belt factory fare from the large pizza chains. The toppings are delicious and light, you could scoop them off the pizza and eat them individually. Succulent ham, cheese, mushrooms…it’s all extremely welcoming. The dough is mostly soft, with a slight crunch, just the way I like. Clearly the food is cooked with a little love.

A large pizza per person is more than enough, and we struggled to finish our dinner. The pasta is also worth a look, and home delivery is also a much appreciated for those late night hunger pangs.

Loco Pizza serves the freshest pizza I’ve yet tasted in Auckland Central, it’s now my home delivery preference. Order a large pizza per person, and you’ll have a luxurious feast.


Wednesday, June 24

Food Review: Thai Me Up

Cuisine: Thai
Price: Around $15 a curry main
Location: 244 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Eating good Thai food in Auckland sometimes seems as probable as chasing rainbows and discovering leprechauns guarding pots of gold. Thai Me Up is another disaster, this time on the fetching Ponsonby Road. Decor is fine, food tastes like it was prepared from a packet.

Curries are bland, watery and choked with heavy Western vegetables. Malaysian/Indonesian food is served under the umbrella of 'Thai' to those unaware of the differences. The place is at least clean, but you'd get tastier dishes at a food court.

At least it’s BYOB so you can drink on the cheap!


Tuesday, June 23

Food Reviw: Xi'an Food Bar

Cuisine: Chinese
Price: $11 for noodles
Location: 11 Anzac Avenue, Auckland Central, Auckland (multiple locations)
Website: N/A

Xi'an Food Bar is another hole in wall Chinese, serving more authentic dishes than your average restaurant. The food is tasty, cheap and comes in large quantities. Downsides; no charm, no service to speak of and it's slightly dirty.

Xi'an Food Bar plates up Central/North Western Chinese food, which features lots of pork and lamb, tripe, 'burgers' and hand pulled noodles. The Anzac Avenue menu is truncated compared to Xi'an's sister restaurants, though the choice that's left is more than enough. Between two people, you can't go wrong with some noodles, cold dishes and tripe to share. The noodles can be tough and chewy, but the slightly sour, oily sauce more than makes up for it. The 'burgers' are composed of a piece of Chinese pan bread, filled with juice dripping meat. Adding chilli makes me forget about Western style burgers.
Oh, did I mention that you place your orders using a device that looks like it came direct from the 80's?

Xi'an Food Bar serves up warming, cheap eats. It ain't fancy, or pretty, but you can be rest assured of a good meal for your dollar.