Monthly Archives: June 2014

New Zealand’s First Pop Up City

New Zealand’s First Pop Up City: Paradise by the dashboard light

Well almost. It was actually paradise by the Silo light and Meatloaf would have loved it. Too obscure – then go listen to Bat out of Hell.

WHAT IS HE ON ABOUT!! To explain

Last night we went to an event at Silo Park. Actually it was the first Pop Up City event I’ve been to.

The Capital - Invite (Wed)

The best of the Wellington food and drink scene was captivatingly on display in the a-mazing Silo 6. Organised by the best PR team in the world – Jade & Rebecca from Raw PR – this was a not to be missed event and it delivered big time. For those of us who are foodies it was “paradise”.

From Logan Brown to the Six Barrel Soda Co the best of Wellington was on display to sample, and sample….and sample.

And a nicer bunch of Wellingtonians you would not find.

So I started with the pork roll from Ti Kouka Café which was excellent. Then to the silo that housed Scopa and Duke Carvell’s No. 6 and of course it would have been rude not to sample the Fusilli pasta with pork & fennel sausage and the bait fish bagel respectively. Both fantastic.

Scopa's Fusilli Pasta with Pork & Fennel SausageBait Fish Bagel from Duke Carvell's No. 6

Those mazes are a bit confusing so I found myself back at Ti Kouka Café where it would have been poor form not to sample their pork roll (again).

So changing tack I headed into yet another silo to find the lovely Lucy from Grill Meets Beer serving hop & hoisin braised reserve short rib, brioche bun & yum yum slaw. I can tell you it took me longer to say that than it did to hoover down the bun!!

There was a queue forming to my left and upon investigation I discovered it was the paua fritter queue! So I joined it – as you would. Yes it was the queue to Logan Brown’s exquisite wild paua fritters, wasabi mayo & avocado sammies. When Shaun asked who should get the next batch I suggested he should serve the elderly first – well I thought it was funny!!

Lucy from Grill Meats BeerWild paua fritters, wasabi mayo & avo from Logan Brown TDF

In need of something to wash all that food down Rebecca steered me into the drinks silo which not surprisingly was very popular but being a foodie and not a drinkie I sought out the non-alcohol Six Barrel Soda Co where I guzzled a charming raspberry lemon soda. And from my observation a few more should have tried the non-alcohol option haha. Oh and bumped into Deb & Jade on the way. And sorry for the photo quality – a combination of poor technique and weird lighting haha.

Rebecca & Joseph Six Barrel Soda CoIMG_4422

By this stage it was time for “afters” so the next silo stop was for coffee, chocolate & cookie. Although to get there I had to go via the Logan Brown silo where another paua sammie was quietly scoffed!

Wild paua fritters, wasabi mayo & avo from Logan Brown TDFIMG_4421

The Wellington Chocolate Company were serving a fabulous chocolate foam with a slice of choccy on top so that got the tick. And the packet of salted caramel cookies were secreted in my pocket to be enjoyed with a cup of tea when I got home.

Chocolate Heaven from the Wellington Chocolate FactorySalted Caramel Cookie from Leeds St Bakery

What a fantastic night. Those Wellingtonians sure know how to put on a veritable feast. But you’ll have to go to Wellington to experience it. So jump on the interweb and “grab a seat” to have a wonderful culinary experience.

Great concept, beautifully executed. Thank you team.


Cooking Japanese is easy!!

And now for something completely different!!

I’ve started doing a bit of Japanese cooking at home (Cafe 91!) and rather than buying things like teriyaki sauce pre-made I’ve started from scratch and it’s fairly simple stuff.

Well the teriyaki sauce was but the tempura batter wasn’t as simple haha.

Of course you need the right ingredients but for teriyaki sauce there are only 4: soy sauce, sweet cooking wine (mirin), cooking sake (ryorishu) and brown sugar.Sauce

And there’s is a great cookbook available Sachie’s Kitchen by well-known chef Sachie Nomura which you can buy from Cook the Books

So my teriyaki recipe is “borrowed” from Sachie’s Kitchen but I’m sure she won’t mind as I’m promoting her book!!

So you can get the mirin and ryorishu from either Japanese Lifestyle at 75 Dominion Road or Japan Mart   435 Khyber Pass Rd Newmarket. Both are handy enough to Ponsonby. Better range at Japan Mart. Easier to get to and better parking at Japanese Lifestyle.

So here’s the recipe for the sauce for teriyaki chicken.

75ml mirin; 75ml cooking sake; 75ml soy sauce; 35g brown sugar

Mix these ingredients in a small pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Using chicken breasts or thighs (I cut the breasts length-wise into schnitzel size – about 20mm thick), dust them with flour and cook them for 2 to 3 mins each side. Then add the teriyaki sauce and cook until thickened and lightly caramelised. Garnishing with toasted sesame seeds gives a nice flavour boost. Serve with rice, noodles or stir fry vegies. Not a bad thing in the whole dish. 10 mins prep, 10 mins cooking. The trick is to get the sauce to caramelise.

This time I did a stir fry with udon noodles to go with it.VegiesStir fry

Here we are all plated up. Deb’s in a bowl. Mine on a plate. Funny old preferences.


I promise you that you will enjoy the nicest teriyaki chicken ever. Deb said it was better than R….n!! I thought it was sensational.

There’s more to come in this new menu/recipe series. I’ll be featuring dishes and meals that you can easily cook at home. Nothing too complicated. No processed food, no preservatives, no MSG. And I’ll aim to present ideas that will take less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Now where’s that recipe for tempura batter so I can have another go!!!