Thursday, December 8, 2016

Auckland Diner's Diary: November 2016

City Openings

Fringe Eats - Ponsonby and Herne Bay

Fringe Eats - Newmarket

Fringe Eats - Mount Eden

Not Much Further



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Auckland Diner's Diary: October 2016

New in Town - Something Special

New in Town - Burgers and Wraps

New in Town - Food on the Go

New in Town - Watering Holes

Fringe Feeds

Suburban Charm


Other Food News

Pop-ups & Markets

Other Events

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Bite in Brief: Satya Spice and Chai Shop

We came here because we were checking out the Sandringham Street Festival, and came across the intriguing little entranceway next to Satya Restaurant while hunting for chai.

Alleyway entrance to the chai lounge.

The menu was mainly taken up by drinks of various forms (including chai, craft beer and cocktails), but also had a selection of Indian, Indo-Chinese and non-Indian street food.

Part of the menu - there were also 30+ types of craft beer.

The setting was cozy and casual, with a natural look from the upcycled furniture made from coffee sacks, pallet boxes and tree trunks. Edison bulbs and plants on planks hung overhead. From other people's pictures, it appears quite magical at night with fairy lights too.

A hidden hideaway in Sandringham village.

The service was engaging and informative - the person who looked after us not only told us about the specials and provided details about the menu items, but shared interesting things like:
  • his parents own the four Satya restaurants
  • the chai lounge has been around for about 6 months (the spice shop somewhat longer, and the restaurant next door has been there for 16 years), but it had a quiet start as it didn't have all the signage out the front
  • he decorated the place over the space of a month while his parents were on holiday, with help from his friends (one of whom works at a landscaping business and another at Allpress coffee)
  • the reason there are Chinese-sounding items such as fried rice is because India and China are close to each other, and Chinese immigrants have influenced Indian cuisine
  • idli and dosas are traditionally eaten for breakfast
We were also invited to take a look at the spice shop in the next room, a corner of which was being used to cook our food. Apart from spices and teas, you could also buy idli and dosa batter from the fridge!

Spice shop area.

What we had included:
  • Spiced buttermilk ($2) - this was a savoury and refreshing drink, seasoned with coriander leaves and spices
Spiced buttermilk.

  • Masala chai ($1 small, $2 larger) - we ended up ordering another one of these because we loved the blend of flavours in this milky tea
Masala chai.

  • Vegetable manchurian ($12) - these freshly fried balls were delicious! The sweet soy flavour of the brown sauce went well with the spicy and gingery bites.
Vege manchurian.

Overall, we were stoked to have stumbled upon our first chai lounge in Auckland, where you can relax, snack on tasty food, and choose from a wide selection of drinks. Others have even apparently played a game of carrom there, but we don't need entertainment to entice us back for another visit!

Store Details

Satya Spice and Chai Shop
515a Sandringham Road, Sandringham
(09) 845 8451

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Auckland Diner's Diary: September 2016

Market Stalls

Eats in the City

Fringe Food

Thirst Things First

Out and About

Northern Delights




Thursday, September 1, 2016

Auckand Diner's Diary: August 2016

Novel Pop-Ups

Feeds in the City

On the Fringe - Ponsonby and Parnell

On the Fringe - Mount Eden and Newmarket

On Point

Branding New

Cheap and Cheerful




Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Meal in Brief: Burger Bar K'Rd

We came here because this burger bar opened at St Kevins Arcade around the same time as the glowingly reviewed Lebanese eatery Gemmayze St just steps away, yet I couldn't find anything about it online other than on their Facebook page.

The menu not only ran through their selection of burgers, sides, sauces and drinks, but gave some details that they really ought to slap on a website. Things like:
  • "Our patties are handmade and we mince our beef, pork and lamb fresh on site"
  • "Our chips are hand cut and condiments and sauces made in house"
  • "All buns are wholemeal"
  • "We stock a wide range of locally made boutique soft drinks and an even wider rage of craft beers"
  • "We have a strong focus on minimising waste"

The setting had a vintage feel, which was perfectly suited to the iconic arcade. From the wonky lamp and retro furniture, to the classic board games and tea towels with burn marks, to the colourfully mismatching plates, this places manages to be both delightful and different.

Retro couches with TV dinner trays and National Geographic magazines.

Cutesy robot table numbers.

The service was given with a smile, from a lady wearing a soft burger hat. I had to ask how to open my bottle of CoAqua coconut water (just $4!)—I only realised afterwards that I captured the opener in the photo above—but I easily spotted the herb salts and sauces you can help yourselves to.

Board games, herb salts and sauces.

What we ate included:
  • Lamb burger ($14) - stacked tall and skewered into place, you could clearly see each layer of filling: salsa verde, cumin and rosemary lamb, brie, kale and spinach, tomato, beetroot, and red onion, sitting between two halves of a wholemeal Wild Wheat bun. It was fresh and flavourful, and though you don't generally expect wholemeal bread in a burger, it really worked.
A tall and tasty lamb burger.

  • Vege/vegan burger ($11) - we were given the option of having cheddar cheese or brie with this, but it seems they left it out in the end. No matter - it was already a filling meal as it was. The spiced pumpkin, chickpea and lentil patty was a little soft (so it squished out the sides if you squeezed too hard) and also a little underseasoned (but that was easily fixed with the aforementioned herb salts). The vibrant colours, including the bright pink of beetroot hummus and the pale green of the coriander yoghurt, helped bring out the different components of the burger.
A colourful vege burger.

  • Homemade coleslaw ($4.50) - creamy without being heavy, a great addition to boost your veg intake!

Overall, the Burger Bar K'Rd has everything going for it: a great location, tasty and wholesome burgers and sides, a neat atmosphere, and an ethical philosophy. It deserves so much more press than it is currently getting, and we can't wait to come back and try some more (for instance, their duck breast, chicken liver pate and crisped parsnip special looks epic)!

The Burger Bar K'Rd is a perfect addition to St Kevins Arcade.

Restaurant Details

Shop 18, St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road, Auckland

Opening hours:
Mondays to Tuesdays 11am - 3pm
Wednesdays to Thursdays 11am - 9pm
Fridays to Saturdays 11am - 10pm
Sundays 11am - 7pm
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