Saturday, September 12, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 3 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
Cathedral Cove
Coromandel, New Zealand

This is pretty physically exhausting though not as challenging as Wairere Falls. I will rate the walk as moderate with 2/3 easy sections and 1/3 difficult.

There's a few sights to see on the way to Cathedral Cove - Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay, Mares Leg Cove and Cathedral Cove.
cathedral cove

The best view is most definitely from Cathedral Cove. We skipped Gemstone Bay at my request though neither did i also didn't venture out far at Stingray Bay. Stingray bay is secluded with warning signs that states the area is prone to rockfall. There are also huge boulders to climb over to reach the small beach. Hence, I simply stopped at the end of the stairs and refuse to budge despite my SO prodding.
 Stingray bay

We spent quite a bit of time excluding the walk (an hour) to Cathedral cove but if you wish to cover 2 places on the same day namely Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. Precise timing is essential as their low tides is similar. Though it seem to me that the low tide ends earlier at Hot water beach.

* We tried our luck at Hot water beach to no avail. the tide has turned against us (High Tide).

To Eat:

The White Rabbit - 4 stars, mid-range
69 Customs Street East Auckland Central New Zealand

The White Rabbit

Breakfast - Hashbrown, poached eggs, smoked bacon slab, green tomato, hollandaise

Hashbrown, poached eggs, smoked bacon slab, green tomato, hollandaise - I particularly love my hashbrown as its freshly made from fresh potatoes. Not the usual run of mill kind you can get off-the-shelf.  Crispy on the outside though i think the potato is still a little too wet on the inside. Most delicious from my set is the thick juicy fat slice of bacon. Also unique is the way they poach the eggs almost like a ramen egg semi-boiled with a very soft runny centre. Totally yummy with the hollandaise sauce.

My SO's breakfast set  - Broiche Toast, whipped goat's curd, blackbride honeycomb

Broiche Toast, whipped goat's curd, blackbride honeycomb - Well-toasted broiche toast that is very crunchy and the goat curd and honeycomb made a good combination. Though i tried tasting them individually, the honeycomb is super sweet and the goat curd is super sour. Blend them together, quite a match!
Coffee - no artwork but still nice looking with sprinkle of choc dust
The cappucino was good with a generous sprinkle of chocolate. It has a slight better taste at the first sip but it quick dissipate to a aromatic coffee taste.

Hot Water Brewing Co - 3.2 stars, mid-range
1043 Tairua Whitianga Road, Whitianga 3591, New Zealand

Its a good place to go after Cathedral Cove as its 10 minutes away and one of the few eateries with good reviews that are open for lunch.
The tasting paddle
The tasting paddle comprise of the following beers: Golden Steamer Ale, Kauri Falls Pale Ale, Walker's Porter, About Time IPA, Head Water IPA.

On hindsight, I shouldn't have ordered this paddle as i'm never a fan of beer and SO has a 2 hours drive ahead of him. But as the drinks are more value for money as a paddle than individually. Heck it!

Though the first one (Golden Steamer Ale) is by far the most popular by patrons. Personally, i prefer #2 (Kauri Falls Pale Ale) its very aromatic and fruity though with a light bitter aftertaste. The 3rd is the worst. Its dark lager and very very bitter. Totally not my cup of tea.

50% of the beer is wasted from this tasting session. :(

Soup of the day
The soup of the day is quite tasty and it does the job of filling up the empty stomach at 4 pm.

The Redoubt Bar and Eatery - 3.4 stars, mid range
48 Broadway, Matamata 3400, New Zealand

This is a very popular place andvery packed when we arrive. We were relieved that we were able to get a seat. Due to its dinner crowd, my expectation of the food is raised higher.
Me - goofing around

Pork spring roll

Housemade pork spring rolls with apple, coriander and mirin - this is a surprise as it is very asian. Almost like having our own homemade spring rolls. I like this very much! The skin is fried to crispy and the filling is still moist and juicy. Purrrfect!

Pan-seared snapper

Fresh fish of the day is pan-seared snapper with beetroot, potato and fraiche. Snapper is well cooked with the right amount of consistency and texture. Sides that accompanied the fish is not very complementary but still acceptable.

Seafood Chowder

Seafood chowder with fish, shrimps, scallops and garlic bread is very thick and creamy with a lot less flavour than the soup at Hot Water Brewing Co. Its so creamy that i get pretty sick of it soon enough. 

Be careful when having the fish of the day as well as seafood chowder as it has scales in them. What if i swallowed it? Not cool.

To Stay:

Tower Road Motel
108 Tower Road, Matamata 3471, New Zealand

This place is a gem. So glad we got to stay here. The owner is very thoughtful and had turned on the heater to our room as she want to us to have a warm room when we arrive.

Its really nice of her as we are pretty cold tired from our long drive.

The room fits 3 person comfortably

The room is very huge and roomy with plenty of space. It very new and decently furnished. There's also free Wifi (my lifeline) and very comfortable beds.

The heater and a table and the entrance to the pantry
The room is very neat and clean. That's is also very important aspect for me. Cleanliness.
The pantry and the bathroom

The owner is also very nice to keep our luggage while we went conquering Wairere Falls the next morning. Very much appreciated as the parking area at Wairere Falls had several thefts reported. Overall, its a very pleasant stay with a huge personal touch from the owner.

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