Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 10 (Part 2 - To do/see,to eat)

To do:
Muriwai Beach (Black Sand Beach)

There are several black sand beaches to choose from in Auckland. I decided on Muriwai because of the possibility of trying out the Muriwai Beach Horse Treks (keeping our options open despite the time constraints). Other alternatives are a walk to the Gannet colony and also the muriwai beach blow hole.
Miriwai Beach - the black sand beach

Upon arrival, we did almost nothing except for gazing at the sea from the carpark area. I didn't feel like venturing down as the winds are so strong that sand is blown in your face and even the waves that hit the beach are blown up and you can see droplets of water dancing across the beach. The beach itself is quite empty except for a brave lone para glider. You can see the person in the picture above. I really applaud him/her.


The walk to the gannet colony also look quite treacherous as we need to walk quite near the beach with huge waves now and then before getting on the boardwalk. Timid me decided there and then that admiring the view will suffice.

Craftworld
Fernhill Dr, Massey, Massey North 0614, New Zealand

A place to purchase hand made local crafts. The set-up is almost like "toy outpost" in Singapore where individuals will rent a box space and place their wares for sale and manned by staff at the payment counter.
The wares sold are almost similar in each space. Repeated crafts i see are the paua shells, that i initially wanted to purchase and also ceramic craft works. In the end, i settled for a ceramic fern.


The sales assistant did a good job of wrapping up the item and it arrived back in Singapore in one whole piece.

Provenance

Initially we visited this place to try their locally produced honey sold here. Unfortunately, this place is now converted to a cafe with a very tiny minimart.Though we try the honey that is available for sale and bought a bottle, there is nothing much to see or eat here and this place is unusually deserted on late morning.

To Eat:

Bread & Butter - 3.8 stars, budget
34 Westmoreland St W, Grey Lynn, 1021, New Zealand


Breakfast for the day is at Bread and Butter as SO is a lover of all things croissant. This place has pretty good reviews and so here we are.
Chocolate and almonds croissant but this is a tad dry and no very crispy. Chocolate is also hard and flaky.

Country style omelette with free range eggs with prosciutto, tomato, garden greens, cheese and apricot chutney ordered by SO. Surprise surprise as someone almost never eat any tomatoes. Overall, this taste more like scrambled egg in a pan with bacon, tomatoes and rocket leaves. Taste overall is acceptable and not too bad.
I also tried something entirely new for breakfast. This will be the first time i had Organic toasted museli with vanilla berry compote, seasonal fruits and yogurt.  I quite like the crunchy texture and this is chewier than having cereals. I wonder if i had a tortured look on my face as the waitress asked if i need milk to go with this museli every time she passed by our table. hmmm....but i will still continue having museli after this round. So its not too bad yar?

Hallertau Brew Bar & Restaurant - 3.5 stars, mid-range
1171 Coatesville Riverhead Hwy, Riverhead, New Zealand
This is on of the places we intend to visit on our itinerary. And its a brewery!!! and we had a free beer paddle on the house just for tourists.
Super love anything that comes free! All the beer is nice (no this has nothing to do with it being free). Of all 4 tried, #2 is my favourite as it has a malt taste and is very light. #1 is even lighter then #2 but almost undetectable. The dark malt is actually very drinkable. Not as black or yucky as i will expect.
Lunch is spicy pork ribs and wedges. The spicy pork ribs is not too impressive as it is quite lean and a little too spicy for me.
The fries are drizzled with cheese and bacon bits and best eaten when hot. It becomes a little overly indulgent when it gets cold.

Cafe Hanoi - 4.8 stars, mid-range
Gateway St & Commerce St, Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand


Here we are back again to try more fabulous dishes from cafe Hanoi. I will be a frequent diner here if we had such a restaurant in Singapore.

We are served a complimentary starter similar to the night before. 


 Fried wanton balls is crispy and nice but doesn't really blow me away.

Squid is stuffed with minced pork and this dish is rarely seen in restaurants in Singapore except when you cook this at home. Love the citrus and basil mix flavours.
We also tried the kang kong (morning glory is what was stated on the menu). It is very fresh and interestingly stirred fried with seasame seeds which adds more flavour to the dish.

I am most impressed with the service attitude of the restaurant. We waited a long while for our squid and i believe the kitchen missed this order. The waitress informed us that the squid will be free of charge when it was served. Both of us thought that we heard it wrong, but boy we are so impressed when it was really taken off our bill while paying. Super thumbs up for service and the best thing that ever happen to us in a restaurant.

I most definitely go to this place again if i ever go back to Auckland. Just thinking about the food from restaurant is enough to make me salivate. Do try the first few dishes we had the day before they are definite must trys in my opinion.

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