Yearly, Taste of Auckland transforms Western Springs into a food haven.
It is an event not to be missed. You get the opportunity to try signature dishes from some of Auckland’s most exciting restaurants in a beautiful al fresco setting surrounded by pop-up winery stands, food stalls and drink experiences. I went all out with a huge backpack as my shopping bag.
This year, we visited on the last day of the event. The weather was wet and miserable which in fact was a bonus as we managed to get a car park without having to walk as far as we usually did in previous years. The sun did come out eventually so it was a nice transformation from rain to shine!
There were ten top restaurants taking part. In fact, I thought there were more stalls last year but I may be wrong. Definitely, I could not find the stall selling smoked juicy salmon. How I craved those thick juicy cubes on crackers. We bought lots of dips and snacks home but no salmon this year.
My friend was attracted to the hangi, a traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven. I knew the meat would be bland (strictly my own opinion) but he was in front of the camera so had to make the bite look mouth-watering for others, I supposed.
We should have gone to Miss Moonshine instead as they had the best display.
I had bunny chow from 1947 Eatery which was quite nice but very spicy. Bunny chow is a very interesting dish.
During the Great Depression in 1933 Indians, whites and Chinese in Durban, South Africa, suffered hunger like everyone else. The kids then discovered that the cheapest curry they could buy (for a quarter penny or half a penny) was made by a vegetarian Indian caste known in Durban (slang as the Bania). It was made from dried sugar beans (no meat). The children didn’t have plates, and one kid got the bright idea to hollow out a quarter bread, asked the seller to put the bean curry in the hollowed-out bread, and then used the broken bread he’s taken out as a sort of eating utensil. Chinese food was called “chow”. Somehow the two words came together: Bania Chow. In time, it simply became known as Bunny Chow.
Bunny Chow was what the Indian sugar plantation workers took as their day’s food to the lands: curry in hollowed-out bread halves. Cheap and practical …
We were looking for Tok Tok but by the time we found our favourite stall, our tummy no longer have room for their yummilicous crispy duck. Too bad we couldn’t fit in the curry fish either. How disloyal were we then, though it now gives us all the reason to travel all the way to Tok Tok, Takapuna for a proper dine-in.
In between that, we sampled lots and lots of sausages and I seemed to have gone off drinking so our two glasses that came with the tickets were pretty much souvenir pieces in that end. I knew I have quite a few of them that we brought home yearly and never used. What a hoarder.
Indeed, Taste of Auckland is quite an expensive day out though we only spent 140 crowns ($140) this visit which included entries for two and 80 crowns for spending amongst the two of us. This was a lot less than last year’s spendings as there were no bottles of wine, beer or salmon in my backpack!