18 November 2013

Taste of Auckland Festival 2013

On Friday night Rich and I headed to the Taste of Auckland festival:
This year Auckland’s premier food and drink festival celebrates 5 amazing years on the  New Zealand foodie calendar. Taste welcomes in the start of summer with a stellar line-up of local chefs and some exciting new features. Try a selection of signature dishes from Auckland’s finest restaurants as you stroll through New Zealand’s most glamorous food festival. Learn from our culinary superstars in a series of new Masterclasses and live demonstrations. Soak up the great music and festival atmosphere a drink in your hand and sample delicious treats from New Zealand’s top producers.
Barring some ticket issues* at the start, we had an AMAZING time. We actually treated ourselves to VIP tickets (which included some free bubbly, the wine tasting glass, $30 credit, and access to the VIP tent). Despite the dishes being small (this is about getting a 'taste'), we decided to share so that we could try more!

Our selections included:

From Toto' - Calamari, lightly fired baby squid, crispy vegetable, sesame seed, agrodolce sauce, AND, Tortelloni pasta, hand-made shaped tortelloni of egg pasta stuffed with duck, mushroom ragu, truffle oil, AND, Porchetta slider, free range roasted pork, spicy greens, sharp auricchio cheese, light mustart in a Toto' hand-made slider.

All were delicious! My pick was the Tortelloni; delicate and divine!

From Fish Chocolate popcorn, dark chocolate marquise, popcorn icecream, popcorn milk, caramel chocolate wafer

Absolute bliss! I am a huge fan of popcorn + chocolate

From Non Solo Pizza - Tartare di Manzo, Wagyu beef sliced, raw dressed with 65/65 free range yolk, NSP condiments, crispy wafers, watercress salad

Rich's pick... and I really enjoyed it! Raw beef...

From Depot - BBQ pulled pork sliders with apple slaw & pickled jalapenos, AND, Depot's famous sugar pie served with cream . 

Both very good... but I think I liked Toto's slider better. The sugar pie was amazing - so subtle.

From Everybody’s Izakaya - Pork & crayfish dumplings, yuzu miso, tuna tartare, AND, Karaage duck leg, yum yum and boiled egg cabbage.

Enjoyed both, but my pick was the Karaage duck; I thought I liked karaage chicken, but duck wins!!

From Baduzzi Crayfish meatballs, spring carrot, butter chickpeas & basil, AND, Wagyu meatballs, onion gravy & salsa verde.

Wagyu won.

*Tickets were through iticket. I purchased two early bird VIP tickets. I sent two emails enquirying about delivery, and neither were ever replied to! Then I get to the venue brandishing my receipt for my 2 x $30 credit... to be told the cards would've been in the courier parcel... I had to 'argue' for a while before 2 x $30 NEW cards were issued, as well as a credit card impression taken in case we then used the 'missing' cards :( Not a good experience, and the iticket booth were not open to THEM having made a mistake AT ALL - if the cards were missing (and THEY WERE!!!) then either: a) I was a criminal trying to game the system, or, b) the courier took the cards from my envelope... The new cards worked, and the old cards were cancelled - but the cancellation can take 24 hrs, so I guess we'll shortly find out if our missing cards were used by someone else!!!

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