17 November 2014

Taste Auckland 2014

Despite horrid weather (rain and high winds!), my brother and I headed to Taste (food) festival.

We had bought early bird VIP tickets for Saturday 12-4pm session. As it was, the 5pm evening session was cancelled due to the weather!

We rugged-and-booted-up (i.e. dressed appropriately! Why were people wearing shorts?!), and headed out. The VIP pass came with 'limited parking', and we were lucky enough to snap up a park right by the entrance.

Annnd, as VIPs our line moved super-fast (and was much shorter than general admission).

A note on VIP: it's worth it. It sounds wanky, saying "VIP", but it meant: great parking, the Taste wine glass was included, glass of Deutz bubbly, entry to the VIP lounge (with two bars, tables/chairs, cover etc.)., and $30 already loaded onto a Taste card (the festivals currency is 'Crowns'). Last year being a VIP meant lounging in the evening sun, sipping bubbles at in a comfy chair, with a table to eat your delicious food off. This year it meant: cover from the wind and rain! So, even with the weather difference, I would, no WILL buy VIP tickets next year.

We didn't go as crazy on the restaurant food this year, restraining ourselves to six menu items:

Farina: Daily Taste-made fresh pasta filled with Braised Aromatic Duck, served with Wild Mushroom & Truffle Ragu

Farina: Valoriani Oven Pork Saltimbocca Bun with Italian Spicy Greens, Provolone Cheese & Cipriani Mustard Dressing. AMAZING - my fav dish of the festival

Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill: Scallop, Sweet, Sour & Salty with Tamarind & Chorizo Caramel, Avocado, Creme Fraiche, Rice Puffs

The Oyster Inn: Crayfish & Watercress Risotto

Depot Raw Oyster Bar: Virgin Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter

Bracu: Salted caramel & Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

Petal Cupcakes - just beautiful (and delicious!). Just $1 for a mini-cupcake (we tried the lemon one).

All and all a great festival. It was a shame about the weather - the effect it did have (IMO) was: a) the tents for all the sellers became cramped (normally the sides would be rolled up to allow festival goers to spill out from more popular stalls), b) a LOT of stall holders let the bad weather be reflected in their service (not all, but there were many depressed looking sellers), and many I walked passed didn't even look up from their phones (disappointing for me) - normally sellers are keen for you to try their wares, and this year I barely sampled anything (and to note: those I did sample, I BOUGHT! Sampling works. I walked away with two bottles of Limoncello, one bottle of wine, and two packets of pulled pork!).

The weather definitely impacted the vibe of the festival on Saturday, but I still had fun :) And the food was incredible, as per usual!

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