BanditaKingslandMy favourite item is the soft shell tacos. Packed with flavour and so fresh! Also, one of the cheapest items on the menu. Bonus! They do really good cocktails too. Love the casual and friendly staff too.
Canton CafeKingslandGreat if you have a large group, as they can serve a lot of people at once, seriously!! They have lovely big communal round tables and do amazing cheap Chinese food! Win!
- 319Really yummy range of flavours, with plenty of authentic Laos dishes and a few Thai options too. Ground peanuts, fresh ginger, and garlic a plenty. They do great tofu for any vegetarians. My sister is a carnivore though and she goes on and on about their LARB, which I am assured is amazing - I just like it cos it’s fun to say. :P
Neighbourhood BrewbarKingslandThis place is great if you want somewhere casual to go for an affordable beer and a burger. They do really good chips with aioli which I like to pair with a Mac’s cider. There's a big outdoor space to sit in or if it’s cold out, the inside is always toasty warm. Big food for a big appetite at this one!
- 510Great Indian food at good prices. This family owned business has several branches, as you can see on their Facebook page! Lol. The decor is impressive, but they are also great as a takeaway option!
Basement TheatreAuckland CentralTrust The Basement to be so topical as to have a play in residence about being young and gay right when the vote for Marriage Equality is being drafted! I recently saw Queen by Sam Brooks in the intimate studio theatre and, in with moments of tears & many of laughter, were some real revelations about what it is like growing up gay today. Brooks won the Playmarket Playwright’s B4-25 Award in 2012 and Queen is a brave and honest piece of work. Enjoyable & thought-provoking, it sparked a long conversation afterwards about the themes. ****On 16-25 April @ 7pm**** When I went to see Queen, there was a sign behind the bar: “We are nice! You have the options of: 1. Being nice back 2. Going away! x” and it’s true! One time, the staff here found the last remaining seat in the house to squeeze me into at the last minute when I was on stand-by & desperate to see a popular show, saying “We can just fit you in! Quick! You can pay at the interval!” They are good guys. Basement are now a risk-share theatre too, so they take a cut of ticket sales, rather than charging to book the theatre. This means that new theatre companies have the opportunity to put on a production based on the merit of their work alone, rather than whether they have the capital up-front to book a performance space. Therefore, Basement takes bookings for plays they believe in and they help market them too, because they are invested in the play’s success. This is an important shift and has changed the landscape of Auckland’s theatre repertoire. Love love love for The Basement. :)
Auckland Art GalleryAuckland CentralAuckland Art Gallery have really upped their game in the last decade. The new building is stunning, a work of art itself. The New Zealand section is beautifully curated, with the pieces tastefully presented, with lots of space and well-balanced in each room. Very easy wandering.They are getting in more exciting exhibitions, like the recent success Who Shot Rock ‘n’ Roll, which is one of the best photographic exhibitions I have been to anywhere in the world. The centrepiece to the gallery is the Breathing Flowers, which I love. It is a huge hanging installation piece of inflated flowers, which move or ‘breathe’ as you watch them. It is quite captivating and will only be up until 3rd September this year. Have a look and see what’s on…
1885 BritomartAuckland CentralThe other night I went to a live jazz gig at Creative Jazz Club, or CJC. The downstairs club at 1885 has a really nice feel to it, stylish, but with a rustic edge to it, like a swanky underground prohibition era club. Mosaic bar-top, comfy couches, thin rough strips of wood line the walls and bartenders wear smart white collars and waistcoats. The live music was incredible, each musician an impressive, highly skilled veteran of their own instrument. Piano, sax, double bass, drums, bass guitar and vocals. Drinks are not cheap, but the bar staff are experienced and well-trained and will make you something delicious. They have a great cocktail list and a good selection of wines at a range of prices. Keep an eye out for live jazz every Wednesday at this cool little venue.
Uxbridge Arts CentreHowickWent to an art exhibition here this week for artworks that involve text. There was a huge range of styles of artwork. My two favourites are pictured. One is Eleanor Barker’s teen-witch-esque illustration with beautiful anatomical style drawings inspired by the words on the pages they are set around. The other was Katrina van Roon’s folded book art; several books pain-stakingly folded into these beautiful shapes. I would have loved to have either of these works in my home and there were plenty of other works I liked too. Aside from coasters available individually for $44 and a hand blown soda glass work with a light fitting inside it for $16,000, the prices for art ranged from about $200-$400, so very reasonable. Keep an eye out for other exhibits coming up here, you may be able to get yourself a beautiful piece of original artwork for a steal!
Howick Little TheatrePakurangaThis wee theatre is constantly putting on new work. Great creative vibe and always something different. Some really great actor and directors start out here too!!