I enjoy eating. I enjoy trying different foods. And for the most part I’m not entirely picky.
That’s why it’s not much of a surprise upon coming to Auckland I’m always up for new things.
So far, “new things” has consisted of healthy snacks (corn grain wafers and hummus are probably the best combination known to man kind) and a lot more fruits and vegetables in my fridge than I’m ever used to.
(Seeing as I do my own groceries I figured I had no excuse not to eat healthy. That and chocolate bars here are almost $2 a piece.)
But on occasion (pretty much for the most part of this past week), treating myself becomes an adventure and I’ll find myself indulging in different foods and experiences.
Yesterday, treating myself lead me to Auckland’s waterfront, a place that I’m starting to realize could be a second home in this city.
It’s one of those places where, while there might not be a lot, there’s enough. Enough meaning the views, ocean air, and different sights are the perfect form of relaxation.
While Auckland’s Viaduct is where most of the sailboats are docked (update: I’m still on the hunt for someone who owns a boat, I just really want to be out on the water), where concerts are held, and where there are actual steps to dip your toes in the Pacific, a few seconds away lies the North Wharf.
(Try saying that ten times fast.)
It’s here you will find a stretch of restaurants that give you a perfect view of boats on the water and the hills in the distance. Combine it with the occasional live performances as a side dish to your dinner and you can think of it as a giant TV screen with no reruns.
It’s also here that my roommate Kate (from Vermont. I’d also like to note I live with two girls from France and my classmate Jess from Ryerson) and I indulged in what I like to call (and what most of you have probably seen on my multitude of other social media platforms): Dinner and Drinks at the Docks.
Last night dinner and drinks was provided courtesy of Jack Tar Gastropub. It’s almost reminiscent of Jack Astor’s back home, except ten times better.
With a menu handed to us on a clipboard, a patio seat, and a greatt view of the waterfront it was a perfect atmosphere for our girls’ night out.
And what better way to start off the evening than with some refreshing drinks.
Now it’s a known fact that I don’t drink beer. It tastes weird to me and I can only handle the most minuscule of sips at a time – so while Kate settled on some imported Stella Artois, I tried to be a little daring and got Isaac’s Cider feijoa flavour.
Don’t worry, if you’re raising your eyebrow because you have no idea what a feijoa is. I was in the same boat.
This is a feijoa. It’s also known as a pineapple guava. I guess if you’ve tasted a guava it’s about the same thing.
It was introduced to New Zealand in the 1900s and since then it has grown in popularity – especially in drinks. Which is why when the waitress recommended it, I had to go for it.
Verdict: The cider was a little too fizzy and bubbly for my taste, but it was almost like a ginger ale with a slightly bitter taste. I’m much more of a citrus lover, so it wasn’t my favourite drink but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had.
On another note, new fact about Auckland dining: it was slightly odd for me to see that some dishes were only served between 11:30 am to 3 pm, then from 5:30 am until close. We arrived at 5 on the dot, which proved to be a weird purgatory between orders.
It’s why we settled on drinks while splitting calamari and a cajun chicken and avocado pizza (all of which didn’t require a 5:30 order time).
I personally felt the calamari was too small of a portion for the $18 we paid for it, but the seasoning and sauce they gave us was absolutely amazing.
The pizza on the other hand: worth every single bit of the $24. The crust was thin, the cheese was perfectly melted, the chicken was just the right amount of spicy, and the avocado gave it a different flavour. Although, I will say, to my disdain, Kiwis seem to love using a lot – and I mean a lot – of red onions in their dishes, and this was no exception. Regardless, I’ve never had a pizza like it before and after eating it I don’t think I can go back to my Pizza Pizza ways in Canada.
Of course no dinner is complete without a cherry on top. Or in this case a strawberry.
Ten points for Jack Tar on this dessert, it wasn’t too sweet or bland and it had the perfect balance of ice cream and chocolate. It was a little pricey at $12, but I couldn’t help myself. My cleaned-off plate could attest to that.
And needless to say, we are definitely coming back for seconds.