Favorite foods and drinks (including pubs restaurants etc.)



:joy::joy::joy: I was saving for last!!! I ADORE port!!


Me too! I recently had to serve a bottle of 1945 Taylors (pricey stuff, to say the least) and it killed me to not get to try it. I got a good sniff though, smelled increible


I love the smell too! I haven’t had a glass in so long, now you’re making me want to have a bit :smiley: it tastes delicious after a big dinner, too!


I’m looking forward to Christmas so I can justify buying and drinking lots of port


Fresh-caught sardines, the larger sort, are delicious grilled or pan-fried. They were a specialty at a couple places on the Calfornia coast that frequented. Can’t get them where I live in Wyoming, a couple of long days drive from the sea.


I wouldn’t normally like them, but I’d absolutely fry them up in a red curry sauce, after filleting them.

In any case: Baguettes, Eggplant Parm, Calzones, Burritos, Fajitas, and Sushi.


You’re keen on rieslings. I saw a Pegasus Bay wine on a menu recently, but can’t recall where. If I see it in a shop, I’ll grab a bottle. I recall driving through the Waipara area when we lived near Christchurch, but I was too young for wine and it wasn’t developed yet.

Heaps of lovely kai moana (sea food) where I am now, in Whitianga NZ. Went to wee mum & pop place called Squid for incredible calamari with a Thai chili dip. The main was a Trevally fillet crusted with white and black seasame seeds bedded on a green salad with a sweet-hot dressing.

The server was Mäori and greeted me in te reo— made me feel right at home. The cook was Pakeha. Think they’re a couple.

Hitting a posh place tonight.


What is Maori food like?


You know what they say about good seafood? There has to be a catch!


Traditionally, lots of seafood (fish, shellfish, seals and other marine mammals), seabirds (muttonbirds) and eggs, forest birds (wood pigeon). Fruit and berries. Nuts. Fernroot (starchy tuber), kumara (yam), various greens.

Species brought to NZ included kiore (Pacific rat, a ceremonial food like guinea pig in South America) and a small pig. Europeans brought larger pigs called “Captain Cookers.”

War captives were also eaten at times.

The communal cooking method, the hangi, used a shallow pit with fire-heated stones, lined with banana and other leaves, with food arranged in packets, then covered with leaves, then buried. Women prepared the food and the pit was dug by men, who did the cooking.

Everyday cooking was done on open fires. Iron kettles and pots from trade were a great help.

Many foods were tapu (sacred) and could not be eaten until cooking rendered them noa (mundane). A piece of cooked food was used to neutralise the tapu of sacred items and diminish a charm or curse.


The War Captives bit made me cackle a little bit, then you feel guilty laughing later.


That’s just the type, yes! It’s much easier to get them in coastal-areas, naturally, cause it’s the sort of fish you can just taste when it’s not fresh.


I adore seafood, octopus or squid might be my favourite all time ingredient.

I am definitely big on rieslings, massively undervalued grape in the UK because the older generation remember the days of cheap, sweet crap. If I could only drink one varietal for the rest of my life it would be riesling. I might be serving a bottle of this tonight, it’s a barrel aged riesling with a great mouth-feel and I will definitely be trying to sneak a small glass for myself…to remind me of how it tastes to pair with the food…of course


First wine I’ve seen with a Farsi name, from Oz, yet. The idea of drinking wine to cure a headache is also new to me. I’d find it hard sticking to just one white grape.

Tried a NZ viognier, which was not up to the mark, even given points for trying. Had venison (red deer, the same as elk in the US) which is farmed in NZ, with roast potatoes, kumara (yam), beets, and pears. It was good but overdone– I like it deep pink inside.

I’ve cooked it often at home, as we live in an area rich in wild game. Before Mum got ill, we used to hunt together, and I’m a dab hand at dressing, skinning, and butchering. It’s grand cooking when one has a whole animal to choose from.

For wine I had a Alpha Domus Fox Moth merlot, which was quite rich, as if it had some cabernet franc mixed in. I got a case of Alpha Domus ‘The Navigator,’ a Bordeaux-style blend, several years ago. Very nice wine that ages beautifully. https://www.alphadomus.co.nz/

Off to an Irish-style pub tonight, Grace O’ Malley’s Tavern. They probably have oysters, which might come close to the Donegal oysters I ate at Nancy’s in Ardara.


Mäori cannibalism was part of war. Since the human body is tapu– sacred– to cook one’s enemy, rendering their body noa or mundane, and eat them compounds the insult to their mana of being defeated in battle.

Savage custom, I reckon, for a savage time.


The “Irish” pub was hell on earth, with a one-man band roaring inside and German music blaring on the deck (an Oktoberfest party).

I ended up back at a modest seafood (kai moana in Mäori) place called Squid’s, for the scallop and prawn special. They serve beaut green-lipped mussels, a NZ species, that are much larger and tastier than the northern hemisphere varieties.

image http://www.squids.co.nz/wp-content////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////gallery////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////Gallery/021-e1463792325434.jpg


Welp it’s time for the monthly blind wine club wherein all the chefs, sommeliers and wine suppliers from the best restaurants in my city come together to try to outsmart each other. And once again I have chosen the driest wine imaginable so will likely be presenting first.

The wine I’ve chosen is this hideous little Glera number called Lemoss. It’s a Col Fondo (how prosecco was created pre 1895 and the invention of Charmat production). The wine is left on lees in the bottle to ferment so it’s murkier than the bottom of a lake. Because of the lees it smells like bread crust and maybe some floral notes if I’m feeling generous


So the aim is to baffle the tasters? Poor Ducks!

I went out to my old surf spot, Raglan, for a deco. Had lunch at Orca, on the waterfront, peppered calamari and fush & chups, with greens. They had a Nga Waka riesling, from Martinborough NZ in the Wairarapa, east of Wellington.

image http://ngawaka.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NgaWaka_Riesling_RGB.jpg

Off-dry with complex aromatics that I don’t associate with the grape. Lovely drop. I’d definitely order a case.


Had a dish so exceptionally good that it deserves mention, at an old-line cafe called The Gables in Russell NZ.

They slow-roast ripe tomatoes, red and orange, drizzled with honey, cool them, then mash them gently, reserving the juices. The pulp is macerated and recombined with the juice and brought to a simmer, salted and herbed. In a warm bowl, it gets lumps of buffalo mozzarella (milk from water buffalo imported to Italy in the 1930s) that gets melty on the outside. Then it’s topped with crisp curls of prosciutto and chopped roast pistachios.

Fit for the gods (and goddesses). I’m going to try it at home when I get some good tomatoes from the greenhouse. Any suggestions for wine?


Ooooh sounds dreamy. In terms of wine have you thought about going with a rose? Possibly a Syrah rose with a herbacious note, it would have enough acidity and citrus to match the tomato and get through the mozzarella and a herbacious/peppery finish.

The specific wine that comes to mind is Château de Campuget 2016 1753 Syrah-Vermentino Rosé
from Costières de Nîmes. But any good Syrah rose would do.

Orrrr perhaps a Pigato?