Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mister D

Mister D is a casual eatery located in the centre of Napier.  They won runner up in the Best New Restaurant category in the 2013 Cuisine Food Awards.  They open from 7.30AM for breakfast and lunch and also have a dinner sitting Thursday to Saturday. The staff at Mister D work to deliver fresh local produce and great service with no fuss.

I’ve been to Mister D previously for coffee and afternoon tea and had really enjoyed the food we sampled.  During our recent trip to Napier we returned for dinner so we could try a wider selection of dishes from the menu.

The dining area is very cool and relaxed and our table was opposite the open plan kitchen so we could watch the chefs in action during our meal.

The restaurant was packed and when we first arrived our waiter was rushing around his section visibly stressed.  After a little while things settled down a bit and the service we received was very good.

The menu is varied and creative.  We tried a large range of dishes including fried bread with rosemary and garlic aioli; potato gnocchi with cheese sauce and coffee grounds; caramelised onion tart with Hohepa feta, kalamata olives and thyme; asparagus with strawberries, pistachios and labnah; sashimi salad with avocado, orange and modern dressing; pulled pork with white polenta, apple and fennel salad and pollen salt and the risotto with braised duck, wilted spinach, currants and pine nuts.

All of the food was delicious, the fried bread was crisp, tasty and totally indulgent, the gnocchi creatively presented and cooked perfectly, the onion tart buttery and light, the asparagus was fresh and light and worked well with the unusual accompaniments, the pork tender with a crisp crackle and creamy polenta and the duck tender and tasty.

For dessert we tried the quark cheesecake, a macadamia and caramel slice and one of Mister D’s specialties, a doughnut with injectable filling.  The doughnuts come with a choice of three fillings, chocolate, caramel or custard, you can choose one, two or all three of the fillings.  Again all the dishes were delicious, the cheesecake tart and light but still creamy, the macadamia and caramel slice packed to bursting with crunchy nuts smothered in caramel on a crisp shortbread base and the doughnuts light, warm, freshly tossed in sugar and cinnamon and accompanied by a syringe of custard.

Mister D is a very enjoyable place to eat.  The vibe is friendly and relaxed and the food top level.  It rivals many of the popular Auckland restaurants in both quality of food and service at very reasonable prices.

http://www.misterd.co.nz

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Ten Twenty Four

Ten Twenty Four (1024) is a relaxed country dining restaurant located at 1024 Pakowai Road, Hastings.  Kent Badley, formerly of the famous Wellington restaurant Petit Lyon, has joined up with Ian Thomas and Peter Suragawa to present outstanding food in a relaxed location.

We went to 1024 for lunch on a recent trip to Napier.  Their menu is printed everyday as their dishes vary depending on what fresh regional produce is available to the chef.

I visited in a party of six and two of us had the 1024 R & D degustation.  It is billed as a surprise three course menu that allows you to sit back, relax and wait for your food to arrive.  Lunch time diners also have the option of choosing from the a la carte menu (the dinner menu is exclusively the surprise degustation).

The degustation started with a amuse bouche of smoked eel with pear and an elderflower shot that contained dry ice.  The entree was a whole baby flounder deboned, stuffed with prawn meat, covered in a macadamia crumble and served with wasabi mayonnaise.  The main was a lamb shank slow cooked for 12 hours, a stuffed potato and poussin gravy.  The dessert was not on the a la carte menu and was an amazing creme brulee stuffed doughnut served with a berry compote.

Those of us who ordered from the menu started with the daily bread selection, sesame lavosh and brioche with olive oil, sea salt and shaved parmesan.  For mains we tried the flounder(the same dish as the degustation menu entree); the prawn mousse stuffed blue cod with an ancient grain crust, black mustard mayo and broccoli salad; the chicken with wild herbs and garlic, pea shoot puree and kaffir lime and the aged angus striploin with teriyaki, kumara and udon noodles.  We also ordered sides of crumbed potato balls and the 1024 daily garden picked salad.

All of the food was delicious and beautifully presented but the standouts of the day were by far the flounder and the stuffed blue cod.  The flounder was soft, delicate and creamy.  The blue code was covered in a crisp crumb, perfectly cooked and stuffed to bursting with tender prawn meat.  Both dishes were perfectly complemented by the accompaniments and were exciting to eat.

We had to try dessert as we weren’t sure when we would get a chance to come back and also we’re not the type of people who say no to desserts.   We ordered strawberry mille feuille which was delicate chocolate shortbread layered with fresh cream and new season strawberries and the chocolate tort.  Both desserts were lovely but the degustation dessert was definitely the best with smooth, creamy brulee with a crisp shell stuffed into a chewy doughnut and a tangy berry compote.

Service was a bit slow to start but our main waiter was friendly and very knowledgeable about the food he was presenting.

Overall, I though 1024 is a must for anyone either living in or visiting the Napier/Hastings area.  It is top level food in a relaxed atmosphere and very reasonable prices – the price of the surprise lunch degustation was only $50, extremely good value for the levels of preparation and care that were evident in every dish we ate.

http://www.tentwentyfour.co.nz

Currently Coveting: Miu Miu Sunglasses

Summer is almost here and every summer I find myself looking at the sunglasses selection.  It doesn’t matter whether I actually need any new sunglasses or not, just trying on new sunglasses makes me feel like the cold, wet weather is behind me for the year.

Miuccia Prada is one of the most iconic figures of the fashion world and she produces beautiful clothes and accessories season after season for her Miu Miu line.  Although I generally love what she does for Prada each season, I find the Miu Miu line to be more fun and accessible.

Miu Miu have produced several pairs of beautiful sunglasses this season, all of which I would love to own.

The first pair is the turquoise hexagonal pair below:

The style and shape of these glasses fit in with the current trend for retro inspired shades and the colour is the perfect bright pop for summer.  The front of the frames have a suede like fabric on them giving them a matte finish.

Next up are:

The cats eye shape is again a very retro style and the navy and gold colour way a bit more of a classicwhile still being more interesting than the black and silver sunglasses usually seen.

And finally:

Its a bit hard to see the detail in the image above but in real life these glasses are amazing.  The frames are silver glitter and the shape are the classic big style sunglasses that I tend to wear most as they really suit my face shape.

The Federal Delicatessen

The Federal Delicatessen (The Fed) is the new Al Brown restaurant on Federal Street. After dining at Depot next door last weekend (and the recommendations of several friends) I was keen to try The Fed as soon as I could.

We went on a Friday night and luckily managed to get a table straight away.  The vibe in The Fed is very 1950’s diner cool with booths, seats at the bar overlooking the food preparation area and the wait staff in cute retro style uniforms.

We decided to try a range of dishes to share so we could try a little bit of everything.   We got the smoked Kawhai fish cakes; the pastrami on rye with ballpark mustard; the turkey meatloaf with pecans, celery heart, Granny Smith and whole grain mustard; the poutine, which is fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy and the slaw.

The Kawhai fish cakes were amazing, crispy on the outside, soft, creamy and delicious inside.  The pastrami was also delicious, loads of tender juicy pastrami stacked on soft rye bread and perfectly complemented by a hot mustard.  The meatloaf was a bit bland and dry and although the poutine was OK the gravy was a bit bland and there wasn’t quite enough of it.

At The Fed they have NY style cheesecake the menu.  Cheesecake, especially New York style cheesecake, is one of my favourite desserts so I couldn’t go past this.  The cheesecake was outstanding, smooth and creamy and accompanied by fresh cream and tangy berry compote.

They also have a really good selection of drinks at The Fed.  I started with a glass of prosseco, a light bubbly white Italian style wine and then followed up with a soda jerk for grown ups, a lemon and lime Rickey with Ketel One vodka.  The soda jerk was light, refreshing and not overly sweet.  There is also a wide selection beers and other red and white wines, including some wines on tap.

Although I enjoyed our meal at The Fed and it’s a really fun place to eat, it’s fairly pricey for the kind of food you get and I’ve had better food for the same price at other restaurants around Auckland.  I’d definitely go back for the cheesecake again and to try some of the other desserts but I don’t think I’d hurry back for another main meal.

http://www.thefed.co.nz

Currently Coveting: A White Dress

The only white dress I’ve ever owned is my wedding dress.  I’m not usually the sort of person who can do a lot of white clothing.  Even though I have the best intentions and try to be really careful, I still spill food and drinks with alarming regularity.

With summer getting closer and closer, I’ve been thinking of getting a white dress.  I’ve seen quite a few images of white outfits and they look fresh and cool for the hot weather.

I’m looking for a casual dress so I’m not worried about looking too ‘bridal’ but a white dress still needs to have the right fabric, light enough for summer but heavy enough to not be see through and the right cut, I’m picturing something grown up with a sweet edge.

Both of these dresses from Workshop fit the bill perfectly.  The white broderie anglaise fabric and scalloped edges give the dresses a sweet appeal while silhouettes of both the t shirt style dress and the sleeveless dress are thoroughly modern.  My only dilemma is deciding which one to get!

Available from http://www.workshop.co.nz