Hello lo (as my sister would say) and welcome to the weekend. No recipe today - no, wait - don't go - I just wanted to quickly share some pics from an amazing day out yesterday and give you the heads up on some awesome places to eat...As you can see I was super lucky to get invited to join a team of like-minded foodies (and wine-ies and beer-ies and designers) on a culinary cruise on Auckland harbour - aptly named Harbourvore. We sailed from the viaduct marina on Yonder Star ( a loverly 87 ft yacht) about 2pm and blissfully headed out to anchor just off Motutapu island. During the afternoon the clouds came and went, there was a lovely fresh breeze that kept us lively and the food and drinks were never-ending. We were presented with Te Kouma and Kaipara harbour oysters, trevally and kingfish sashimi, salt and dill cured gurnard, crispy flounder on perilla leaves and coromandel lobster sliders - and that was just for nibbles!
As the afternoon wore on we feasted on grilled whole Terakihi, Cloudy Bay cockles, grilled eggplant, baby corn and snake bean salad then finished off with Waiheke island Phutukawa honey & coconut milk creme brulee and Marou chocolate and blackberry pots de creme. Miraculously, I didn't feel full to the gunnels (little boaty reference right there), as the food was so light and supremely fresh, and packed with flavour thanks to the use of grunty, vibrant herbs and minimal interference. We were lucky enough to have the delightful Lek (Wichian Trirattanavatin) from Saan restaurant on board, cooking, chatting and laughing and talking passionately about the origins of his recipes - all passed down from his chef parents and grandparents. His excitement about being able to cook with such amazing New Zealand produce was infectious, as was his pride in the Thai heritage of the dishes. I should also make mention here of the amazing beverages on board - luscious Pandan Punch cocktails, Hallertu beers, Poderi Crisci, Kumeu River Estate and Man O War wines. I was a total pig in mud but just managed to keep myself tidy, by crikey if ever there was a food and drinks line-up to make a girl throw caution to the wind, that was it. So today, still licking my lips, it's back to yoga, work and reality...but damn it was good!
This series of Harbourvore cruises was hosted by the trimuvirate of Saan
, Cafe Hanoi
u - three of my favourite Auckland restaurants, so essentially there was no way it could be anything other than magic. If you're an Auckland local, keep an eye out for future events, based on yesterday I would highly recommend it!