Well I'm quivering with excitement to tell you all that as of May 5th I will be your sassy host (THINK MORE NIGELLA THAN READY, STEADY, COOK) for the return of the City Market Classes. In an almost perfect evolution of the website, every second Sunday we will bring you loads of the people already featured on Eat & Greet and many more, showcasing what it is they do best - So that you too can meet, greet and eat with these AMAZING PERSONALITIES.
EAT AND GREET'S FAVOURITE VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT NAM HAS OPENED A NEW TAKEAWAY STORE NEXT DOOR. WE POPPED IN TO SEE NIKKI ON HER OPENING DAY YESTERDAY AND LUCKY WE ARRIVED EARLY AS THEY HAD SOLD OUT BY THAT AFTERNOON! IF SUBWAY HAD A SEXIER, FIESTIER COUSIN, NAM D WOULD BE IT.
Friend crushes… I’ve had a few. But it is easy when I meet so many amazing people as a result of this blog. I mean, these are my type of people - we can talk about our crushes on David Chang, how we are desperate to eat at Noma or bitch about how there is NO RAMEN SHOP IN WELLINGTON. I love it, I’m finally home, these people get me.
This story sums up what i love about eat and greet (can i say that?) - Amazing people, amazing stories, family, culture, AUTHENTICITY and the role food plays in relation to all of those. Family and food are everything. I grew up with parents that insisted on dinners around the table every night and i honestly believe that is why i can have this little project with my sister and class my family amongst my closest friends. The Aasaf family have not had it easy; packing a bag and leaving your homeland takes guts.
I FIRST KNEW ABOUT HUMMINGBIRD WHEN I WAS AT UNIVERSITY. I WON’T TELL YOU WHEN BUT LET'S JUST SAY I MAY HAVE DANCED TO DARUDE'S 'SANDSTORM' AT SPORTS CAFÉ A FEW TIMES IN MY FIRST YEAR. I NEVER frequented HUMMINGBIRD BACK THEN, AS THEY DIDN’T HAVE $4 MUDSLIDE SHAKERS on a wednesday. Through no mean feat Hummingbird is still around13 years later and that IS A TESTAMENT TO JOHN COLEMAN, WHO RAN THE RESTAURANT FOR 12 YEARS.
The day I went to interview Tom Kirton of Tommy Millions was the first day of the Sevens in Wellington. Sexy bananas, cowboys, pukekos all over the place. But you know, come 2am that morning those nanas aren’t going to be so perky. Tom may be the man behind the name and face on the pizza boxes, but HE always works the graveyard shift, not for the stories (THOUGH my god, he has a few) but because that is their busiest time.
There has been a lot of talk about street food on Eat & Greet - I’ve also eaten my fair share of street-side delights around the world: takoyaki in Japan, hot dogs in USA, roti in Malaysia and... purely for the story... deep-fried scorpions in China. Hang around with me long enough and you’ll hear me (and others I’ve interviewed) MOAN about the lack of street food culture in NZ. However, a chance meeting changed that opinion.
For our first venture outside Wellington, what better place to start than Wellington’s unofficial sister city- Melbourne. I met with Andrew Wong, the brains behind Wonderbao, a casual Chinese-Taiwanese cafe in the central city that has Melbournites lining up out the door daily and clambering for their Chinese steamed buns and Taiwanese gua bao.
Matterhorn needs no introduction. This place has been around for a long time and is an institution in Wellington. Many a celebrity and hipster band have checked in on facebook and tweeted their twats off about it and rightfully so. This place is unashamedly cool, a little dark and mysterious but not dingy, fancy but not pretentious and utterly approachable. The chef Dave Verheul can pretty much be described by all of those adjectives above as well! This guy knows how to cook and I’ve heard him being described as the best chef in Wellington. I’m not going to argue.
Word is out– Ti Kouka's Thrice-cooked chips are the best in town. We wrote about Shepherd Elliot's inspired technique back in October when we profiled his café, but it has taken till now to wrestle the recipe off him so you too can try your hand at making the delicious little morsels yourself. Enjoy!