There are moments in life when things come together nicely, like homemade MAYONNAISE. I first wanted to interview Asher when his ramen shop pop up was still operating out of the chef's pass of Pickle and you'd happily wait in line for 20 minutes in the wind and rain for a bowl of delicious ramen. He was my saviour. I'd lived in a village famous for its ramen in Japan and those cravings had not subsided in the 4 years since i'd been HOME.
I'm allowing myself a bit of a fist pump here, I feel like I've observed a kiwi in the wild, or I'm one of the scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider who finally found evidence of the elusive Higgs Boson (don't worry, I won't be presenting this story in comic sans). because as far as elusiveness goes, Mike Duffy from Ekim Burgers is the king.
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.
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.
Let’s hear it for the ladies! I mean, It’s no secret there are less women in the food industry than men, but from my experience those that do find themselves drawn to the industry are an incredible breed of woman. You have already met Vicky, feisty little thing she is, and pie-queen Brandie.
This next story comes with a bit of a content warning – mum, I’m sorry, there are quite a few swears coming up. But if you ever met Vicky Ha of House of dumplings, you would know that if I was to censor this interview, I wouldn’t have much left, and it would also be taking away what is truly great about her! She is sassy, honest and incredibly fun to be around. I have no doubt that when Vicky was born she didn’t cry, she laughed her almighty laugh, said “about fucking time” and walked straight out of the womb.
Sushi is sort of the ‘it cuisine’ of the corporate lunch world. Popular places have people lining up around the corner for their healthy lunchtime fare. But I find it hard to take places seriously that have cream cheese in their sushi.