megandavid's Profile

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Eat Sydney (With The Kids)

Many thanks for that, we'll try some of those out.

In terms of preferences, we like.modern australian cuisine (hence the previous .est booking) and we'd be keen to know where and who is currently top of the crop. Other than that we are keen to try some of the best seafood and fusion restaurants, but are open to any other suggestions.

We are staying at the harbour end of the CBD and actually we are quite flexible about jumping in a minibus cab with the kids if there is a really special place in a outlying suburb (our eldest has been coming to restaurants with us since he was born).

We've currently shortlisted Bentley Restaurant and Bar, Bilsons, Pier, Guillaume at Bennelong, .est and Iceberg (we are thinking about the birthday lunch here) and would appreciate any feedback of these.

MD

Feb 03, 2008
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

North of Auckland NZ

Thanks for the update. We'll definitely be going to A Deco now.

Feb 03, 2008
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Eat Sydney (With The Kids)

We are heading over to Sydney for a long weekend and we'd really like some recommendations of some of the better child-friendly foodie destinations (we are taking our two boys with us; a 9 week old and 2 year old). We are staying in the CBD and but will be venturing out to Paddington on one of the days and are ideally we are looking for great food markets, delis and restaurants in or around Syndey.

Firstly, coffee. We love it, but we've never really found a great coffee stop in Sydney, so any recommendations in the CBD would be great so we can start our day fully charged. We also love our breakfasts and we've heard good things about Bills, so that is one of the potentials. Any other good breakfast places?

Finally ,we need a good place for lunch and dinner on the Sunday as we will be celebrating my husbands birthday. We are considering dining at The Establishment again (we ate there a year ago whilst our eldest slept next to us in his buggy) but would love to know where else you'd all recommend.

Megandavid

Feb 03, 2008
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Pinot Noirs

Indeed. The Marlborough Pinots are slightly cheaper and the quality of some of them have been on a paror surpassed those from Central Otago. Some our favourites from this year have been 2006 Julicher Martinborough Pinot Noir, 2006 Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Noir and the 2006 Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir.

Overall though you've got a pretty safe bet buying Pinot from Central Otago. Our wine cellar still has a few of the best Pinots over the last few years unopened including Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir 2001, Mt Difficulty Central Otago Pinot Noir 2003 and 2005, Mud House Marlborough Black Swan Reserve Pinot Noir 2003, Fairhall Downs Marlborough Pinot Noir 2004 and Peregrine Pinot Noir 2004.

The wineries we'd recommend visiting include Peregrine, Akarua, Mt. Difficulty and Chard Farm. Carrick Estate is also good if you want to have a great lunch as well but remember to book in advance.

Megandavid

Dec 20, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

North of Auckland NZ

We ourselves are heading up North in the New Year and there are a handful of places that you may want to consider.

We've heard good things about À Deco in Whangerei, which was a finalist in the Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Awards 2007. Also the Pure Tastes Restaurant at the Paihai Beach Resort (http://www.paihiabeach.co.nz/) in (surprisingly enough) Paihai as well as Kamakura in Russel.

Also if you get chance on the way up you should stop off at Matakana (http://www.matakanavillage.co.nz/) for the Farmers Market held every Saturday morning. Also we'd check out the Ascension Winery where we recently enjoyed a very delicious lunch.

Hope this helps.

Megandavid

Dec 20, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Where to have New Years dinner in Wellington?

This is a difficult one as many restaurants close over the Christmas/New Year period in New Zealand (something that has always puzzled me about NZ & Australia... surely this is a most lucrative time for restaurants with the amount of tourists visiting). Anyway, we were due to visit Wellington in the first week of January and I would have suggested Logan Brown and Martin Bosley, but I rang both and they will sadly be closed.

Of the other Wellington restaurants, those of note include:

Shed 5
Boulcott Street Bistro
The White House

Failing that there are a few little places near Courtney Place, but on New Years Eve you may find that more than a little rowdy.

Caveat for all though; ring ahead to avoid disappointment.

Megandavid

Dec 11, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

wineries/Napier area

I'd second Stanleyk's recommendations. If you are still around the Hawkes Bay region I'd also suggest Craggy Range and their absolutely fabulous Terrior restaurant. It is pricey and may be a little out of the way of Napier, but definitely worth it.

Kim Crawford is also worth a visit if you get chance.

Megandavid

Dec 11, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

South Island, NZ restaurants

For breakfast in Christchurch, try either Caffe Roma or Drexels (american style).

If you are strictly limited to Queenstown you should give Bathhouse (http://www.bathhouse.co.nz) or Amisfield Winery Bistro (http://www.amisfield.co.nz) a bash. That said, personally we found better dining experiences in Wanaka, so if you have the time you should head over the mountain range.

As for the other stops on your journey I'd also try http://www.cuisine.co.nz for more suggestions.

Hope this is helpful.
Megandavid

Apr 29, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Nov/Dec in Christchurch - where to eat ?

Not sure if we totally agree with all the above suggestions (especially the Speights... Marc Ellis has it right)

Our suggestions would be:

Mulberry Restaurant. Located on Columbo Street, we had an absolutely gorgeous feast here in Feb this year. Our best meal in New Zealand this year.

Rotherhams of Riccarton. An old favourite of ours and if you visit one place, this is probably it. Stunning food, good service, wine list to die for but can very rich and opulent (Martin the chef is Swiss) and the menu hardly ever changes, so we only go once in a blue moon.

Mythai Monkey Bar. A 'hot' little Thai place just off the Christchurch strip (a small street with banks of bars).

Indochine. The best Asian Fusion we've experienced in the South Island.

As ever, check out www.cuisine.co.nz (and no, we are not on commission - perhaps we should be).

Megandavid

Mar 30, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Wellington - New Zealand - Recommendations?

Having lived in the windy City for a wee while our recommendations would be Logan Brown, Bastille and the Roxborough Bistro (which incidentally has one of the most amazing someliers we have ever encountered). To be honest, you are spoilt for choice in Welly as the city has more restaurants per head of populations and cuisines from all over the world (ah the joys of the Capital).

As ever, I'd recommend checking out www.cuisine.co.nz for the latest restaurant reviews as well.

If you into breakfast take a trip around the bay to the legend that is Chocolate Fish.

Enjoy!

Megandavid

Mar 30, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Wondering About Moroccan in Wanaka

Rumours of its demise maybe premature as we were in Wanaka last year and looked at the menu, but decided to give it a miss (we ended up eating a delicious meal at Te Táwara ó Wanaka).

The White House Café & Bar is in the centre of town on the corner of Dunmore & Dungarvon Streets (Tel: +64 3 443 9595).

Mar 18, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Big Apple vs. Baby

Firstly many thanks to you all for your kind advice and suggestions. We will definitely give Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Babbo and Ottos (which also sound interesting) a try and let you know how we get on. To be honest, as suggested we'll probably elect for the highchair option and dine slightly earlier as we may be a little jetlagged.

We'd still like to try and eat at some of Manhattan's finest and would appreciate more suggestions. In our experience most restaurants do their best to accomodate us and we've been lucky that in our whole time dining out with him we have only had one restauranteur be a little difficult about it (when we were booking). They later came over at the end of the meal to compliment us on how quiet and well behaved he was. Hopefully our luck will continue during time in Manhattan.

Thanks again.

Megandavid and Finn

Mar 17, 2007
megandavid in Manhattan

Big Apple vs. Baby

Hi all!

Our little family of three will be making a flying visit (only to 3 nights and two days) to New York at the end of May and will be staying in Midtown. Our son will be 17 months old we we arrive and has been in many restaurants around the world since he was born. He is very well behaved and will most likely be asleep, so we are looking for child friendly restaurants that won't balk at the idea of a Bugaboo sitting beside our table and may even have a high chair should he wake.

As dedicated foodies, we are looking for a modern American dining experience (something new and happening as opposed to traditional French style) that is baby friendly. As an example of the sort of thing we are looking for, we took our son to Boulevard in San Francisco when passed through this February.

Some of the places we have shortlisted so far include: The Modern, Gilt, Gramercy Tavern & Aquavit. but would like advice on whether these would be appropiate with the little one.

We would also appreciate other suggestions for both lunch and dinner, but we we primarily want to focus on dinner and location is also key as we ideally would like somewhere nearby to where we are staying.

Hope you can help.

Megandavid & Finn

Mar 16, 2007
megandavid in Manhattan

Char Char Char Restaurant - Brisbane

We didn't particularly feel this place was much cop. We felt very rushed by the table staff and for a place purported to be the best steak house in Brisbane, the only decent plate of meat we got out of four plates with different cuts was the Wagyu Beef.

Disappointing.

Mar 15, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Best Restaurant in Auckland?

French Cafe is consistently winning awards and is generally regarded as the best restaurant in Auckland. To our shame we've never been (just never got around to it... will make up for that this year though) but many of our extended family have and always rave on about it.

Our personal favourite is Cibo in Parnell, the food is exceptional but can be frequented by many of the Auckland media types (or at least it was when I was living there). More recently, we would also recommend Dine by Peter Gordon.

Mar 15, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

What besides Vegemite should I request from Auckland?

I get my mother-in-law to send me over food parcels every now and again and get here to put this tasty treats in.

Breakfast stuff: No longer get my Vegemite from NZ as it has been available in the UK in some of the better supermarkets for a while now. Sometimes get some Weetbix sent over though.

Chocolate: I'd go with Pinky Bars (Chocolate and Marshmallow), Caramello (my ultimate favourite chocolate - Caramel inside a dairy milk chocolate bar) and finally Tim Tams (we have a penchant for the original and caramel ones - not to sure about the recent 'special edition' flavours they have been doing),

Crisps/Chips: Both Burger Rings (Barbeque flavour hoops) and Rashuns (Smoked Bacon-ish flavoured mishapen puffs) are sublime and very, very kiwi.

Drinks: I'd concur with L&P and 42 Below without a doubt. Also if you can do it, get a few bottles of Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc (preferably a Wairau Reserve or a Pioneer Block) as they far surpass the now over-rated Cloudy Bay.

Megandavid

Mar 15, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

Best Pies in NZ

Sadly Ponsonby Pies is no longer with us! I didn't believe it myself until I saw it with my own eyes when we were back in Auckland in Feb.

To be honest, I had the hardest time finding any decent Steak and Cheese pies this time we were back in NZ and we found most of the bakeries were now Asian run.

Mar 15, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand

dining in Nelson, South Island

I would concur with the Boat Shed Cafe, we ate there back in 2004/2005 and we had a fabulous time. It is a mainstay of the Wellington scene and as mentioned above the setting is gorgeous (see attached photo). Our memories of the places the seafood was divine and the waiting staff were excellent, the service more than matching the superb seafood on offer.

Finally, for I would also suggest looking at the Cuisine magazine website (www.cuisine.co.nz), NZ's premier food, wine and lifestyle publication for some inspiration. They review restaurants around NZ every issue and the website has all the previous reviews from back issues.

Enjoy!

Mar 15, 2007
megandavid in Australia/New Zealand