Back to the 50’s in New Plymouth

New Plymouth hosts Americarna, an all American car event, and also has its own American style Deluxe Diner. We pulled in to Deluxe Diner for breakfast and were impressed with the mint green and red decor, comfy booths, and big menu.

Deluxe Diner, New Plymouth

Deluxe Diner, New Plymouth

I’m a shocker for taking too long to choose my food but buttermilk pancakes always make it easy for me, Mike settled on the breakfast hot dog, both good choices. The drinks menu is almost as big as the food menu and stretches from cherry cola floats to Spirulina, VIP malted shakes to alcoholic … Read the rest

Curious Christchurch – Unusual Eats & Drinks

Vespa Bar, 225 High Street
Vespa themed Vespa Bar celebrated one year in their new High Street location in November 2014. Vespa adjoins the Stranges Lane development that opened in August. We called in to Vespa Bar for morning coffee and were served by a very friendly staff member, reason enough for us to go back on our next trip to Christchurch. Reason two could be the 2 for 1 cocktails Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 4pm (stay up-to-date with promotions on Facebook).

Vespa Bar, Christchurch

Vespa Bar, Christchurch

Vespa inspired cocktails include Helmet Head, and Jump Start. Express lunches are served … Read the rest

When it’s not a cronut it’s a ….

I bypassed the cronut craze of 2013, the croissant-doughnut cross was a marriage of way too many calories for me. Created in New York by Dominique Ansel, the cronut was so popular people queued for them and sold them on the black market. For some, queueing for cronuts was a way to earn a living. At one point people were apparently paying $5000 for 20 cronuts to be delivered in Manhattan, the retail price of a cronut is only $5! Demand must have slowed, Premium Croissant Doughnut Delivery is now charging $100 per cronut. If it happened to cronuts … Read the rest

Super speedy dinner delivery at C1 Espresso in Christchurch

Mike was travelling solo in Christchurch and thecuriouskiwi mission he chose to accept was to have dinner delivered via pneumatic tube at C1 Espresso. Initially delivery speed was up to 140km/h, surely the fastest dinner delivery in town, maybe even the world? Delivery speed has since been reduced to prevent food carnage.

The greens in your fast food may come from C1's gardens

The greens in your fast food may come from C1’s gardens

We first saw (and sent a cannister flying) around a pneumatic conveyor system at The Faraday Centre in Napier. The systems were once used in New Zealand department stores to transfer cash between divisions.

Eventually the … Read the rest

Thirsty Wellington – Unusual Places For A Brew

Below are a few unusual places for a brew, alcoholic or otherwise in Wellington ….

The Backbencher Gastropub, 34 Molesworth Street
The Backbencher Gastropub is opposite Parliament and has a political theme. There have been a series of satirical political puppets strung up over the years. Prime Minister John Key unveiled a new set of puppets in 2013, including one of himself disco dancin’. We’ll see if he’ll be ‘stayin’ alive’ after the 2014 election.

PM John Key disco dancin' & Minister Gerry Brownlee working on the Christchurch rebuild

PM John Key disco dancin’ & Minister Gerry Brownlee working on the Christchurch rebuild

There are a few spaces to eat and drink. You can … Read the rest

On a sweet trail in Auckland – Part One

Giapo, 279 Queen Street – ‘The Plated Cone’
Take your flatmate or your family of four, the plated cone is a whopper. We dubbed ours American Samoa – Mike chose California Pistachio gelato and I chose Siamu Popo – flavours of Samoa including coconut milk and lime juice.

One scoop of each gelato went into a waffle cone covered in chocolate. The cone was encircled by a large, thin, chocolate plate that tasted like a yummy chocolate wheaten biscuit. The plate was covered in hazlenuts and dotted with chocolate swirls. The whole shebang was topped with a macaron, and a … Read the rest

I wanted to be a prawn star …

… like Casey from Auckland who caught a 43.5cm long prawn at Huka Prawn Park in Taupo. After 3.5 hours of fishing I thought I’d have to settle for being a prawn star photographer as all I’d done was photograph other peoples prawns and feed fish that were continually stripping my hook of bait.

Casey's catch

Casey’s catch

However I kept baiting and kept waiting and after four hours I finally hooked a prawn. Did I taste success?

I was so excited .... a prawn at last

I was so excited …. a prawn at last

No, I looked at my little prawn and thought about how Mike had eaten some … Read the rest

Smash Palace Bar, Gisborne

The name Smash Palace gives an indication of what to expect – think a guy called Gazza getting a liquor licence for his second hand shop / wreckers yard and inviting his mates around for a party. There’s a pool table, Lion Red on tap and a mix of soft and hard rock on the sound system. Smash turns it up mid January for the annual rock and metal event – Hell Smash Fest.

Welcome to Smash Palace, Gisborne

Welcome to Smash Palace, Gisborne

Smash Palace, Gisborne

Smash Palace, Gisborne

Outdoor seating at Smash Palace

Outdoor seating at Smash Palace

Smash Palace, Gisborne

Smash Palace, Gisborne

One of Gazza’s mates has conveniently landed a DC3 in … Read the rest

Curiously Cool in Queenstown

Below Zero Ice Bar was a bit like a 3D New Zealand tourism brochure in ice, if you melted the polar bear. Although the polar bear’s handy for holding vodka bottles, and plenty of vodka is needed to fill the ice glasses with Perky Penguin and Chilled Kiwi cocktails.

Ice gondola at Below Zero

Ice gondola at Below Zero

Below Zero Ice Bar, Queenstown

Below Zero Ice Bar , Queenstown

The ice sculptures have changed since our visit, the jet boat may have gone but the gondola remains. The gondola comfortably seats two, although getting up close and personal isn’t a bad idea. After 30 minutes or so in Below … Read the rest

Curious ways with food

Inject it – Mister D, 47 Tennyson Street, Napier
Mister D are the pioneers of the DIY doughnut. Served warm, the doughnuts are covered in sugar and cinnamon, and come with a side syringe of custard, jelly or chocolate. They’re capital D’licious.

DIY doughnut at Mister D

DIY doughnut at Mister D

DIY doughnut - Capital D'licious

DIY doughnut – Capital D’licious

Unbake it – The Little Bird UnBakery, 385 New North Road, Kingsland
The Little Bird Unbakery in Auckland keeps it cool with their raw, organic and sugar free menu. Nothing is heated above 46°C, including the coffee. Being sugar free doesn’t mean a lack of treats in the … Read the rest