The food first this time. Highlighting the best eats from the northern island of New Zealand.

After another day of travels-overnight flight from Bali to Sydney, hung in the airport for a couple of hours, and 3 hour flight to Auckland New Zealand. FYI Sydney had the worst airport food options especially for a major city. According to locals it’s because the  cost to rent in the airport is so high. Without doing research into the subject I would assume that to be true based on the amount of shop vacancies.

Once we landed in New Zealand we picked up our car, checked into our accommodations, and picked up groceries. Groceries to keep us fed during our many long drives in between towns, and for the next night when we would be in a cabin in the woods far from a restaurant.

At this point it was nearly 8pm and if following our schedule we had to be out of the hotel by 5:30am in order to get to Waikaremoana in time for a hike before the sunset. However, before relying on peanut butter sandwiches and hard boiled eggs, and because we had just been traveling for nearly a day we decided to look for a jazz show and something light to eat. Instead we happened upon Depot which was on Ryan’s list of restaurants to try while in Auckland.

We walked in with no expectations that we would be seated and instead were immediately given the chef’s table. Depot is just our kind of restaurant with seasonal dishes made to share, and so affordably priced-granted coming from New York this often is the case.

The wine list was spectacular with so many by the glass options. I had a glass of Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle  and Ryan I believe Ryan had the Pegasus Bay Sauvignon/Semillon Waipara Valley 2012.

Then a few plates to share. Everything was outstanding.

Fish tacos and duck fat yams:

Lamb ribs and baked cauliflower mash with cheese. I let Ryan have the ribs because I was all about the mash and even then neither of us was able to finish. So so so good!

I was happily content at this point but then saw the sugar pie and was like dessert is a must tonight even if I only take a bite!

Best sugar pie ever especially when paired with a cappuccino dusted with cocoa powder. I didn’t even know that was a thing! The US now has the flat white why can’t we import the idea of cocoa bits on our cappuccinos?

From there we walked back to the hotel and passed out-well somewhat. I must say the bed that night wasn’t so comfy…

Moving on to Hastings=all the wine tasting and eating after a day of hiking.

TeAwa for some wine tasting and an afternoon snack/lunch:

Owner’s cat was not shy.

Food options were rather average in Lake Taupo. But I will highlight Ryan’s stone grill meal from the Lake House. Assortment of meats including beef, lamb, and chicken brought out on a HOT stone where they would continue cooking to Ryan’s liking.

Whitianga for a Scallop festival!

Scallops prepped so many different ways. And we had all the scallops 😉

Close up just in case you never saw  the coral/roe of the scallop…I wasn’t really into the texture of the coral and only had a few . Mostly ate the white meaty part and gave the rest to Ryan :(.

Back to the northern area of Auckland for more winetasting and lunch…Bali was about cleansing and relaxing, New Zealand was about discovery and learning about their wine-especially since only a small percentage are available in the US.

Finally back to downtown Auckland, Giapo: ice cream creations like you’ve never seen before! Basically, flavor names are posted but the ice cream itself is behind a steel barrier so you can’t judge by looking alone. You’re allowed to taste as many flavors as possible until finding the one of your liking.