Skittery rain and gusty south westerlies prevailed. A wintry Auckland day one would rather spend indoors than out, but it had taken some serious diary juggling to get all three of us together that Sunday afternoon.
An unremarkable strip of shops line the junction of Sandringham and Kitchener Roads but as we discovered on our three hour walking tour, looks can be deceptive. As we descended on the local community centre with a dozen or so fellow foodies, our guide Lisa Loveday from Eat Auckland served up a delightful mango lassi – a refreshing palate cleanser of natural yogurt, cardamom and pureed mango.
First stop on the Sandringham Food and Spice Tour was Mumbai Chaat, a regular feature in Metro magazine’s top 100 cheap eats. This vegetarian Indian restaurant’s extensive menu with scant descriptions was a deliberate ploy to get diners to engage with the staff, our host’s family and ask questions about the food and its origin. The feather light puffs of Sev Puri, and the crispy Dahi Puri topped with yoghurt signalled the start of an afternoon of tingling taste buds.
Not only does Satya Spice Market have an amazing array of more than 80 spices – single or blends ground and roasted to order, a peek behind the curtain revealed the perfect place to relax and indulge in a cup of chai.
The Afghan kebab at Paradise, our final destination for the day, ensured there was no need any dinner.
Meeting the passionate and enthusiastic people behind the restaurants and food markets, tasting authentic specialities, and hearing their story really brought to life the amazing ethnic diversity of Sandringham Village.
If you fancy spending a Sunday afternoon in food heaven, click here for more information. Lisa and her team really know how to create a fabulous foodie adventure.
ps Eat Auckland latest offering – Balmoral Dumplings and More Tour