Looking for a Casual Affair?

It’s 5:15pm Wednesday. Typical peak hour in Auckland, the traffic’s starting to build.  Noisy kids clamour out of cars.  Mums looking a little relieved; squeals of delight escape from small faces as Dads arrive. It’s the second Wednesday of food trucks at La Cigale French Market in Parnell.

The crowd thickens, some meandering down the road from local businesses. Everyone’s looking very relaxed or maybe its relief after the Blackcaps' semi-final win last night.

La Cigale French Market truck stop

People wander checking what’s on tonight’s menu, others join a queue. Grabbing what they fancy: pulled pork and spare ribs, vegetarian burgers, chilli dogs, various sliders, prawns and much more.

Jerk chicken.jpg

Try craft beers from Hallertau Brewery, a Zeffer Cider or even a glass of French wine. For those still hungry; a fruity dessert pot, a gelato cone or a cheese plate.  Take your time, sit at communal tables and talk to fellow diners. Enjoy the entertainment - sing-a-long like me if you forget where you are. 

La Cigale French Market communal tables

Don’t take my word for it. The Food Trucks at La Cigale French Market, fortnightly on Wednesdays from 5pm - 9pm.  Mark Wednesday 8 April in your calendar now - the perfect school holiday treat for everyone.



A Night Out to Remember

A touch early for our reservation at The Sugar Club, glancing back up the escalator two men in blue blocked people’s entry. Standing at the concierge desk, there was suddenly a very recognisable voice that I couldn’t quite place. Slowly turning, I came face to face with him and his entourage.  Solemn, unsmiling men in dark suits and boring ties, with those trademark transparent spiral earpieces but where were the dark shades.  I smiled and he smiled back.

Suddenly there was a tap on my shoulder.  We were on the move. Whisked to the 53rd floor, a stunning harbour and city panorama awaited us. Daydreaming as the melodic tones of the Glaswegian waiter guided us through the menu, we were first delighted by a lemony Sugar Club Gin Fizz.  Every dish tantalised our taste buds as the wine flowed.  Then a chance conversation with guests at the next table, realising we had gone to school together. It was a serendipitous encounter.

Seared pacific tuna

Seared pacific tuna

So it may seem surprising to some that this was my first dining experience at The Sugar Club, at Auckland’s Sky Tower. A long time Peter Gordon fan, yes cookbooks and all, dining at the original Sugar Club in Wellington, and indulging in an extravagant night out during my OE, at Notting Hill in the late 1990s, it definitely won’t be my last.

Wild Paua

Wild Paua

The final touch.  A brief phone call (as I write) to ensure we had enjoyed our evening and even asking which dish we enjoyed most. Wild Paua, butter braised on smoked mash, creamed paua brioche and capers. In my mind it was absolutely perfect!