Tuesday, August 30, 2011

La Porchetta, Christchurch, New Zealand

We have been looking forward to this meal in New Zealand after reading lots of positive comments about La Porchetta in online review websites. This restaurants holds a wide chain of outlets across Australia and New Zealand, with 2 being in Christchurch itself.

Pictures of posh cars were seen hanging on the wall. Seating area provided are comfortable with a children's play area in one corner. And the best part of all, the food is delicious and comes in very affordable price.

 superbly cheesy pizza - $7.50

 marinara pasta - $12.50 

alla matriciana - $12.50 

The pasta comes in both entre and main sizes main one priced at a little higher price.
I would say that this will be the place i will frequent if i were to live in Christchurch. Besides that, they also offer a wide variety of desserts from ice cream to brownies.

Where at?
Find your nearest location at http://www.laporchetta.com/index.php

The one i visited is at 484 Cranford St, Papanui SI, 8052

Tel no: +643 3523094

Sunday, August 28, 2011

hot chocolate - be it white or dark

I definitely had more than 3 cups of hot chocolate drink in my entire trip in NZ. And all the hot chocolate drinks that i had came in similar manner; a sprinkle of coco powder on top and 2 marshmallows to be dipped.
Honestly speaking, i had to put up my white flag after these 3 drinks because i finally realise my crave for sweetness can never beat that of those in NZ! ;p *no offense* The chocolate drink is already very sweet, be it white or dark chocolate and to eat it with marshmallows? That is just not my cup of tea.
Knowing myself, a person who earns phobia easily over "scary-some" food, i will most probably stop drinking chocolate for the next few weeks and cut out marshmallows completely from my life...well perhaps...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mitch's Cafe, Timaru, New Zealand

On our journey towards Christchurch from Dunedin, we stopped by Timaru to have late breakfast. It is a lovely little cafe, overlooking the streets and buildings of shoplots.

The host of this cafe is so sweet and always ever-ready to help. I could still remember her offering to help me open up the butter. She even allowed us to use the "staff-only" toilet.
There, i found the yummiest muffin i have ever eaten in my entire life!


 mac and chees $8

highly recommended mixed berry muffin $4

made in NZ butter to be eaten with the muffin for those of you who are not sweet-tooth

Where at?
48, Stafford Street, Timaru 7910 NZ

Tel no: +643 6844541

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

picnic day!!

The coach-cruise-coach ticket to Milford Sound we bought came with a lunch pack. Also not really the kind of meal i would like but better than having nothing to eat! ;)
As mentioned in the previous post, they were trying to clear the avalanche so roads to Milford Sound for us to take our cruise was closed temporarily. Lucky us, we only had to kill 3 hours before the road is good to be passed.

 my lunch packed in brown paper bag

chicken ham sandwich, a piece of brownie and an apple (to keep the doctor away!)

Having live in Malaysia where sun is always part of my life, i try to avoid it (heard of sun burn?). But this place which our guide left us at for our lunch was so freaking cold, plus the strong wind, and we only have outdoor sittings, i had no choice but to sit directly where the sun shines. And, for the first time, i am loving the sun! ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

China City Restaurant, Te Anau, New Zealand

We stayed at Te Anau for 2 nights. There is only 1 road leading to Milford Sound and roads could be closed at times due to avalanche. Snow falls 24/7 a year in that area. We almost got to see an already-happening avalanche and because of this our journey was slowed down by 3 hours; they need to clear the avalanche in order to open the road for people.
Just after like 5 days away from home, i am already starting to miss my home country's local cuisine. I told my travel mates, i MUST, no matter how have Asian that night! Lucky for us, there was this Chinese restaurant in this remote town. Te Anau is indeed a very small town as people usually stopped over here to go to Milford Sound.

 such a familiar sight in restaurants :D

 roast pork fried rice $15

 so used to having chilli in every meal - this is my catalyst! ;p

 chicken fried noodle $16

i find the noodle a little too oily

If i were to stay long in Te Anau, this would be the place i will have my every day meals! :)

Where at?

6, The Lane, Te Anau 9600 NZ

Tel no: +643 249 8337

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Burger King, New Zealand

I could still remember all the hoo-ha when Burger King (BK) opened its first franchise in Penang. Its business blooms everyday for almost a month before all the BK madness starts to tone down. However, BK in Australia and New Zealand is a norm among its people. So, as a tourist, i must try and blend in with the locals and experience their very own "have-to-have" basic meals.
Obviously, the BK in New Zealand has a wider varieties and especially for non-beef eaters like me, i am so thankful that they offer more chicken menu than that of Malaysia's outlets.

 Burger King entrance in Queenstown

 flaming great value starting from $2.70 for ala carte to $5 for set

frozen coke (something new to me) and for a person who dislikes carbonated drink, this is actually quite bland

my set at $5.60

If you don't do the conversion, the price you pay here is definitely much cheaper. No wonder fast food to them is like hawker's food to us! ;p

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ice cream from New Zealand

My friend who has been residing in the 4 seasons country told me that i must eat ice cream if i ever visit such country during winter. I never believed her until when i made my debut in Sydney about 5-6 years. Since then, i have always find opportunities to have ice cream whenever i visit such countries during winter.

 the Tarras store which i bought my ice cream from is on the left of the Merino Shop

left: hokey pokey flavor (NZ's traditional ice cream flavour, vanilla with toffee chips/lumps)
right: mixed berries

The ice creams, one sweet and the other sour makes a really perfect combination. By the way, the ice cream costs $3 per scoop and guess what, what i had for each flavour was considered as one scoop...YES, one scoop!! I don't think one scoop is ever interpreted this way in Malaysia! :D

How do i describe such a feeling? It is indescribable until you have tried it yourself! ;p

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Country Coffee Shop, Tarras, New Zealand

On our long drive towards Lake Tekapo from Franz Josef, we passed through many beautiful sceneries passing through the Haast Highway to Makarora, Tarras, Omarama and Twizel.
A stop at Tarras for lunch gives us the chance to dine at Country Coffee Shop.

 a fire place in house to keep you warm from the windy-ly cold weather

 a selection of sandwiches, cakes, to hot soups in the menu

 bangers and mash(gourmet pork sausage served with mashed potatoes) - $18

 salmon and couscous salad - $17.50

I think this place serves pretty decent food at a rather fair price for a good portion. You will definitely be passing Tarras if you were to drive to Lake Tekapo using the Haast Highway or if you want to go to Wanaka.
A very small town but worth a visit! ;)

Where at?
2792 Tarras Cromwell 9383

Tel no: +643 445 2821

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Monsoon Bar & Restaurant, New Zealand

Thank goodness the rained stop during our walk in the glacier valley. Not too long after we have completed our walk, the rain started to pour again. Town in Franz Josef consists of only 2 rows of streets packed with motels and bars and restaurants. We walked out from our motel and decided to dine at Monsoon Bar and Restaurant which is housed by Rainforest Retreat Motels and Holiday Park.

There is the fireplace inside the bar which immediately warms you up from the cold weather and rain.

a picture showing the Franz Josef glacier, probably a few decades ago

Too hungry, we didn't take much time to decide and ordered the pasta of the day which was cream mushroom pasta and toast garlic bread.
 mushroom cream pasta - $18

 toast garlic bread - $10

unfinished pasta - texture of pasta is too thick

unfinished crumbs of toast garlic bread - too hard

I must say my dining experience here is definitely not a good one. The food is not up to par at all, seeing the price we paid too. It is a little unfortunate as we do not have the chance to try out other places for we only had 1 night in Franz Josef. 

Where at?
46, Cron Street, Franz Josef, West Coast, NZ

Tel no: +643 752 0003

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Town Steamboat @ Macalister Road

It has been almost a year since my last steamboat for non-CNY (Chinese New Year) purpose. For most people of the olden days, steamboat is only the event for Chinese New Year reunion purposes. Don't know why but if you talk about reunion for Chinese New Year, it has got to be steamboat!
As this tradition still continues its journey, steamboat gathering is nothing awkward nowadays. People would go to steamboat for just a simple dinner or lunch but i find out that most steamboat restaurants operate only at night. Even if they were to operate during lunch, i suspect there will be many patrons as Malaysia weather is too hot to bear, moreover having steamboat when mr.sun scorches strongest during the mid-day.
Town steamboat consists of a very big space. A rough count tells it can cater up to 80 tables with each table having the capacity of sitting up to 5 people. You can do the math! ;)
For RM20.90 per person, there are actually a vast variety of food to choose from comparing with its other counterparts.
mini fountain at its entrance

man-painted fountain (looks real huh?)

  they have a built-in play area for kids 

 1st section: raw meat/fish balls, meat

 2nd section-fried stuff: dim-sum, lok-lok (how interesting to be having this in an already a steamboat place)

3rd section-desert corner: black herbal jelly, mango pudding, ice cream, cakes, fruits

my companion for the night

While such bbq cum steamboat restaurants don't usually last long, Town Steamboat seems to be progressing their way through and really maximising their profit over this business. It has been more than 3 years since their emergence. Another pioneer bbq steamboat restaurant is the one along Nagore Lane, more frequented by teenagers.
The newer one which is more preferable by most diners is the Xuan Xin steamboat whereby you do not need to do the bbq by yourself.

Where at?
Macalister Road, right opposite of UMNO building

Tel no: 04-2297273