Three reasons foodies should be excited for level 3
Megan Wood shares her cooking (mis)adventures during lockdown and what she’s most excited about as we move to level 3.
The last four weeks have tested even the most enthusiastic home cook’s patience and resolve. With no takeaway food available and staples like flour often hard to come by, our kitchen abilities were tested. As the chief cook in my house I was creating meals for six people, including fussy children.There were big experimental successes, like a mince and cheese pie that disappeared faster than hand sanitiser, and not-so-super creations, like the exploding cupcakes I tried to bake.
It wasn’t all bad though: extra time at home saw me revive my dormant sourdough starter and start to mould crunchy goodness again (after managing to find flour in bulk). In fact, many baking projects that always seemed too time-consuming suddenly felt achievable: cinnamon buns made an appearance, extra lemons turned into a zingy citrus loaf and a wonderful vegan chocolate cake was born.
Reminiscing aside, and even as someone who adores cooking, I am salivating at the thought of being able to order takeaway again. Here are some of the other foodie reasons making me most excited about the move to level 3.
One can only imagine how frustrating it’s been for keen anglers to have all that downtime in great autumn weather and be unable to go fishing. Happily, level 3 will allow them to pack tackle and bait - and maybe a cold one or two - and head for the coast, providing they stay on dry land and don’t stray too far from home, of course. Hopefully their luck will be in.
For those who come home empty-handed, or who are less excited by the prospect of standing by the sea with a rod for hours as winter approaches, what better time to buy high-quality Kiwi kaimoana?
Supporting New Zealand businesses is more important than ever right now. Auckland’s Sanford and Sons has continued to deliver fresh seafood throughout lockdown, so if you are not the fishing type, you could let them do the work for you. This recipe for lime, chilli and ginger glazed salmon with Asian rice and greens is a great way with a succulent salmon fillet.
Of course fishing isn't the only activity that's been off the agenda during lockdown. Lovers of the outdoors have had to be satisfied with the odd run, short local bike ride or at-home workout. But that’s about to change. Level 3 means surfers can get back on their boards. What does this have to do with food? The answer is snacks. If you’re getting back out there you need a good supply of high-energy treats and these malt syrup bars are one of our favourites.
3. Dining in
Takeaway is coming! After four weeks of home cooking we can finally grab a curry, some drive-through or maybe fish and chips from our local. So many delicious choices that someone else will cook. It sounds heavenly.
Restaurants and cafes will continue to do it tough through Level 3, though. So hats off to those who are changing their approach by bringing high-end dining to your kitchen table. Here are three of the leading Auckland restaurants offering gourmet takeaway options. Go on, treat yourself.
Sid and Chand Sahrawat will be opening their award-winning restaurant Cassia for takeaway and delivery. The team have created a pared-down menu of three entrees, three sides and six mains (including their signature lamb seekh kebab curry) that will be available for contactless pick-up or delivery by front-of-house staff using electric scooters. All mains are $29, including rice and naan bread. Dinner will be available Tuesday to Saturday and lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. To order - and check the delivery area - visit www.cassiarestaurant.co.nz
Cazador in Sandringham has been among Auckland’s top restaurants for years. Plans to expand with their own delicatessen were delayed by lockdown but they’re seizing the opportunity for a test run in Level 3. From April 28 you can order hampers of goodies including Cazador charcuterie, cheese, bread, dips, crackers and sweets, as well as ingredients from other local suppliers. The hampers will be available for contactless pick-up or delivery. For details, visit www.cazador.co.nz.
Parnell institution Cibo is offering a three-course meal for $75. Your choice of entree, main and dessert will be ready for pre-arranged contactless pick-up or delivered free within 4km of the restaurant. Dishes range from whitebait to lamb rump and Korean-style pork belly. More at www.cibo.co.nz.