Becoming a Dumpling Master

Sachie's Kitchen Taste of Asia #brunchclub

On Sunday last week #brunchclub hosted our very first Taste of Asia dumpling class, thanks to the generous folks at Contiki and also thanks to the amazing skills of our teacher, Sachie (from Sachie’s kitchen).

Sachie's Kitchen #brunchclub Taste of Asia

It was one of my favourite #brunchclub events, despite not technically revolving around brunch. Turns out I am great at making vegetarian dumplings. Super great. Like, you should invite me to your house to cook you and your friends dumplings great. Okay I exaggerate slightly, I may have taken quite a while to get used to the pinch and seal method and almost burnt a whole pan of delicious dumplings. But still, it was delicious.

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Mine looked nearly this pretty. Nearly.

We were split into teams to compete in a variety of tasks, most importantly, dumpling deliciousness. Sachie was an amazing teacher and was absolutely hilarious. If you are looking for amazing cooking classes for a corporate event or group event then go no further. I couldn’t have improved the set up at all.Sachie's Kitchen #brunchclub Taste of Asia

The whole event sped by and before long we were stuffed full of perfectly cooked dumplings and chatting about travel to Asia with the friendly Contiki staff.

#brunchclub Dumplings Sachie's Kitchen

I think the photos do a pretty great job at showing how much fun everyone had. Enjoy.

 

 

#brunchclub Contiki Sachie's Kitchen

Starting off easy with some origami. Easy in that I couldn’t do it at all.

#brunchclub Taste of Asia Sachie's Kitchen

#brunchclub Taste of Asia sachies kitchen

#brunchclub Taste of Asia Sachie's Kitchen

#brunchclub Sachie's Kitchen

#brunchclub dumplings contiki

Sometimes when I am paying attention super well I end up looking rather bored. Awkward.

#brunchclub Taste of Asia

Deep fried cheese filled dumplings. HEAVEN

#brunchclub dumplings with Sachie's Kitchen

Overall it was an amazing day, organised well and executed perfectly. It wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible help of Contiki and Sachie’s Kitchen, so thanks to them both. A big thanks to my amazing other half, Edd, for his beautiful photos. Don’t worry, we paid him in dumplings.

 

Sachie's Kitchen #brunchclub Contiki

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#brunchclub’s Festive Feast with Chuffed

festive feast with chuffedSo on Sunday we wrapped up the year’s #brunchclub with a rather wonderful feast at Chuffed on High Street in Auckland. It was the perfect way to end the a year that has been full of surprises for #brunchclub, primarily in that it made the transition from being an excuse for me, Laura and Maddy to go eat delicious food and talk blogging to a huge group of incredible New Zealand bloggers. Each month I meet new people and we try new amazing spots in Auckland where we can chat over coffee and brunch.

 Chuffed Auckland Cafe  #brunchclubIts been amazing, and Laura and Maddy are two inspirational bloggers who have become my close friends through this whole thing (a side effect of #brunchclub for which I couldn’t be more grateful).

Maddy, Laura and Lizzy from #brunchclub

Finally a photo with all three of us!

To finish off the year we had 20 wonderful men and women (including ourselves) for a Christmas feast, featuring Turkey, Ham and all the wonderful vegetables you could imagine. Chuffed was a beautiful venue, a little haven in the middle of the city with a stunning outside area that was perfect for our group.

Decor for #brunchclubFood at Chuffed for #brunchclubFood at Chuffed for #brunchclubFood at Chuffed for #brunchclubFood at Chuffed for #brunchclubChuffed Cafe AucklandChuffed festive feast #brunchclubWe had a mixture of bloggers who regularly come to #brunchclub, and others for whom this was their first time, which was so cool (I still can’t believe how many great bloggers there are in Auckland!). We ate and talked the day away, and then rushed down for a quick look at the Auckland Fair (which looked incredible!).

#brunchclub festive feast at ChuffedI nearly forgot to talk about the desserts which were the most delicious part of the day in my dessert-loving opinion. There were two different options, a brioche and blackberry thing with marscapone (which looked delicious and was full of fresh berries), and my personal favourite, a lemon posset with berry coulis and crushed amaretto. Honestly, the lemon posset was delicious, like mind bogglingly delicious. I could have eaten them all, and nearly did. Everyone’s lucky they managed to obtain one to be honest.

Desert at #brunchclub

Drooling all over my key board. Someone help me make this.

Desertat #brunchclub at ChuffedThank you to everyone who joined us for our festive feast, and thanks also to every single person who has become a part of our little #brunchclub and has made this whole year incredible. Also go check out some wonderful posts about this Christmas #brunchclub over at The Confetti Room and Katerina Darling (two absolutely stunning blogs and equally stunning ladies who came along).

Christmas Chocolate FudgeAlso! I may have made some Christmas fudge for the giftbags to go along with some great little goodies from Lush! The post will be up in the next couple of days and would make a great gift for that one person who has everything (mostly shameless self plug trying to encourage you to check back later).

Festive decor with #brunchclubWe can’t wait to bring in the New Year and see what 2015 will bring for #brunchclub. To finish off a bit of a rambly post, below are 5 little things I have learnt from this year (’cause I love lists and you hopefully love lists too):

  1. I do not find socialising with new people easy and potentially never will (put me with cats and its a whole other story). Somehow in spite of this every single time I manage to meet some incredibly friendly and wonderful people who make the effort well worth it
  2. Anything is possible with two amazing friends who seem to be able to achieve a ridiculous amount of stuff in limited time.
  3. There seems to be a never ending supply of amazing cafe’s in Auckland and my goal in life is to try everyone’s pancakes.
  4. Glitter is really hard to get off your face after a hard night’s crafting. You may still look like a Christmas decoration the next day at work, regardless of showering.
  5. There is nothing better than spending a Sunday with like minded people, drinking coffee and eating delicious food.

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festive feast #brunchclub

October’s #brunchclub

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So to start off, #bloggersbrunchclub has had a makeover and is now #brunchclub, check out the new website and check out the facebook group if you aren’t already acquainted. With our new, streamlined name we had something special lined up for Octobers get together, and Tuihana Cafe was just the place to host it.

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We had a big group this month, around 15 people who came to chat over good food and coffee and get to know one another (I will never stop being amazed at the number of bloggers in Auckland). Laura and I had arranged some pretty special goodie bags with the help of some great local brands, but i’ll do a post on that later. Tuihana had agreed to host our noisy bunch of bloggers and it was a great, albeit pretty overwhelming, morning.

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I got the pancakes (which will not come as a surprise to anyone who has brunched with me recently) and they were accompanied by a delicious salted caramel sauce in place of maple syrup. Edd (who had come along for the first time to help us with photos) had the mushrooms on toast, which looked and smelt amazing. I also got major food envy from the corn fritters with guacamole ’cause they looked divine.


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After we had all stuffed ourselves with too much food and hyped ourselves up with some coffee, Nate, owner of Tuihana and director of 3bit, had agreed to share some of his knowledge on cafes, business and how social media fits into all of this (you can find Tuihana on Twitter and Facebook!). It was great to hear about how cafes can utilize social media to stand out in what is obviously a pretty competitive market, especially in Auckland. Stephanie did a great post around what we heard about over on her blog.

Sharing all that knowledge, thanks Nate!

Sharing all that knowledge, thanks Nate!

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Tuihana was a great place for brunch, with a delicious menu but also a comfortable space that was pretty central (located on Dominion road and with carparking which can always be a bit of a struggle). They do a great variety of food which is a mixture of Pacific island and European influences. The little touches, like the fact that their smoothies came in milk bottles, made them memorable and different. And of course, the coffee. Their coffee was great, no nonsense but good quality and well made. All ticks from me.

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With our heads and tummies full we parted ways to enjoy the rest of our weekend, but it was a great morning and thanks to each and every blogger who came along! Also a special thanks to my other half who did such an amazing job with taking some photos (if we are married do I get half the credit for his talent? That’s how it works, I’m pretty sure). Thanks also to Tuhiana Cafe for hosting us! I know I will be back to try out the lunch menu for sure (and probably just end up eating the pancakes as per always).

Check out a couple of other posts on Octobers #brunchclub below (and if I missed anyone please let me know!)

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Brunch Club #3: Ironique Cafe

 

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Hi All!

Today brings stormy weather to Auckland but what better way to enjoy the weather than to eat brunch with great people in a covered outdoor cafe? Well there may be better ways but regardless brunch was delicious.

We were planning to visit a popular new spot in Mt Eden but by the time we got there at 11am they had stopped serving breakfast…which seems kind of ridiculous to me but perhaps that’s just because “morning-person” is not a phrase that anyone would ever use to describe me. So cold and being buffeted by wind and rain we decided to take Brunch Club to the nearby Ironique Cafe  which both Laura and Maddy had previously been to and enjoyed.

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We found ourselves sitting outside of all places, in an amazing covered courtyard area which was fantastic. The decor was funky and different, with pots and pans and little bits of rusty iron decorating the walls. Add to that the adorable sparrows that were milling around outside and I was pretty happy with the location.

From the moment I saw the menu I was confident the food would be delicious and we weren’t disappointed. After much (painful) deliberation I chose to go with the Vegetarian Big Breakfast, which was highly recommended. Where do I even start? This meal was packed with so much deliciousness my brain could hardly believe it was all vegetarian. Let me list it for you: perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, homemade spicy potato rosti, crunchy ciabatta bread, slow roasted tomato, fresh avocado, pesto topped mushrooms (which I must learn how to make), flavoursome homemade baked beans, and my personal favourite, pan-fried haloumi.

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Everything was cooked well and the serving was generous  (what I would expect for $18.90). Laura’s chorizo/rosti/poached egg dish looked drool worthy and all in all the food was without criticism (its hard to critique with a mouth full of deliciousness).

The coffee was reportedly good but nothing mind blowing and my feijoa smoothie was fresh, refreshing and full of feijoa flavour (which I should just mention now is my favourite fruit).

All in all, with lovely decor, delicious food and a great variety of options I can see myself heading back there soon.

Gratuitous haloumi shot...because I can

Gratuitous haloumi shot…because I can

Have a great Sunday and keep safe in this stormy weather! And if you ever want to join our little bloggers brunch club just contact me via twitter or facebook 🙂

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Brunch Club #2: Al’s Deli

So I sadly missed last month’s Blogger’s Brunch Club but this month was back in motion with a visit to the trendy new Al’s Deli near the top of Queen Street in Central Auckland.

DSC_4821 We chose this place due to its central location and delicious sounding menu! Maddy and Laura were there as well as Sandi who it was a pleasure to meet! We started off with drinks and luckily the coffee here is strong and full of flavour.

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On to the good stuff, what we ate! Al’s Deli is famous already for its delicious homemade bagels (they even do gluten free ones!) as well as their selection of amazing sweet treats. Naturally most of the lovely ladies opted for the Bagels, testing out “The Plateau” (crispy chicken, aioli, roquette and tomato) as well as “The Saint” (featuring their home cured maple smoked salmon with the classic combo of cream cheese, capers and red onion). Being a newly fledged vegetarian I couldn’t wait to get my hands (or rather fork, I have some rare manners) on their Roast carrot, beetroot and haloumi salad. My salad was nothing short of wonderful with a generous amount of roast vegies, thick slices of tasty haloumi, crispy bagel chips and lemon vinaigrette. The bagels looked delicious and seemed to go down a treat however the twice fried chips didn’t quite live up to our hefty expectations.

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We couldn’t leave without tasting a few sweet treats (despite being rather full) so shared a Maple Butter Moose Ear (a unique Canadian pastry, something between a pancake and bread), a cronut (if you haven’t tried these yet you are seriously missing out!) and the apple fries with caramel sauce. I love a good cronut but the highlight for me were the apple fries which were too delicious for my brain to handle, especially when smothered in home made caramel sauce (ie the best thing ever). What a wonderful way to end a meal with lovely people and a nice location! You can read more about another time I tried some of their sweeter menu items over at nzgirl!

Look at all the delicious things to enjoy! And the funky decor :D

Look at all the delicious things to enjoy! And the funky decor 😀

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The amazing apple fries with homemade caramel sauce. Could life get any sweeter?

Can’t wait to find out where we are going next month!
If you would like to take part in Blogger’s Brunch Club just let us know on twitter (@liz_lock).

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One more photo of a cronut….just because. Drool.

Lizzy xx

p.s. Go show my facebook page some love!

Brunch Club Part 1: Mozaik

Hi All,

Happy Weekend! So this week was a bit of a challenge with work stress and trying to resist gluten as well as being a bit exhausted however the work week ended on a high with a work get together last night that was a lot of fun! Then the weekend rolled around, bringing with it my first brunch with two beautiful and lovely blogging friends, Laura from The Dizain Collective and Maddy from Madicatt (both awesome blogs, grab some tea and take a look!).We had so many options in Auckland for great brunch spots but decided to go with something tried and tested, Mozaik in Mt Eden (I have never tried a Mozaik but everyone else had always had positive experiences). My main concern was that being in the middle of my gluten free trial I might not be able to find something delicious to eat but luckily Mozaik was a great choice with the option of gluten free bread instead of the normal (delicious) stuff.

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To eat I ended up choosing the Field mushrooms with blue cheese sauce and bacon on gluten free toast (tip for bunch blogging, choose more attractive looking food to blog about). My dish arrived sans bacon which was very unfortunate (but handled pretty well by the friendly staff) but was still very delicious! I am a big fan of mushrooms and these were juicy and perfectly cooked with a subtle blue cheese flavoured creamy sauce. The pesto drizzle around the edge was also divine. The gluten free bread was plain but much nicer than I had envisioned. Maddy had a big breakfast which looked delicious and Laura chose the homemade hashbrown which will be my first pick once I am off my GF trial! To drink I had a feijoa smoothie (I can never resist the allure of feijoa) and then also had coffee to take home to Edd which was satisfying especially after a pretty big night.

 

All in all the food was delicious and with many yummy items on the menu I will definitely be back. More importantly than the food was the great opportunity to catch up with friends and share lots of information with each other. I think we sat there for about an hour after eating because there was so much to talk about. This brunch club might be the best thing ever! We plan to do it about once a month and so I will hopefully get to share some other great cafe’s with you. If anyone is interested in joining us just tweet me (@liz_lock).

Oh and I almost forgot, I set up a facebook page for myfoxycorner so please go check it out!