Inside My Mind #3

  • Today is Labour Monday in New Zealand yet for some reason I offered to do a ten hour shift instead of enjoy the sunshine. Crazy but just keeping the idea of the money in my mind.
  • Also Christmas is not far away (57 Days according to Christmas clock) and I am 80% excited and 20% terrified at how behind I am. 57 days seems like heaps of time but then I find out that people have already finished their shopping.

  • I have been trialling out Lush’s Dream Cream and I think I might be in love. It isn’t cheap so I am reluctant to shell out on the full tub but I know it will last ages and my skin seems to kind of love it. I also smelt the Snow Fairy shower gel that EVERYONE raves about and I couldn’t stand it…It is SO sweet. I much prefer the new rose jam scent. I must be crazy.
  • Edd sent me this link the other day. Unlikely animal friendships just make me happy.
  • Went to Barillia on the weekend so Mr 12 could experience thier dumplings. Was so excited to try the pork and chive dumplings which everyone raved about but unfortunately every single dumpling had an unexplainable big piece of prawn inside (which being allergic to seafood meant I couldn’t eat). I would still go back in a heartbeat but will have to be super careful in case something like that happens again.
  • I am about to start reading Allegiant and I am very excited. It must be the first time in ages I have bought a physical book from book shop full price (and not just the $2 books at opshops).
  • I am also currently reading The Magic (part of The Secret series) and although it is 80% cringeworthy I am hopeful that the remaining 20% will be useful in making me more grateful for what I have.
  • I am planning to start experimenting in cutting out certain food groups (e.g. doing a month gluten free) and seeing how it affects my skin as well as overall health. I think I will try cutting out gluten first of all so any tips on coping without wheat are very welcome.
  • Edd and I are about halfway through Breaking Bad’s final season and it is so intense! I feel like I am holding my breath for the whole episode. I will almost be relieved once it is all over I think.

walter white say my name breaking bad gif

  • On less trendy tv show news I am officially addicted to Beverly Hills Nannies. It is sad and shameful but I thought I should just come out and admit it to you all. It reminds me of being a Nanny but is 100% more glamorous and way more social than my Nannying ever was. I knew I was a sucker for reality tv but I didn’t know it was this bad. Is there some kind of terrible tv rehab because I think I may need it.
  • I can’t wait for this day to be over so I can go home and sleep. Happy Monday everyone!
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My Big Little City: Barilla

So this Dumpling restaurant hidden under ugly bright green decor and a pretty plain sign is no secret from the Auckland hipster scene and I just could not help but feel slightly interested in what this Dumpling restaurant had that the 99 other dumpling establishments (on the same road) didn’t. I am not really a big dumpling fan personally, especially being allergic to seafood and finding hidden prawns minced up in all the “veggie” dumplings I try. However, one day last week Edd and I went with 5 friends from work out to test out the dumplings and judge it for ourselves.20130930-194128.jpg

The service was lackluster which is kind of part of the charm of this no frills, no nonsense dumpling paradise. Don’t bother asking for a fork or expecting everything to come at the same time with a smile because odds are it won’t. I wasn’t too fussed as I knew this going in and was just looking for a decent feed and a good night with friends. Well both of those expectations were met and exceeded.

So I guess I should discuss the food. Dumpling wise we chose the lamb and chilli, chicken with mushroom and spring onion and beef with …. maybe capsicum? I would like to try the Pork and Chives which I heard lots of good things about but this time around we were accommodating for my intolerance of seafood and someone else’s non-pork preference. The dumplings are approx $12 for 20 and you choose them to be either fried, steamed or boiled. We tried one with each method to test it out and figure out what we preferred. The dumplings were nothing short of delicious. The fillings were tasty and fresh and the dumpling pastry was light and perfectly cooked. My favourite method was having them steamed with the fried dumplings next on the ladder. The boiled were my least favourite and I would skip that next time.

Aside from the dumplings there is a big menu of stir-fries and side dishes. The advice I had heard was to pretty much ignore everything except the dumplings and the fried french beans. We (stupidly?) decided to get a dish of fried rice which was very generous and was a nice little way to soak up the juices but in all reality was a very average fried rice. It kind of seemed like just boiled rice with some frozen veggies stirred through. Very average but if you need some carbs it does the job.

The french beans on the other hand were a whole other story. On the menu they sound a bit strange (Fried french beans with seasoned salt) but once at the table these were a definite crowd pleaser and my favourite thing from the whole night. The beans were fried in a crispy light batter (similar to tempura) and sprinkled with the most delicious “seasoned salt” I have ever tasted, Salty, spicy and full of amazing flavour I could have taken a whole plate of these home for desert.
20130930-194143.jpg All in all we each paid $10 each for our delicious meal and yet were very full and extremely satisfied. The only change I would make to Barilla would be to make it BYO because the lack of alcoholic options was dissapointing for some (personally the endless tea did the job quite fine for me!). Would I go back? In a heartbeat. Delicious and yet affordable and a great option for a big group of people who want an affordable night out. We are already planning our next trip.

Go try Barilla out! Its situated at 571 Dominion Road, Balmoral (close to St Lukes and to Mt Eden) and is open 11.30am-12am so perfect for a family lunch in the holidays or a dinner with a big group of friends. And don’t be put off by a D rating that they became a little infamous for, they now sit pretty at an A to the delight of many Aucklanders (hipsters and average Joes like me included!).

p.s. Please excuse the very average iphone photos. I would feel like a bit of a weirdo with our heavy duty Nikon out at the dinner table and was a little too distracted by deliciousness to take good photos. You really have to try it anyway, photos can’t do justice.