Tanpopo

I got recommended by a friend to this place a while ago, it’s Tanpopo around the corner of Anzac Ave and Beach Road. It’s very difficult to spot, and on top of that, it’s hard to find a parking space. Anyway, I had a couple of samples, see below:

Tanpopo - Shio Butter Corn Ramen

Shio Butter Corn Ramen.

Tanpopo - Shio Ramen

Shio Ramen.

The Shio Ramen is $10 and the Shio Butter Corn Ramen is $11.50. There’s really nothing outstanding to say about this place. The environment is kinda plain and that goes with the dishes. Perhaps it’s the lack of variety because they only had ramen and nothing else. The pricing is about the same as any other Japanese ramen shops.  The staff is quite friendly. To me, it wasn’t worth finding a parking for (Sorry!). To be honest, if I was to park around there, I’d just go to Saigonz which has the best Vietnamese noodle soups!

Anyway, my rating is a 7/10. There’s no negatives but no positives as well. Good for ramen if you’re craving that kind of dish in that particular area.

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The Don

When you mix cheese with Japanese food, it’s surprisingly good. The Don is one place I’ve noticed using this technique (there’s probably more of this and people need to tell me!). The Don is located on High Street and has been highly recommended in other blogs. I’ve been here a few times and have taken a fair amount of photos. Here goes:

Don - Chicken Namban Don

Chicken Namban Don.

Don - Pork Cheese Katsu Don

Pork Cheese Katsu Don.

The Don - Pork Katsu Don

Pork Katsu Don.

The Don - Soy Sauce Braised Beef Udon

Soy Sauce Braised Beef Udon.

Don - Prawn Cheese

Prawn Cheese.

The Don - Beef Cheese Roll

Beef Cheese Roll.

To save writing up prices of the meals that will certainly confuse you all; the meals costs $11 or $11.50, the Pork Katsu Don and Beef Udon at the higher end. The side dishes (tapas) such as the Prawn Cheese and Beef Cheese Roll cost $7 and $6.50 respectively. So expect to pay around that per side dish, which isn’t too bad. Oh, they’re only available after 5pm.

Overall, I’m impressed with the dishes. No disappointment on my visits there and environment is good for a quiet meal. The pricing and quality of the dishes are above average with just the right amount of variety. My rating is 8.5/10. The cheese can be overwhelming (and I believe fattening). A must try though. =)

Vivace Espresso (Christchurch CBD)

This is quite a random one. So here goes.

I was at Christchurch about a month ago and wanted to find good breakfast in the CBD on a Sunday morning. It was extremely difficult and the only place that looked damn good was  Drexel’s Breakfast Restaurant, and they were overcrowded and only took bookings!! Anyway, suprisingly, 2nd choice wasn’t too bad. Vivace is located on the same street as Drexel’s, Hereford St. The meals ordered were:

Vivace Espresso - Big Breakfast

Big Breakfast.

Vivace Espresso - Pancake

Pancakes with blueberry and banana.

Vivace Espresso - Latte Bowl

Latte Bowl.

The Big Breakfast costs $17.50, and pancakes costs $15. Both meals were fantastic but took a while for them to prepare.  The latte was good too.

Highly recommended but needs work on the timing for serving their meals. My rating 8/10.

Nite Spice

Nite Spice is a discreetly located Indian restaurant on Khyber Pass Road, very near Selera. Apparently, it is one of four branches in Auckland. Of all the foods I’ve eaten and packed into my already bloated stomach, Indian food is quite a a rare one for me. Nite Spice apparently has a lunch time deal which gives you a curry, naan, rice and a drink! So I went there immediately for a try. Samples below:

Nite Spice - Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken.

Nite Spice - Lamb Saagwala

Lamb Saagwala.

The combo is $10.99, and I thought it was fantastic. The curry doesn’t appear to be mass-produced like the ones you see in the food court. Furthermore, they had a variety of curries which I can’t remember but all can be seen in the Menu on their website.

I was impressed with the overall package, you get a good drink, delicious curry, good ol’ favourite naan and rice. I can’t complain and will have to give this place a favourable 9/10. I think it’s a great option for lunch if they keep this combo deal going.

Giapo

This place is quite a goodie. It’s very near the Burger Fuel on Queen St. Giapo serves gelato in traditional and fruit flavours. I’ve only been there twice, but have been impressed. The triple chocolate (?) and tiramisu flavours are very good. Below is a medium cup for $7:

Giapo Medium Cup Gelato

Medium Cup Gelato.

Highly recommended, 9/10. They have a facebook page as well.