Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Brief Foray into Auckland CBD

Though we didn't explore much of Auckland proper, we did have 2 brief trips. The first was to Parnell, which wasn't as hectic as I thought it would be given its proximity to some of the main roads such as Queen Street. The main road was relatively quiet and people were relaxing on the outdoor seating of cafes enjoying a bevvy on a warm afternoon - absolutely no one was in a rush. (Note I don't have many Auckland photos as I wasn't feeling like taking any. Soz lol.)

We went down a little paved alleyway at the end of which was a waffle shop. For anything that had bread in it on the menu (such as mushrooms on toast), you could swap it for a waffle. They were pretty good, mine loaded up with fresh fruit, berry compote and cream. Yannick's was doused in chocolate in the form of sauce, ice cream and Nutella.

It's also where we found this little guy!
Now, I'm not a dog person. I am very much a cat person. But he was as small as a cat, only barked once the whole time we were there, and wasn't drooly. If I had to have a dog, it would be this dog. It's so fluffy!

Our bellies full, we went through the Parnell rose gardens to get down to an interesting little inlet called Judge's Bay where there were many people out sunbathing and swimming. We sat there for a while biding our time until our movie was going to start. Walking up a little hill, we saw a small but cheerful cemetary with a big tree and had a good view of the docks. Our time up, we went to the IMAX cinema to see Big Hero 6. We didn't see it in IMAX though, or even 3D (my preference is for 2D), and I highly recommend the film.

Upon reemerging into the daylight, we found a carpark by the Viaduct Basin and wandered around for a while. 
The Skytower was lit up in red and green (though the green wasn't very noticeable) for Christmas.

When we were suitably hungry again, we visited Baduzzi for "Italian inspired food and wine". We started with prosecco and a meat platter, followed by a sampling of the lamb meatballs. The meatballs here are delicious, and I want to come back to try out all the flavours. For main I had the saffron gnocchi, which were stuffed with goat's cheese. Stuffed gnocchi is a first for me. The sauce it came with was itself very sweet (perhaps a brandy sauce), but with the sour goat's cheese it was perfect.
For dessert I tried the deconstructed tiramisu, which was interesting but not really my kind of tiramisu. Yannick's chocolate torte was mouthwateringly decadent. It also had raspberries, which is always a bonus!

Several days later as we headed south, we briefly stopped in Auckland again and went to Milse, a patisserie and dessert shop which we had no idea was connected to a dessert restaurant. They keep it well hidden. We each got a handmade ice cream and they were sensational. We will definitely be going back there, and I plan to try out many more of the excellent restaurants and cafes. But it feels intimidating, as Auckland is just too big!