Dr. Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing

We made a pilgrimage to Rudi’s while Frank and Monique were here. The place is billed as a serious beer bar, and they did have a bunch of beers. But they also had about as much ambiance as Costco on Saturday afternoon.

I’ve spent ridiculous sums of money on ‘the best’ beers over many years in many countries and will keep on doing that. But when push comes to shove I’d rather chat with a neighbor or a bartender over a can of Ranfurly than be slung an expensive pint of Panhead but unable to talk over the classic rock station.

Vin de Bourgogne

The Bistro des Gourmets, a brand new French restaurant, has opened up down the road, run by actual French people. We had a magical meal there with the Provs, and so we decided to try out their monthly wine pairing menu.

The place was packed for this dinner, and the three owners were clearly run ragged by the time we started eating about 8 PM. Still a good meal, but everything was a little overdone and too heavy for a summer dinner.

We know how tough it is to open a restaurant and particularly how tough it is to scale from, say, 10 covers on Tuesday to 60 on Wednesday. We hope these guys can smooth out the rough edges and find a good rhythm so it can become a haunt for us instead of just a novelty.

ANZAC biscuits

The ANZAC biscuit became popular during WWI. I thought they were issued as rations… high calorie, doesn’t spoil easily. But no, apparently that’s the ANZAC tile, not nearly as yummy. Another theory is that they were sent to the troops by wives and girlfriends back home. However, some people question that idea also. Those doubting Thomases suggest that the biscuits were always used as they are today, to raise funds for the troops, sort of like Girl Scout cookies for grownups. 

According to Wikipedia, the name “ANZAC biscuit” is a protected marque of the Crown. However, if you’re holding a bake sale for a good cause, they won’t bother you… as long as you never ever call them ‘cookies’. 

So we’ve finally tasted them, after 4 months in the country. Basically a delicious oatmeal cookie with some coconut. Only better because of golden syrup (more on that at a later date). 

Ethnic Eats

We have experience with only two NZ workplaces, so maybe this is representative or maybe not. But, both have surprisingly well-equipped kitchens. Which is cool, so hopefully it is representative. 

At my office, we have a monthly cooking club called Ethnic Eats… each member cooks every 3 or 4 months and we share and it all works out great. Last month, it was “spicy for winter” and my enchilada casserole was a big hit. This month, the theme was “mum food,” as in the food your mum used to make. As it happened, all the cooks this month were Indian (which is the modal software developer here as I think everywhere). So, biryani, dhal, etc., and a lively discussion about the details of Indian cuisine… saying “Indian cuisine” at all is apparently a giant lumping together of things that are actually quite different.