Living and working in Auckland we like to think we’re pretty onto it when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not on the region’s food and wine scene. But if you’re a foodie who wants to dig a little deeper, some inside knowledge goes a long way. So, led by Elle – aka “Big Cheese” – of The Big Foody Food Tours, we set off to discover some of the city’s hidden gems.
The beauty of Elle’s Auckland Tastebud Tour is that it can be tailored to individual interests, whether you’re a connoisseur or you’d just like something different to do. A small group tour gives you the chance to learn about Auckland’s food scene through a personalised – and fun – experience.
Our first stop was one of Auckland’s best kept secrets: Kohu Road. Owner Greg Hall’s story is almost as good as his ice cream. After living in tiny apartments in Japan for years, when Greg and his family moved back to New Zealand they filled their spacious new home with cooking appliances, including an ice cream maker. When he and his wife made golden syrup ice cream for a dinner party one night, it was a massive hit - and so the idea for Kohu Road was born.
This wonderful café and ice creamery offers an assortment of ice cream and sorbets packed with natural ingredients free of chemicals. There are simple classic ice creams like salted caramel and zesty sorbets with tart fruity flavours. Try the dark chocolate ice cream and blackcurrant sorbet together – heaven. The funky café interior even includes a caravan where kids can play and watch movies - keeping them entertained while you sit back and relax.
Elle teased our senses throughout the day with the smell of Indian spices, tastes of European olive oils and balsamic vinegars and fabulous sights. Along the way we passed small bakeries and ethnic restaurants and got Elle’s recommendations for future Auckland restauraunt outings.
We enjoyed a wine tasting at Big Picture Wine, where we challenged each other to a Masterchef style showdown, guessing the aromas used to describe wine, before taking a journey across the country on the big screen visiting top wineries and sampling their wines.
Palates refreshed, we were guided through the Auckland Fish Market, learning what to look for to find the freshest fish – this is a must for seafood lovers wanting to ‘catch’ the fish of the day.
Finishing our Auckland Tastebud Tour with a delicious meat and seafood platter, we returned to the real world happily filled with both food and knowledge.