A winter taco party at Paloma, Wānaka
Take the bite out of the cold and replace it with some tasty bites at Wānaka taqueria Paloma. It’s holding an event with local brewery B Effect Brewing Co at the restaurant on Sunday, June 25. The “Tins & Tacos” party includes happy hour between 5pm and 6pm, two-for-one tacos and a DJ all night – plus, giveaways throughout the evening. No bookings needed. The Precinct, 28 Helwick Street, Wānaka.
A new modern Samoan dining experience
Chef Henry Onesemo has been passionate about food since he was a boy growing up in Samoa. In Auckland, he has worked under Michael Meredith (Mr Morris) and was head chef at East St Hall. Now, he and his wife Debby Onesemo are launching their own venture Tala, which explores and celebrates traditional Samoan flavours, with a modern slant. Tala is starting off as a series of pop-ups while the duo hunts for a permanent site. The first two events will be held at Bar Magda on June 13 and June 20. Book in for a three-course menu with snacks for $90 per person, with Bar Magda on drinks (sold separately). Be among the first to experience what will likely be an exciting addition to Auckland’s dining scene. Book here.
Reefton Distilling Co is now officially Scots-approved
An Aotearoa first, Reefton Distilling Co (based on the South Island’s West Coast) has announced it’s signed a contract with Scotch Malt Whisky Society to be able to sell whisky in Scotland. Known for its award-winning Little Biddy gin, Wild Rain vodka and Moonlight Creek whisky, the company will supply the latter to the Edinburgh-based organisation for an initial period of three years. reeftondistillingco.com
A mental health event by Everyday Solitude
It’s not quite food news but it is a worthy cause (and there will be snacks). Jessica Ann Baker founded Everyday Solitude seven months ago as a virtual space to cultivate connection and mental wellness. She’s bringing her platform into reality with a one-day pop-up in Ponsonby on June 10 to celebrate the launch of Everyday Conversations, her new conversation-based card game that encourages strangers, couples or friends to connect over questions and prompts. The encounters will be filmed and then released over socials in the lead-up to Mental Health Awareness Week in September. Ten per cent of Everyday Solitude’s overall profit is pledged to different mental health charities (they also sell merch, which will be available at the pop-up), and for this event it will be Koha Apparel. The event has several sponsors including Daily Bread, Arepa, Boring oat milk and Coffee Supreme, so you can fill not only your social cup but your belly as well. 10am–12pm, June 10. Indigo Studios, 50 Pollen Street, Ponsonby, Auckland.
Lulu’s soft serve and acai bar opens in Ponsonby Central
Founded four years ago by mother-daughter duo Lula and Tyla Samuel, Lulu’s specialises in
plant-based soft serve and acai bowls. It started life as a food truck and built a following for its colourful coconut-based ice-creams, available in various, ever-changing flavours. They’ve just opened a new shop in Ponsonby Central, serving soft serves in cups or cones and organic Brazillian acai bowls topped with granola, peanut butter, seasonal and freeze-dried fruit and cacao. Open seven days, 10am–3pm at 8 Brown Street, Ponsonby. @lulus.nz
An Italian affair at Annabel’s with Mor Bakery
The pastries by Mor Bakery are guaranteed to bring a crowd, so you’d best get to Three Lamps early when they pop up at Annabel’s on Sunday, June 11. Mor will be there from 10am, serving Italian-inspired sweet and savoury pastries, as well as focaccia sandwiches. How early is too early for an Aperol Spritz? 277 Ponsonby Road, Auckland.
Fourteen tasty finalists have been announced for the Great NZ Toastie Takeover
The country’s only national toasted sandwich competition was started by McClure’s Pickles and Cook & Nelson in 2018, and has ballooned to 185 venues entering with their own take on the toastie this year. Having begun on April 14, it’s on until June 20 – which gives you plenty of time (and excuses) to sample the cheesy wares of your nearest finalist. It might be Mount Eden’s Cazador with the Badabing (house-made gabagool, green chilli rajas, mozzarella, McClure’s spicy pickles and chilli salt), or maybe it’s the Joestie from Taranaki’s Shining Peak Brewing – smoked eel, kawakawa aioli, smoked cheddar, McClure’s pickles and puha (milk thistle), topped with McClure’s pickle caviar. Last year’s supreme winner was Rotorua’s Okere Falls Store; who will it be this year? We volunteer to try as many as possible to figure it out. toastietakeover.com