Foodstyle Review Magazine

  Spring 2009 - In this Issue PaparazzoMelbourne Cuisine lanes, spring asparagus, lamb salad , buffalo milk mozzarella, cheese making at home, Waiheke wines, shortbread perfection, two great spud recipes,


Snaps and casual photos around Auckland's interesting cuisine venues.

Mt Eden gardens,  Matakana wine tourism, the blade runners, the French connection farmer markets and cafes. Cantonese dishes on Dominion Road, feeding the Herne Bay masses on Jervois Road, and the new Grey Lynn farmers market.



Cuisine lanes of Melbourne

Centre lane

Melbourne’s inner city has a unique warren of cobbled, cuisine-rich lanes, arcades and catwalks. You won’t find a more concentrated or fascinating collection of food lanes in any Antipodean city.

In our first cuisine lane tourism guide of Melbourne we explore a concentrated string of alley ways that zig-zag south/north between Flinders Street near the Railway Station to Bourke Street Mall.

Think of Melbourne’s rectangular CBD as spilt north/south by Swanston St and bordered in the south by Flinders St (which runs parallel to the Yarra River) and in the north by La Trobe Street.

Our cuisine lane tour starts by entering Degraves Street (which is really a lane) that runs from Flinders Street - opposite the northern side of the central Railway Station, exactly halfway between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets.


Asparagus SpringAsparagus

This simple green salad made of a selection of blanched green vegetables, asparagus, hot smoked salmon and fresh basil and parsley mayonnaise, simply sings the refreshing taste of spring.

Asparagus, the quintessential and delicate vegetable that heralds spring, and available right through until mid summer, is not the easiest vegetable to grow. The spears which take years to sprout after planting are the shoots of a perennial in the lily family. However, once they break the surface the stalks can grow several feet high, driven by the plant’s own energy sugars stored in its roots – they don’t need sunlight. In fact, half of the world’s asparagus is harvested after the spears have been hidden from sunlight, so the asparagus-eating world is divided between European kitchens, which prefer white, and the ‘new world’ kitchens (USA and Australasia) which prefer green. 


Antipodes Water

Spring lamb with bean salad


A very tasty salad of grilled lamb mid loin served on a bean salad doused in a refreshingly, zingy dressing - perfect warm weather eating that is also nourishing and light in the calorie stakes.

In the world of meat marketing ‘lamb’ is a young sheep under 12 months of age. The meat cuts that feature on most restaurant menus are from the mid back of the lamb around the ribs, which is the most tender part of the beast and requires the least (or fastest) cooking techniques.

This mid upper rib section is divided between the front with its ‘rib rack’, or ‘Frenched cutlets’ (if cut up into small delicate chops), and the thicker back section of ribs that provide either a boneless ‘mid-loin’, mid-loin chops, or one large rack. Just to confuse you even further, the rib-less mid-loin is also retailed in NZ as a lamb ‘back-strap’, ‘strip-loin’, ‘middle loin’, and ‘rib-eye’.


Camerson Douglas - Masster Sommelier

Big beast, soft cheeseBuffalo

How do you milk a 800kg buffalo, the size of a small car, with ominous horns sticking out each side of its head like a couple of scimitars? The answer - very gently.

The Clevedon Valley in the southwest corner of Auckland is now one of the city’s most popular cuisine tourism regions, with its artisan foods and boutique wineries. Driving through the valley between the grapes, the olives and the sheep, you might also spot a herd of milking buffalos.

The herd is owned and milked by the aptly named Clevedon Valley Buffalo company, and how it managed to wrestle a herd of water buffalo through the red tape protecting the country’s primary industry is long story that we can’t do justice to here, but it stretches back to 1996 when the Dorresteyn family imported their first herd of 36 crossbred buffalo from Darwin in Australia.


Cutting the curd at homeCheese making

Foodstyle Review takes some inspiring lessons with the country’s loveliest cheese-maker on crafting soft cheeses that can be made at home with commercial milk and a bit of basic bucket chemistry.

Katherine Mowbray is as bright and velvety as the soft white cheeses she is about to make before our small group.

The venue is the restaurant at Artisan Wines in west Auckland and, after a glass of fine wine to sharpen our wits and appetites, Katherine stands before a small but energetic group of foodies and is about to convert a few litres of commercial milk into two popular and versatile cheeses - Camembert and Mascarpone.


Island wines - 

Waiheke tastingsWaiheke

Waiheke Island, to the east of Auckland city in the Hauraki Gulf, is not the only island wine growing destination in the Pacific region, but it has to be one of the best.

Other wine island destinations within a short ferry ride of a city centre include Vancouver Island and Pelee Island off the British Columbian coast, Phillip Island off the coast of Victoria, and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Waiheke Island on Auckland’s harbour doorstep, however, was one of the first harbour islands to produce internationally award winning wines.


The shortbread exerciseshortbread

It’s easier and more forgiving to cook than it is to bake. Baking involves greater technical skill, precise measurements, exacting recipes and accurate temperatures.

Nor can a baker completely rely on a recipe book, as ingredients are not necessarily made equal. Every batch of dry ingredients varies in moisture content, for instance, depending on things such as the weather. Cream and butter products made here are different than those found in other markets.

New Zealand has a sound heritage in home baking and mixing bowl passion, with its rich dairy produce, ‘country institute’ baking competitions, and passionate Mums and Grannies passing scrapbooks full of recipes onto daughters and even sons.


Starch on fireSpuds

These two potato recipes, one hot one cold, are timeless classics that will complement any meal or food feast. Teach yourself how to make these two dishes well and you will be a culinary hero.

You can find our ‘layered potato dish’ in many guises - under ‘casserole’ (which it is) and gratin (with its cheese crust topping). It is a dish served hot/warm for all seasons and a carbohydrate dish that is a complement to any culinary occasion, and we defy anyone to argue that this version is not insanely delicious.