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Street food mecca: Asian Garden Kitchen

Family dining with a distinctive and casual feel is not to be missed at Commi on the corner of Colombo and Somerfield Streets.


Asian Garden Kitchen


This little gem is a street food mecca where you can sample dishes from China, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Malaysia, so you’ll find something to please everyone in the family and it’s all served in a casual and cosy environment.

At Hoi An House in Halswell Road, the popular Thai and Vietnamese selections are now available for lunch dining in or taking away from Wednesday to Sunday. The seven nights full service and fine dining interior is complemented by the garden terrace, plus the function room can seat up to 80 people, or be split into more intimate spaces.

Asian Garden Kitchen in Harewood teaches individuals and groups to make the restaurant dishes authentically and to professional standard at home.


Book online at


Pete Evans

Dishing the drama: Q&A with Pete Evans

Pete Evans has been cooking his way around Australia – and in fact, the world – since the age of 19, before being thrust into the global spotlight 10 years ago when he and Manu Feildel started dishing the drama on
My Kitchen Rules.


Pete Evans


Known affectionately as Paleo Pete, the Australian chef, author and television personality most recently headed the award-winning documentary film The Magic Pill which shows the impact food can have on people’s health, now streaming globally on Netflix.

While he’s courted controversy for his mission to cheerlead the caveman diet into the mainstream, at the heart of Pete’s philosophy is a desire to encourage others to embrace a happier and healthier lifestyle.
We caught up with Pete about his food and life philosophies.


What are some of your favourite healthy recipes?
I can’t go past simple ingredients such as seafood and meat and then team them with some organic vegetables either in a soup, a roast, a barbecue, salad or a curry.


How would you sum up your food philosophy?
Simple and nourishing.


What are some of the key things you do to keep healthy and well during the year?
Mainly a species specific diet is key for optimal health. I also focus on emotional wellbeing and removing negative patterns and beliefs and creating greater awareness about self. Being so motivated and successful, how do you prevent yourself from burning out? I live a very simple life – love of self and others, great connection with other people, simple diet and living in alignment with what it means to be human.


What attracted you to cooking?
It was a life skill that I believe everyone should have the ability to learn.


What are you looking forward to in the tenth season of My Kitchen Rules?
Some more great cooking and entertainment.


Why do you think people have connected so strongly with you and what you do?
Truth always resonates with people and I always speak my truth and then it is up to someone how they interpret that for themselves.


What is the most fulfilling or enjoyable aspect of what you do?
I would say living each day to the fullest in the moment and expressing myself creatively and having loving relationships is very fulfilling.


What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
More breathing, more sleeping, more eating, more loving, more learning, more teaching, more movement, more play and more fun!



Kumara & Zucchini Fritters

Kumara & Zucchini Fritters

For many of us, annual holidays jetsetting around the world are the time to let go and forget about the diet. For others it’s the time to focus on health and wellness. But according to Hayes & Jarvis, we can have our cake and eat it


Kumara & Zucchini Fritters


The travel expert has released a study into the most well-rounded cuisines throughout the world, making it easy to find globalised cuisines that are as healthy as they are delicious.

Although New Zealand ranked slightly lower than Australia overall in eleventh place, it proved to have the best dinner option, serving up kumara fritters. So we hunted out our favourite recipe.

An easy and popular meal option that can be made ahead of time and perfect for the lunchbox, vegetable fritters are a great way to pack some nutritional punch into your day. Crispy and golden brown, these kumara and zucchini fritters can be served as a side dish or appetiser and they’re easy to customise to use up any leftover vegetables



2 medium-sized kumara – grated
1 small zucchini – grated
1/2 onion – grated
2 cloves garlic – chopped
2 tbsp chives – chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste
Olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

Dill Yogurt Dip
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste



Combine grated kumara, zucchini, onion, garlic and chives in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add heaped tbsp of kumara mixture to hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Press gently with spatula to flatten. Cook until crispy, browned and kumara is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Dill Yogurt Dip
Meanwhile combine sour cream, yogurt, olive oil, dill and salt and pepper, stir to combine.

Serve fritters with Dill Yogurt Dip and garnish with fresh dill.



Blackberry & Lime Macarons

Blackberry & Lime Macarons

Blackberry & Lime Macarons



For the macarons
3 egg whites apx 100g
3 tbsp caster sugar
110g ground almonds
175g icing sugar
1 tbsp meringue powder/egg white powder
1/8 tsp almond essence
Purple gel food colouring

For the blueberry and lime curd
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
60g unsalted butter cubed
100g or scant 1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, or 2 yolks and 1 egg, beaten
2 limes, zest and juice



Line two baking sheets with parchment. Combine ground almonds with the icing sugar and run through a food processor to ensure both are finely ground. Set aside. ‘Age’ egg whites by microwaving them for 20 seconds. Place into a mixing bowl and add the meringue powder. Whisk to frothy peaks with an egg beater. Once voluminous, add the caster sugar gradually, beating well between each, until stiff peak stage.

Switch to a spatula, add almond extract and a dollop of the food colouring gel. Sift half the icing sugar/almond mixture on top and gently fold in using the spatula. Sift in the rest of the icing sugar/almond mixture and continue carefully folding it in until batter looks smooth.
To test consistency, lift the spatula up and watch to see how the trail of batter running off it falls into the bowl. A soft trail that takes five or six seconds to ‘melt’ back into the batter is ideal. If it just sits on top, it’s not ready. Overmixing can yield thin batter that won’t hold its shape when piping.

Fit a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle and fill with the batter. Pipe 3cm wide rounds of batter on the baking sheets, leaving a small space between each. Lift and drop baking sheets onto the bench a few times to knock out any air bubbles and to level them into smooth discs. Leave for up to two hours until they form a skin.
Place them into an oven preheated to 140 degrees C and cook for 18-20 minutes, ensuring they have risen and have their characteristic macaron ‘frill’. When ready they should be firm on their frilly bases. When ready they should lift off the parchment and have a smooth base.


Curd filling
Place the blackberries in a jug with a half teaspoon of water and microwave for about a minute on high until bubbling. Blitz cooked blackberries to a fine liquid then stir in the lime juice to cool it. Set aside.

Place butter in a bowl over a barely simmering pan of water, not letting the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Once it begins to melt, stir in the caster sugar and continue to cook over low heat until the sugar melts into the butter and loses its grainy appearance.
Stir in the blackberry/lime juice mixture. Add the beaten eggs, lime zest and beat. Gently cook the curd for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring regularly until thick.

Pass the curd through a sieve to remove and lumps and zest and pour into a hot, clean jar. Put the lid on and allow to cool completely. Pair up the macarons with a dollop of the cooled curd in between each pair. Enjoy.



Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: Recipe

Creamy lemon cheesecake bars swirled with blueberries on a simple biscuit base. Careful, this may become a new favourite!


Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

1.5 cups basic biscuits
6 Tablespoons or 90g melted butter
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar

450g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 large egg
1/3 cup caster sugar
Zest of 2 medium lemons
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil with some overhang and set aside.
Crust: Using a food processor or blender, process biscuits into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter and sugar. Press into the lined pan and bake for five minutes. Allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
Filling: Beat the cream cheese for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the egg, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Gently fold in the blueberries and spoon the filling onto the crust.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set and the edges are lightly browned. The bars will be very puffy but will sink slightly as they cool. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack, then chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.



Classic Cookers

Oven Envy: Classic Cookers

When it comes to creating culinary excellence, Classic Cookers is turning the heat up, with a range of hand-built electric ovens that combine traditional looks with modern technology.

Classic Cookers


Manufactured in Gloucestershire, England, Everhot heat storage range cookers are cast iron cookers which steadily transfer the heat from their core into their ovens and hotplates, meeting all your cooking needs with exceptional energy efficiency. Yes, that includes slow cooking, baking, roasting, grilling or pan cooking, all at once, on one range.

In the Bramleys Road showroom, Brendon Rowe-Mitchell opens the door of one oven to reveal a digital control panel, a striking contrast against the mid-century aesthetic of its exterior. The basis of heat storage range cookers is that they stay on 24/7, using less electricity than a traditional oven. You can set precise temperatures, set it to a timer, or shut it down in summer.

Serious cooks love the graduated hob top. Rather than changing temperature dials, the difference between simmering and boiling is the pot’s positioning on the stove top.
The 60mm is the baby of the range, designed to fit a standard oven space. It features two ovens and a graduated cast iron hob top. As the size increases, so too do your options. Ovens, plate warmer, induction hobs and simmer plates become opportunities to customise your cooker. A colour palette of 16 provides opportunity to further make it your own.


If you are looking to make a statement in your kitchen, hit the road and visit Classic Cookers at 151 Bramleys Road Flaxton, phone
03 310 6534 or check out


market to table

Finding Spring Fare: All-new ‘market to table’ cooking demonstrations

At the beginning of this month, the Farmers Market Spring Festival launched all-new ‘market to table’ cooking demonstrations. Jax Hamilton introduced the first of these with her usual enthusiasm and flair from the kitchen verandah at Riccarton House.


market to table


The demonstrations will continue from 10-10:30am every Saturday during the warmer months, with chefs sharing culinary techniques and unique ways to utilise produce that can be purchased fresh right from the growers in the market. The recipes will then be available on the website.

“I love Christchurch Farmers Market, it’s my local and I’m there most Saturdays to support my community and the produce passionately displayed,” Jax says.
“Being able to inspire the crowds this spring to create something simple, seasonal and delicious is exactly what I’m about. Food is a gift and what we eat needs to be produced with love.”


market to table

Christchurch Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 9am-1pm on the grounds of the historic Riccarton House & Bush. For more details and the schedule of chefs, visit or email
Jax shares one of her favourite recipes.




Lamb Pizza
40g tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup tomato sauce
2 x pizza bases
20 slices lamb salami
½ red onion, finely sliced
½ red capsicum, de-seeded, finely sliced
75g cherry bocconcini
100g feta
50g rocket
Handful mint/parsley chopped
Salt and pepper


Mix together the puree, garlic, olive oil and tomato sauce. Add a little more oil if it’s a little thick. Set aside.
Preheat oven to suggested packet temperature. If you have one, pop your pizza stone in too. Dust your bench and take your bases, divide the tomato sauce and spoon/spread all over. Top with salami, onion and capsicum. Rip the bocconcini into bite sized pieces and sprinkle over the top.
Take half the feta, crumble in your fingers and sprinkle over the pizza, drizzle with a little more oil, season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt. When the oven is to temperature, pop in and bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden and gorgeous. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle over the rocket, remaining feta and garnish with labneh dressing and chopped herbs.

Labneh Dressing

2 balls labneh
Drizzle of lemon olive oil or regular
Pinch chilli
Salt and black pepper

Whisk ingredients together, taste and season.




Simon Gault

Simon Says: Q&A with Simon Gault

Metropol catches up with popular Kiwi chef Simon Gault to discuss his healthy new passion and his go-to comfort meals for winter.

Simon Gault

Where did your passion for food come from?

From a young age, my parents both cooked; we always ended up with interesting stuff in our school lunches. They had friends in the hospitality industry, so I got to see into kitchens, which turned me on. Food is inspiring really; I’m like a kid in a candy store and that’s naturally evolved from a young age.

Why do you think the country has connected with you and what you do?

I dislike the word ‘celebrity chef’ intensely. I’m like any another chef out there. I never thought I’d be on TV, had no burning desire to do it. Once you get on the box people see what you’re like, see the real you. Someone said to me once, the most important thing about doing TV is to remember your mates will see it. They know what you’re like, so be yourself. I’m myself on TV; it’s not an acting role. You just do what you do – some people will like it, some people won’t.

Last year was pretty busy for you, with a three-part doco on obesity and a new restaurant Giraffe on Auckland’s Viaduct. What does the next 12 months have in store for you?

I’ve become pretty passionate about the health sector and helping people like me really – people who are overweight and struggling with it. The documentary ‘Why Are We Fat’ helped a lot of people. I get emails from around the world saying it changed their lives. People come up to me in the restaurant in tears saying, ‘you don’t know what you’ve done for me’. That inspires me to help more people. I have the ability to make an impact – we’re the third fattest nation in the world.

What is the winning recipe for a great dining establishment?

Family – that sums it up really. All our people that work in the restaurant are our family. We spend a lot of time there, so it’s about enjoying it, being a family. We employ people who are fun and love what they do. If we can have that family environment, that rubs off on customers; they feel it. Obviously you need the other things – best produce and cooked well – but without family you’ve got nothing.

Heading into winter, what are some of your go-to comfort meals?

It’s pretty hard to beat a casserole in winter – Moroccan lamb casserole or beef casserole; they’re hearty and delicious and will fill you up in winter.

What’s the most fulfilling aspect of what you do?

Spending time with my daughter, nothing beats that

Total Food Equipment

The craft of cookware: local culinary experts Total Food Equipment share their passions

The season for hygge is well and truly here and, if you’re a foodie, or just someone who likes to get cosy with the family and a bowl of homemade soup, then a visit Total Food Equipment is a must-do before you hunker down.

Total Food Equipment

The store is a gorgeous trove of all things cooking and baking. From oyster forks to cinnamon oyster tins, whatever is on your wish list, you will find it here and more besides. The baking section alone is extensive – a home baker’s heaven of tins and moulds to dream of, including friand, mini madeleines and, of the moment, donut tins.
A range of cast iron cookware made in France by Staub comes in red, orange, black, grey, and blue. It’s a lifetime gift to yourself or a friend and its strength and beauty goes from stove to table. You can braise, roast, cook, stew or fry with the range, in-oven or on the stove top with the frying pans, rib grills and mussel pots. The cocottes are round and oval, and the divine pumpkin and tomato shaped casseroles will redefine your batterie de cuisine goals forever.
Are you picturing a warm candlelit scene, the table alive with family and friends, good conversation and wine set off with a tasty display of tapas and sharing plates? At Total Food Equipment, the ranges available mean you’ll find a set to match your flair and flavours.

Total Food EquipmentThere is the versatile and ever-stylish cast iron option: small dishes in different sizes and in round and oval. Or bring colourful artisan élan to your table with the Regas range, made in Spain since 1821 from high quality fire proof terracotta clay. The cazuela is one of the oldest cooking vessels, used since pre-Roman times and still in use today in every Spanish kitchen.
It is used as a frying pan over direct heat on the hob, an open fire or barbeque. It is also oven-proof and makes a great baker and roasting dish for sweet or savoury. The organic nature of terracotta adds flavour to the food and the dishes go from oven to table. Choose from round, oval, rectangle, bowls and handled bowls, there is a choice of exterior colours too.
If the lashing rain and wind outside means mulled wine to you, take yours to the next level with The Herb and Spice Mill sachets of all-natural ingredients. The range of food safe presentation dishes of all types is huge at Total Food Equipment, so make it your first stop for themed parties or catering this winter too. Total Food Equipment is at 218 Moorhouse Avenue, with parking outside the door.

Everhot at Classic Cookers

Culinary energy efficiency: you need to check out Everhot’s beautiful cookers at Classic Cookers

Crafted in a fashion from days of old, where quality and longevity go hand in hand, Everhot embraces the future, with cookers that are energy efficient and suitable for solar power generation.

Everhot at Classic Cookers

Manufactured in Gloucestershire, England, Everhot is a heat storage range cooker. It steadily transfers the heat from its core into its ovens and hotplates, meeting all your cooking needs with exceptional energy efficiency.
The ability to run any part of your cooker independently means total control and the timed grill means no more burnt offerings.
The sky is the limit with Everhot – slow cooking, baking, roasting, grill or pan and you can do all of those things at once on one range. The smallest Everhot features two ovens and a graduated cast iron hob top. As the size increases, so too do your options. Ovens, plate warmer, induction hobs and simmer plates become opportunities to customise your cooker – and customise in every sense, with each cooker crafted by hand for your order. Colour, size and ovens are among the options to ponder.
Everhot ticks the boxes for quality, control, energy efficient, style and function. The difficult choice is often the colour and with a palette of 14, you can be forgiven for taking your time to decide.
If you are looking to make a statement in your kitchen, enjoy a trip to the country and visit Classic Cookers at 151 Bramleys Road Flaxton, phone
03-310 6534 or check out