My Auck­land

De­signer Leah Shao of How­ick ex­plores Auck­land from Marae­tai to Mount Eden.

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Ev­ery sum­mer I would try and have a char­coal-style bar­be­cue, at least once. Wait­ing for the meat to cook is not a fun task for the hangry. Luck­ily, there’s al­ways good com­pany and laugh­ter. I’ve got to rec­om­mend grilling pork mar­i­nated in char siu sauce, a tra­di­tional Can­tonese bar­be­cue sauce. Packed with flavour, it’s al­ways the first thing to dis­ap­pear. ——— 2. Noth­ing beats the fruit of your own labour. I took this when the strawberries I planted were fruit­ing. It was a sign to make straw­berry and ba­nana smooth­ies. I usu­ally use al­mond milk as a base with a ta­ble­spoon of chia seed. Sim­ple and de­li­cious. ——— 3. Hard to Find Books is def­i­nitely one of the gems of Ōne­hunga Mall. Walk­ing into the store, you are en­gulfed by shelves of sec­ond­hand books in ev­ery genre you can imag­ine. Small and in­ti­mate, it’s a per­fect place for a rainy day; there is a seat around ev­ery cor­ner for you to sit with a book in your hand. ——— 4. This af­ter­noon I made a small trip to Musick Point, rem­i­nisc­ing on the old times where I would ven­ture there af­ter school on foot. As you walk down the drive­way to the old ra­dio sta­tion, the build­ing emerges be­hind the trees to greet you in all its beau­ti­ful art deco glory. Walk fur­ther to the cliff and down the stairs, and you will wit­ness the breath­tak­ing views of the penin­sula. ——— 5. My friend hosts break­danc­ing events at var­i­ous spots around Auck­land. Good beats, pas­sion­ate dancers and a sup­port­ing crowd are the ul­ti­mate mix for a good jam, re­gard­less of what kind of crowd we draw. ——— 6. I love go­ing to Asia Gallery to browse through the vin­tage ki­mono. There’s a vast col­lec­tion and it’s also very af­ford­able. I spent al­most two hours in there and lost count of how many I had in my hands. In the end, I set­tled on a sim­ple black mid-length ki­mono with in­tri­cate red flow­ers printed on the back and on the sleeves. ——— 7. I de­cided to drive down to Marae­tai af­ter din­ner to catch the last rays of this clear evening. Longer days are a warm-weather perk; an­other is get­ting ice cream from the ice cream van. It may not be the award-win­ning ar­ti­san range but some­thing about lick­ing the melt­ing ice cream from your fin­gers while look­ing out into the sea makes the ex­pe­ri­ence a lit­tle more spe­cial. ——— 8. Satur­day calls for a long brunch with friends. I keep mean­ing to go to Pasta & Cuore in Mount Eden but I al­ways miss open­ing hours. The Gar­den Shed is my go-to. It’s filled with lush green­ery and there’s a serene wa­ter foun­tain; you can fully ex­pe­ri­ence the con­cept of the gar­den restau­rant while tuck­ing into your Mex­i­can eggs.

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