Take the rare opportunity to try traditional Buddhist cuisine at Little Bird Kitchen. Photo / Supplied

Valentine's Day Dining, New Openings & More Food News To Snack On

Here's all the tasty food news you need this February


Buddhist Cuisine At Little Bird
Little Bird Kitchen is bringing over top Japanese chef Mari Fuji for a line-up of nourishing events. Mari has more than 30 years of experience in shojin ryori, the traditional cuisine of Buddhist monks, to share with diners. Shojin ryori comprises a totally vegetarian diet (no meat, fish, eggs or dairy) and will have you loading up on seasonal vegetables and Japanese staples such as seaweed, grains and tofu. Mari — whose husband was a Buddhist monk who served as a temple cook at Zen temples — will run a cooking demonstration with tasters of nine dishes, and a workshop preparing a shojin ryori kaiseki (multi-course dinner) to be enjoyed together afterwards.

The event is a first in Little Bird’s International Chef Series, aimed at bringing the onscreen temptations of Netflix smash-hit Chef’s Table to life. The plant-based eatery, owned by Megan May, will fly in chefs from around the world, many of whom will be female, offering the rare opportunity to try their signature take on plant-based cuisine.

Cooking demonstration with tastings of nine shojin ryori dishes, $109. February 10 & 11, 7pm-9pm. Hands-on workshop and dinner, $179. February 17 & 18, 7pm-9.30pm. To book tickets, visit Littlebirdorganics.co.nz. Little Bird Kitchen, 1A Summer St, Ponsonby

The Cult Project X Paris Butter
Southern Filipino cuisine fuses with French fare at The Cult Project’s pop-up at Paris Butter. The lunch, $99pp, includes four courses plus snacks and wines. For every ticket sold $15 will go towards Australian Bushfire Relief. Sunday February 2, 2pm. Book at Eventbrite.co.nz.166 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay 

Sid at The French Cafe has brought back lunch on Saturdays. Photo / Supplied

Sid at The French Cafe Saturday Lunch 
Trade dinner for a luxurious weekend lunch worth the splurge at Sid at the French Café. The restaurant has relaunched its popular Saturday lunch service with the seasonal menu (options range from à la carte to a tasting menu) changing weekly. Saturdays. $95 pp.  Book online at Sidatthefrenchcafe.co.nz. 210 Symonds St, Eden Terrace

Buko Valentines Dessert Degustation 
Tea and treats combine at Buko pop-up chef’s William Mordido’s dessert degustation, perfect for two. Indulge over canapes, a glass of Hãhã Rosé, four dessert-courses matched with tea, and a goodie bag of treats to take home. Even sweeter, 10 per cent of the event’s profits will be donated to Women’s Refuge. $75pp. Friday February 14, 7.30pm. Book at Willmordido.com/buko. Miele Experience Centre, 8 College Hill, Freemans Bay

Harbour Society Valentines Menu
Impress with waterfront views up at Harbour Society, situated 15 floors above the city in the swish SO/ Auckland hotel. The restaurant has a special seven-course menu with a glass of bubbles or cocktail to seal the deal. Friday February 14. $130pp.Book at So-auckland.com. Crn. Customs East St and Gore St, CBD

Baduzzi Valentine's Menu 
This Valentine’s Day have an Italian feast at Baduzzi. The $110pp 'Love is Blind' dinner includes four courses and bubbles on arrival. For every booking, $25pp will be donated to Australian Bushfire Relief along with funds from a silent auction. Friday February 14. Book at Baduzzi.co.nz/reservations10-26 Jellicoe Street, North Wharf

Khu Khu Thai dishes up Thai-inspired plant-based fare. Photo / Supplied


Khu Khu: Vegans will be flocking to this latest Ponsonby addition dishing up Thai-inspired plant-based fare. The menu includes a crunchy green papaya salad, curry corn fritters, crispy fried daikon, and a panang tofu curry. 171A Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby

Morsel: Cure the workday slump at this cute hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in the inner city with salads, sandwiches, savoury brioches, and cakes.16 Durham Lane, City

Eatery at Rothesay Bay: The North Shore has an inviting new spot (formerly Armadillo Cafe) for brunch and dinner from the hospitality group behind IPress Kitchen in Mt Eden. There's plenty of vegetarian options and a cabinet loaded with treats. 2 Knights Rd, Rothesay Bay

Romulus & Remus: In the Richmond Rd site that used to house Jaffa cafe is Romulus & Remus, a cafe, trattoria and bar serving Roman-inspired food ad drinks. Drop in for happy hour and aperitivos from 4-6pm. 551 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn

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