Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Budapest: How to get into town from the airport

Buda + Pest. I miss my best friend, D.

Directions from the airport to the Parliament building: buy a ticket to the city from the BKK desk (Budapest Transport Centre). Should be around 550 forints. Take bus 200E (just outside the exit on the right) to the last stop. This will be the Kobanya Kipest Metro, end of line 3. Take the Metro to Deak Ferenc Ter, transfer to line 2 and go one stop to Kossuth Lajos Ter. Exit the station. You are now at the Parliament.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Brunch place: Cafe Eighty Eight

A treated me to a lovely brunch for helping him move houses. I'm a happy girl. On the main stretch of Mt Maunganui, Cafe Eighty Eight is always crowded with people. We considered the place next door but they only do coffee and we were starving. We even bumped into mates A knew from out of town. No surprise in finding Tauranga a small place? Definitely not, when I have literally walked into people from Down Under while in Europe. 
A complained that the food was taking ages to come out. They did warn us of the 25 min wait but we had just carried a whole room's worth of stuff across to the new place the whole morning. We were getting a little hangry. Anger sprouting from hunger is an ugly thing.
A chose an Egg's Benedict, which in my book is always a good choice with Hollandaise sauce and a strip of bacon or two along with it. I went for kumara fish cake. I knew A hates fish but I love pretty much anything kumara. It also came with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce, which was a win for me. Score.

88 Maunganui Road,
Tauranga, NZ 3116
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Juice place: Tank Juice Bar

A and I are almost obsessed with Tank juices. There are slight variations between shop to shop, so A's favourite Peach Me isn't available everywhere - one of those things you would only know if you've been to Tank enough times and to many of them around the country. In Auckland CBD alone, there are three-four Tanks in close proximity to each other. The Tank that I frequent is a fairly new addition to Queen St. As well as their super green smoothies and energising juices, I have also tried the açai bowl and salad. Loved the açai bowl, found the salad to be very, very green - lots of fresh green salad leaves. Until I get my own blender - Christmas present to self, perhaps? - I will be frequenting this place on a regular basis for a while yet.

290 Queen Street
Auckland Central
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Lunch place: Sushi pac

My colleague A used to say, this place was the best sushi place in Auckland CBD. That's a major statement, right there. As a sushi fan, I found this place satisfying enough to accompany him regularly for our takeaway lunches. It's nice to have variety but not an overwhelming one, as sometimes you do in other places around town. I can think of two right now. Brown rice and gluten free choices seem to be the trendy options offered by sushi places these days, and Sushi Pac is one of them. I usually get a selection of salmon and tuna options with a cup of salmon miso soup. Omega 3 is meant to be good for you, haven't you heard?

National Bank Building,
Shop 3A, 209 Queen St, 
Auckland Central
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Tea place: Chatime

Amongst the new-ish places I'm discovering on Queen St since I have been back after a two-year absence abroad, is Chatime. There are a lot of new bubble tea places around town. Have you noticed? A new one just popped up on Lorne St a few weeks ago. My colleague K has a Chatime pretty much every Friday after lunch. It's her yes-it's-finally-friday celebratory treat to herself. Good for her. I personally wish they had a smaller size than their size small, because I find the smallest size already quite intimidatingly large. These teas are a meal in themselves. So many flavours and so many toppings to choose from - a warm small taro drink with half the pearls and no sugar, please.

350 Queen St
Auckland Central
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Drinks place: The Phoenix

It's Friday night and I've just been sitting another four hours on my bum after work, getting myself transported from Auckland down to Tauranga. I need a stretch. My butt needs a stretch. First stop, the Phoenix. I plan to do a taster of all the available Monteith's beers on menu here, one day. Just a pint for tonight will do, its a been a long drive. No sliders here, but a blue cheese pizza with pear slices and caramelised onion. It's quite an unusual menu offering, since I find that there aren't many Kiwis enjoy strong smelly blue cheese. Maybe the Tauranga crowd are a different lot. I love the blue cheese and sweetness combo, my favourite being Italian gorgonzola and runny honey. The local kayaking club hangs here on a regular basis, I hear. So will I, I think.

67 The Strand, 
Tauranga
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Monday, 31 August 2015

Lunch place: Shamiana

The weather today is horrible. It seems even worse when you hear of your friends in Sydney having been suntanning in beaches over the weekend. Sun, please come our way, soon, too, please!

I love Indian and this Samiana chain is an easy go to during the week. Especially so when it's pouring outside and you don't want to venture out too much. I wish they had spinach cottage cheese curry here - palak paneer - but the vegetarian chick peas and the peas paneer is still pretty good. The serving is generous and the place is pretty clean, so a good place to enjoy a quick hot meal.

5/350 Queen Street
Auckland Central
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