More than just Abba

The Swedes gave us one of my favourite words - smorgasbord. It incorporates the word for an open-faced sandwich (smorgas) and in Scandanavian cuisine sandwiches are served sans lid, very often as a breakfast option and always piled high with startlingly tasty toppings. In her latest cookbook, Notes from a Swedish Kitchen ($49.99; New Holland), author Margareta Schildt Landgren dedicates one section to a selection of her favourite sandwiches and though we may baulk at the titles for some ("smoked reindeer sandwiches" anyone?), others will have you running to the kitchen to create your own. The book is sectioned into the four seasons and our palates are taken on a wonderful and interesting journey with some of the less-used herbs such as dill and chives making an appearance, and recipes for the humble potato that will make you swoon: potatoes in a dill cream, salad of fennel and new potatoes with a lively vinaigrette dressing.

New on the butcher's block

The group behind the successful Botswana Butchery restaurants in Queenstown and Wanaka have bought Cin Cin restaurant, in the historic Auckland Ferry Building. Known for their focus on fine meat cuts and locally sourced produce and with their new fit out near completion, we can't wait for the doors to open.


It's a date

Join Viva's wine editor Jo Burzynska this Sunday for "Wine & Sound - A Multi-sensory Tasting Experience". This intimate affair to be held at The Golden Dawn bar in Ponsonby explores the surprising synergies between wine and sound.

Jo (aka Stanier Black-Five) will pair a diverse selection of wines with varieties of music and explore the harmonies and discords that the different combinations can create. Jo will be joined by DJ Jon Bywater - lecturer, artist and record collecting fanatic. 8pm, Sunday 19 Feb, The Golden Dawn, Cnr Richmond and Ponsonby Rds, Ponsonby. Limited tickets $25 online. For more info, visit here.

Mexican wave

For those of us who've been eagerly awaiting Mexico to breeze into town, the wait is over at last. Situated in the ground floor of the Kiwi Tavern in Britomart, this casual restaurant and bar is a celebration of all things Mexican with bright colours, a tequila tasting bar and fresh and vibrant food straight from the streets of Mexico.