Another day, another international food trend. Ruth Spencer reimagines eating out in Auckland.

Bunyadi: Clothing Optional Dining

London has a new clothing-optional pop-up eatery, The Bunyadi, although pop-up would seem an unfortunate phrase in this instance. Their motto is unfortunately not "show us your Bunyadi".

Bunyadi hits Auckland: Out of the closet of clandestine nudie barbecues at Ladies Bay, the Auckland eatery where you daren't touch the seatery really spices up Max Key's Instagram. His dad takes a quiet moment to consider that, in retrospect, the Tea Pot tape recordings could have been so much worse. All those bare bunyadis prove a boon for young house-hunters, lowering the property prices on all sides with windows. Being a place where celebrities go to be seen takes on new meaning, and Caci Clinic brochures are presented along with the bill. The White House hurries to expand its menu. Ponsonby buzzes with chatter over Helen Clark's surprising tattoo. Although the restaurant opens in a blaze of positive publicity, eventually it becomes necessary to serve a trespass notice on Paul Henry, who insists on arriving as he means to go on.

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Yuba is the skin that forms when soy milk is heated. In New York they're doing strips of it with cashew cheese and onions on a roll, but they don't say why. Like seaweed bacon all over again, Yuba veganises the least vegan of all dishes, the cheesesteak sandwich.



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Yuba hits Auckland:

While there had formerly been little market for stale tofu accidents, Mike Hosking is photographed vacuuming Yuba crumbs from the Ferrari and the craze is on.

Little Bird Unbakery sells flayed curd buns hand over anaemic fist. Mr Vintage produces a commemorative slogan T-shirt ("Yubae: Yuba Before Anything Else"), sparking a stampede by vegans looking for new ways to alert people to their veganism. Otis Frizzell launches a food truck called "Skin Of Your Teeth" to cater to skin-food junkies, serving porridge-scum tacos, oven-dried pumpkin soup membrane chips, and everyone's favourite, Burnt Milk Three Ways.

Snackification of Meals

People are increasingly eating alone more frequently and at random times. Photo / iStock
People are increasingly eating alone more frequently and at random times. Photo / iStock

The concept of mealtime is on the way out as people increasingly grab a bite alone, more frequently and at random times. In the US the snackification of meals is a growing trend, though to be fair their portion sizes have also invented the mealification of snacks.

Snackification hits Auckland: Cafe kitchens stop closing at 2pm and there is rejoicing in the streets by anyone whose hangover has ever not been ready for brunch until 3.30pm. On the other hand, it's always time to eat; Aucklanders exhausted from food prep abandon their sous-vide machines and courgette noodlers and flock to Al Green's new Soylent-type meal replacements made from shredded Lockwood flags and quinoa. It's impossible to get into Bellota as tapas plates are rebranded as meals for one. Vending machines replace fridges in flats and an unforeseen epidemic of commuters fainting from hunger on the bridge sees Uber drivers installing pie warmers to become a kind of savoury Mr Whippy.

Green Buckwheat

Also called Tartary Buckwheat or Duckwheat, this whole grain turns green when wet, so you know it's good for you, or at least, wet. Whether you enjoy* this organic, gluten-free, raw delicacy as a chilled gruel, baking flour or sprouted, you can be assured you're on trend and really showing regular buckwheat aficionados a thing or two.

*Your results may vary.

Green buckwheat hits Auckland: #DuckwheatAndChill starts trending on Twitter. Wilder And Hunt controversially replace kale in their smoothies leading to a nationwide duckwheat shortage. Artificially dyed synthetic buckwheat hits the streets and a dangerous black market develops, leading to the now-notorious Duckwheat Riots. Dealers advertise by hanging a freshly brewed pot of buckwheat tea over phone wires outside their houses. The PM claims to be relaxed about the epidemic but rumours swirl of shares in a Cayman Islands' buckwheat plantation. A prominent New Zealander is granted name suppression after his tinny house turns out to be a front for a duckwheat den. A career-ender for Nicky Watson and Pete Evans, who are found to be running an illicit cold-press duckwheat juice ring.

The J-shaped icecream cone

A South Korean treat currently enjoying popularity in the New York food-truck scene, which apparently is a thing. The saxophone-shaped cone can be filled at either end, giving you two icecreams in one, sort of. As it melts, the icecream pools into the bottom of the curve, culminating in a soggy last-brandy-snap-of-Christmas sensation.

🍦🍦🍦#jipangyiicecream #jipangyi

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The J-Cone hits Auckland:

High-density icecream the J-Cone is the Unitary Plan of puddings. Gone is the loungey luxury of the cronut or the quarter-acre cupcake. Aucklanders becoming used to cramming more into smaller spaces for twice the price lap up this crowded treat. A cumbersome thing only a few want, it becomes the official food of the new Waterfront Stadium. Tragically, The Edge breakfast crew fatally injure each other in the rush to say "double ended". Rose Matafeo refuses to eat one live on air, sparking intense online debate. It turns out Rachel Hunter was right all along: saxophone cones might be making a lot of noise right now, but you really can't beat a Trumpet.