Believe it or not, Auckland's looking pretty dry this weekend, so there should be plenty of opportunities to get out and about and sample the city's newest culinary delights.

Consider Auckland CBD's fancy new dining space, Queen's Rise, or try the Asian-fusion menu at Mt Eden's new eatery Xoong.

If you're planning on hosting dinner at home, don't be deterred from inviting your gluten-free friends. Bite has delicious ideas for gluten-friendly meals and treats.

Looking ahead, you'd be wise to pick up your tickets for next weekend's beer, cider and food festival, back in Auckland for another year.


Here's what we will be eating and drinking this weekend:

Staying in

Gluten-free dinner party ideas

Bun cha is a great gluten-free dinner meal to serve to your guests. Photo /
Bun cha is a great gluten-free dinner meal to serve to your guests. Photo /

Don't let dinner guests' gluten-free dietary requirements put you off serving fabulous food. Familiarise yourself with which ingredients contain gluten and always check product labels to make sure they're gluten-free (for example some soy sauces contain gluten).

Bite has shared a selection of starters, mains and desserts to make creating gluten-free fare easy.

See the feature over on

Recipe: Sweet potato hash browns

Try this healthy alternative to traditional hash browns in this recipe created by Eleanor Ozich.

See the recipe over on

Dining out

The Candy Shop, Newmarket

The spicy pork belly at The Candy Shop. Photo / Getty Images, Fiona Goodall
The spicy pork belly at The Candy Shop. Photo / Getty Images, Fiona Goodall

This week for dinner Kim Knight took herself to The Candy Shop. Known to most as a popular Newmarket brunch spot, Knight notes "The Candy Shop is an unpretentious gem about two minutes' walk from the Rialto Cinema. If you haven't added it to your list of date night options, you should."

Read Kim Knight's full review here.

Jesse Mulligan's review of Xoong in Mt Eden

Viva's Eating Out editor Jesse Mulligan says there's potential in Xoong's Asian-fusion menu.

He said the eatery, set up in what was Molten in Mt Eden Village, had no buzz. But "luckily, the food is good."

A post shared by XOONG (@xoong_mt_eden) on

"Like Wu and You across the road Xoong borrows from various cultures, though they are less likely to deconstruct and reinvent than their neighbour."

Read the full review over on here.

Auckland's new dining precinct: Queen's Rise

While Auckland may be full of fantastic eateries, Queen's Rise is the city's first downtown spot to offer a mash-up of the fast and fancy.

The stylish new space is perfect for busy business lunches or a quick after work dinner date. Boasting 11 new eateries and a swanky bar, situated up a set of escalators, you'll get a view to the beautiful old architecture not often seen from Queen Street's ground level.

Featuring Ottoman, a Turkish-inspired Mezze lounge, Poke Bar, and from the creators of Culprit, a street food-style restaurant Lowbrow (we can already attest to their fried chicken wings).

Ponsonby Central's iconic Dante's Pizza has also set up shop with a new wood-fired oven turning out their award-winning, authentic Italian delights.

Click here to find out more about the new dining precinct.

Health news

The diet that claims to help you lose 4.5kg in three days

It sounds too good to be true, but this diet promises to help you lose as much as 4.5kg in three days.

The Military Diet is a strict 3-day meal plan that involves consuming between 1100 and 1400 calories each day, well below the recommended daily intake for adults. This is followed by four days of healthy eating.

It comes with a warning though: results are not expected to last and you may have to deal with side effects including nausea, fatigue and headaches. But the healthy eating days should set you on the right track for a lifestyle change longterm.

Click here to read more about the Military Diet.

Got 10 minutes? You can do this workout

A lot of people think you need to set aside an hour or more to get a daily workout in. Some of us will avoid the gym altogether when time's not on our side.

But by choosing a selection from the list below, you can get the job done in seven to 10 minutes.

Click here to see the list of exercises.

Red meat raises risk of endometriosis, study finds

See the full article here.

Foodie events

GABS: Auckland's beer festival returns

The GABS beer, cider and food fest is back for another year at the ASB Showgrounds. Nearly 100 stalls are offering samples of new, unique and limited release drops to satisfy all tastes. Some of the wackier brews boast flavours and ingredients such as bubble gum, ground crickets, sea water and breakfast cereal - yum?

Don't forget to eat something as well: you'll find plenty of options from street food stalls offering poutine, bao, fries and dumplings to name a few.

When: GABS Auckland is held over two sessions on Saturday 30 June.
Tickets: Ticket information available on their website or eventfinda
For more information see the website here.