Best spot for a night out with the boys
A recent night out with my mates went like this. A couple of drinks in the sun at Scarlet Slims and Lucky in Mt Eden Village. It used to be the cloakroom because it was so small. It's about 5% bigger now and still great. Then Uber down to Dr Rudi's Rooftop Brewing Co in the Viaduct Harbour. Flash place. Pizzas and beers and sweet views from the deck of the boats in the water. If you get bored they have a ten pin bowling alley out back. I'm a big believer in heading towards home while you're still out. So we jumped back in an Uber and blasted on up to Ponsonby to Bedford Soda and Liquor. Part owned by Jeremy Wells (of Hauraki Breakfast and Seven Sharp fame). Bedford is famous for its award winning cocktails which none of my friends drink. Luckily they do have beers and meatballs too. Even luckier, we'd nicked Jeremy's tab number. Good times.
Best place for a quiet after work drink
Being a creature of habit there are only two places I go for a beer after work. The Brewers Co-operative - NZ Craft Beer Bar & Fish & Chips on the corner of Victoria Street West, or the Morningside in Sandringham. Brewers has heaps of craft beers on tap, the nicest staff in the world and delicious burgers served in fish and chip paper. A nice place to wind down and up as it has the powerful but tasty Liberty Brewing Knife Party IPA on tap. The Morningside is a larger operation, with a great outdoor area out front. Comfortable brick interior, arcade game upstairs and a massive roll down screen above the bar for the big games. Best of all it's conveniently situated about 150 metres from my house.
Bands in Auckland
Auckland is a great town to see a band. There are the huge internationals pumping through Spark Arena all the time. Then there's Tuning Fork and The Hollywood Theatre in Avondale for smaller bands. But if you want to see the up and comers on the slightly down and dirty side of things. Whammy Bar in St Kevins Arcade, K Road is your place. It's not the flashiest of establishments. The toilets aren't the cleanest on the planet. But that's kind of the point. You don't want to see bands in a bank. It's about the tunes and the beers. You'll see four interesting acts in a night for $15. Bands you may or may not ever want to hear again. Perfect.
Next sporting event
The Breakers provide a top night out. I'm off to see them play the Sydney Kings on October 20th. It's the full American basketball experience with the entertainment, the hype, the organs, the kiss cam and the cheerleaders. They've been in the league since 2003, won it four times and are currently at the start of a new era. Watching the Breakers is a solid bang for your buck option. You can get seats for $15, and really good ones for $35. Even with a few beers and a bite, that's good value. Of course if you want to impress clients or a lady, you could fork out $350 and get the super flash Hollywood seats. I've done it before. Totally worth it.
My local hidden gem
The Satya Spice and Chai Shop is my favourite Indian restaurant. So hidden I struggle to find it. It's down a super narrow alleyway on Sandringham Road. It's the real deal. Coffee sacks everywhere, random drapes and fairy lights. They serve great Indian street food and have at least 50 different craft beers you just go grab yourself. I find myself spending much of the night up at the fridge on beer selection. I came across this place once with a mate, couldn't remember the name of it for about 6 months. So I couldn't find it again. Even if you know the exact address, you still doubt yourself. 'Am I in a movie?' you think as you walk in. 'Is this the bit where some one gives me my super powers?' But just keep walking down the magical alleyway and when you feel like you are in another country, you're there.
My ideal day in Auckland
Early morning walk up Mt Eden (Maungawhau) with my dog Colin. What a view. How green is Auckland looking back towards the Waitakeres? It's like a massive forest with some houses and roads nestled in. Turn round and you're looking out to sea over the spectacular crater, across the domain with the cool museum building, out at Rangitoto, sitting like a cartoon volcano in the harbour. What a city. Then down to the village, get something new to read at TimeOut (the best bookstore in the world), breakfast out the back of the Sierra (Colin's allowed there). Then fire some texts out for lunch companions. Head down to Swashies. After that, God willing, there's a big game on at Eden Park or just some sweet domestic cricket on at the Outer Oval. Now that's a day. Luckily, it's one that happens all the time.
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