Count on me…

We were on our way home after one full day of touring around all the very interesting places outside of Auckland but on the way, we stopped by this place…

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 – one of the many around. It used to be called Food Town, I was told and according to this newspaper report, the biggest one is at 17-25 Victoria St West, just across Queen St from the Whitcoulls Corner, with its customer entrance beside Brookfields House and that particular one was the largest supermarket in the city.

Well, Christmas was round the corner, so there were all the Christmas delights all around…

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– the traditional mince pies…

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….the fruit cakes and puddings…

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…and there were ready-made pavlovas too…

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…as well as the regular cakes and lamingtons, should anyone prefer those…

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I checked the prices of SPAM there…

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…and at NZ$5.69, multiply that by 2.5, give and take a little, that will be around RM14.20 which is, in fact, around the same as what we pay at a supermarket here.

I saw this Malaysian restaurant next door…

Malaysian restaurant

…and as the name implies, it would be a place of Malaysians who miss our mouth-watering local fare…but no, I was not missing anything at the time, not at all. Hehehehehe!!!!

Back in the house, we had these beautiful dish of scampi for dinner…

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…and my friend cooked this very nice risotto served with scallops…

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…and so it came to pass that smallkucing‘s aunt, his father’s sister who is currently living and working in Auckland, wanted to drop by to see me that night so she graciously accepted my friend’s invitation to join us for dinner and she brought along with her this very nice salad dish with smoked salmon added…

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…and just look at what she brought for me to take home!!!

From Lay Soh

Oooo….I loved those Macadamia Brittles! First time trying, and I really liked it!

Gosh!!! People are all so kind and generous to me that it makes me feel bad that there is no way I can reciprocate. Sigh!!! Thanks so much, nonetheless, my friend – sure am glad to have made the acquaintance and hopefully, the feeling was mutual. Cheers!

Last stop…

In Mandarin, “puhoi” means “cannot” as in “woe puhoi” meaning “I cannot (do something)”. The name, Puhoi, in Maori, however, means “slow water” (referring to the tide coming all the way in from the sea) or “spring (water) coming from a long way away”.  All through the valley, water comes in abundance all year round, from springs high in the hills, water hydraulically ‘driven’ by the ranges further north.

That 2nd full day we spent in Auckland, we made one last stop at that place and this was where we went – the Puhoi Valley Cafe & Cheese Store

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…and as the sign says…

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…this is a place for cheese lovers.

You can see all kinds of cheese inside…

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…and if you look at the top right hand corner of the above photograph, you may see the counter where they will let you try all kinds of cheese that they have.

I tried one of their blue varieties and I loved it a lot! It tasted something like our “long” salted fish…but I cannot remember the specific name now…

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My friend’s hubby bought some of it and we had that for dinner on one occasion when we ate at home.

We had tea at Silverdale before we came so we did not want anything to eat there but we had ice cream instead…

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We decided to try the medal winners…

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– Melissa had the gold medalist…

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…while I opted for the silver…

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…and I loved it heaps! It was so very nice, simply out of this world, I must say…but one thing I noticed was that their ice cream melted kind of fast, so I had to be quick in slurping it all up! I also heard somebody saying that their chocolate would melt faster than our locally-produced ones.

There was a group of Asians at this place when we were there and from the way they spoke English, they probably came from somewhere in Malaysia. It did not matter than they were speaking rather loudly – after all, it’s a free country – but one thing that put me off was they were taking lots of photographs and out of the blue, one kind middle-aged/old lady offered to take a group shot for them. When she had done that, the guy took the camera back from her and remarked, “When I was in New York, the man ran away with my camera!”  I did not hear him thank her or maybe he did but after hearing that, I wonder how the lady felt.

Well, this is really a nice place, I would say, with a very nice compound that is so very pleasing to the eye…

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…and a good place to rest and relax and maybe have a bite to eat.

We only wanted the ice cream though and having had our fill of that, we went back to the car and headed on home for dinner…