As Block 2 is coming to a close and we start our journey to the South Island on Friday, some of us are feeling nostalgic about the time we’ve spent in Whanganui. We’re thinking about the places we’ll miss the most, including some of the great food we’ve eaten!
Auri Korean Takeways
Auri is a humble hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Victoria Street that focuses on simple yet delicious Korean food. The whole group has been wanting to try Auri while we’ve been in Whanganui but haven’t gotten the chance until recently due to the fact that the owners were away in Korea. Malia, Nathan, Akul and Truman stopped in on a Wednesday afternoon for a quick lunch and we were blown away! If you sit down for a Korean dinner you’re guaranteed to have stir-fried meat bathed in soy sauce, sugar, garlic, green onions and sesame oil served alongside freshly-cooked rice and the usual array of banchan (side dishes) such as slices of omelet, wilted spinach, kimchi (fermented chili cabbage), tofu and many others.
Truman ordered the sundubu-jjigae (sundubu means soft tofu and jjigae means stew) which is a chili-laden fish broth with silken tofu, mushrooms, green onions, and a runny egg dropped inside. Sundubu-jjigae is one of the more famous Korean dishes as is gimbap.Gimbap is basically Korean sushi that is usually filled with carrot, wilted spinach and a variety of other delicious foods. Truman’s had carrots, spinach, egg and teriyaki chicken with a nice glaze of sesame oil on the seaweed. Some of the other samplings were japchae (Korean stir-fried sweet potato noodles with veggies and meat) and soy-glazed chicken balls. It was all delicious and definitely a place that we will visit again before we leave New Zealand.
Jabie’s Doner Kebab
Perfect for filling that hole in your heart for the hungry, and the even hungrier, a Turkish doner kebab at Jabbie’s is guaranteed to sate even the most voracious of gluttons. A kebab consists of a warm pita filled with a protein of choice (falafel, spit-roasted lamb or beef) and then your choice of toppings/salads. Cross-cultural counterparts of the kebab can be see in the shwarma and gyro. Salads are a choice of cucumbers, pickles, red onions, lettuce, shredded carrots, and seasoned rice. After you get your toppings you have a variety of sauces to choose from including yogurt, mint, tahini, hummus and three different kinds of chili sauces. Many of us agree that doner kebabs are probably among the best food we have eaten in New Zealand so far due to the size, taste, texture and price.The soft pita, tender meat, crunchy vegetables and tangy sauces will have you polishing off your kebab in a matter of minutes.
The Red Stall
When you’re looking for a quick, tasty and cheap lunch on the weekdays our go-to is the food stall affectionately known as ‘that wrap place’ or ‘the red stall’. The stall is situated in the middle of the Whanganui shopping district and is there everyday to offer passerby fresh chicken wraps. A karake chicken wrap will cost you $7 for a tortilla/flatbread filled with boneless strips of fried chicken, sliced cabbage, shredded carrots, may and chili sauce. We affectionately call the red stall the ‘La Mex’ of Whanganui. We all miss our burritos and Mexican food back at Earlham and this is our way of getting close to that!
The Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday, the Farmer’s Market offers it best for a delectable brunch. Anything from sushi to corn dogs, from fresh fruit to lamb wraps, from mediterranean dips to freshly baked chips, the farmer’s market is where you should be Saturday from 9AM-1PM. My favorite thing to get is the pizza. The man who makes the pizza created the brick oven himself, which is the head of a dragon. Unfortunately we do not have a picture of the oven, but we do have a picture of pizza, which is obviously more important. The pizza includes 5 easy ingredients, sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni (on some), mushroom, and the most important ingredient: watercress. Watercress useds to be a rare commodity, growing along slow moving rivers and streams, but now is commercially grown in water tanks. It has a light, peppery taste so it gives a good flavor when thrown into a salad and on a pizza it is a must have!
Bar food is another necessity when going out. One of our favorite bars to go to is Caroline’s. It is a bar right next to Whanganui River, which has a beautiful view of the river if you sit outside. Caroline’s is an easy place to grab a beer and relax, but also has an array of bar food snacks. We got the wedges, which was the perfect amount of grease for drinking. The wedges were topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon bits. Light paprika was sprinkled on top. Although it doesn’t look as delicious as it was in the picture, I would definitely recommend it if you stop by Caroline’s.
Truman and Woody