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Eating the K

Samrudh Akuthota dishing up cocktails at Chai Lounge 

Hundreds of years ago, Karangahape Rd was an important thoroughfare, a ridge on Te Ao Karangahape track that led journeymakers to the Manukau harbour. While all around sprouted streets named after things British, this East-West pathway retained its Maori name, now commonly shortened to K’Rd. Over centuries K’Rd remained a vital pathway and hive of activity, including of the red-light sort, which the area was famous for and which probably helped save it from too-fast development: the district retains architectural character rare in Auckland. More recently, with a flurry of new restaurant and bar openings, the fun here kicks off well before the midnight hour and carries on through. Proving that small-scale and operators can make a big splash, K’Rd’s eclectic offering makes it Auckland’s hottest strip.


Mint imperial

I may not have inherited my parents’ green fingers, but at least there’s mint. It can be relied upon to thrive under my neglect; as long as I don’t try to control it, or pamper it in any way, it continues to turn out downy, palm sized leaves, especially at this time of year. Of course, there are many varieties of mint. Two have gone bananas in my garden: Vietnamese mint, and spearmint. Here I’m referring to spearmint, which looks a lot like peppermint but has a much milder, sweeter taste with a fraction of the menthol content. READ MORE

Lemony Carrot Soup

As spring rounds the corner, I’m seriously crushing on warming soups, trying to get as many in possible before we tip from hot Scotch broth into chilled gazpacho territory. Carrots are at their best right now–sweet, crisp, and cheap. This soup is a great way to make the most of them.


Belly Worship


Balmoral’s got neon, and free-flow pretzels, courtesy of newly opened Belly Worship (word is that the name is NSFW if you’re looking to Google…you’ve been warned). READ MORE

Sticky lemon bars

Lemon bars (or slice, or squares if you like) are a favourite down here in New Zealand, where many of us are lucky to have lush trees dripping with the golden fruit all winter. Lemons are one of several fruit I seriously resent having to buy when my supply is down (grapefruit and feijoas make up the rest of that list). READ MORE

Warming winter salad

Cauliflower florets coated in warming spices and roasted until golden and crisp at the ends is one of my favourite bases for all kinds of winter salads. I would generally serve these kinds of salads still warm, but they still translate well made ahead and served at room temperature. READ MORE

Jamu Loving

I first tasted the traditional Indonesian health tonic jamu when on holiday in Bali a few years ago, and on subsequent visits have sought it out, in cafes,  warungs and health food stores. Then on my most recent visit to Bali I learned to make it, at the Sokasi cooking school at Four Seasons Resort in Sayan. READ MORE

Tangy nuts


Get your tang on with these slightly spicy, tart roasted nuts. Use whatever nuts and seeds you have to hand.


1 egg white

Zest 1 lime

1-2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, depending how hot you like it READ MORE

HAF sauce

Hot sauce addiction can be an expensive hobby – just ask my husband, who brings hot sauce on holiday with us, and probably only shies away from bringing it out to restaurants or friends’ homes because he knows I’ll tut-tut him… The really hot stuff, made with the really high-Scoville rated chillies, costs a fair whack. READ MORE


I’m Anna King Shahab. I run my own company, Radish Media Ltd, which mostly sees me writing on food and travel for a whole host of magazines, newspapers and digital platforms, as well as editing, consulting and copywriting for clients. I come from a magazine background and further back, as a qualified English as a second language teacher I taught in school in both Auckland and London.

I live in Auckland, New Zealand READ MORE