Graze and Feast
I was excited to learn about Graze and Feast, Auckland's newest independently owned and operated food market, based at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf every Friday evening for the month of July.
Growing up in a country like Malaysia means I'm no stranger to street food, and I love the concept of a gathering of food trucks all in one location. While I quickly realized that 'street food' in Auckland does not quite share the same meaning or concept as Asian street food, where it's mostly deep-fried, snack-sized, not very healthy but incredibly tasty, it was no less exciting to see so many vendors selling all sorts of interesting food from different cuisine styles.
From wood fire pizza, burgers and tacos, to South African bunny chow, Indian curries, Vietnamese spring rolls and ice cream, baked goods and desserts, The Husband and I had a fun Friday evening checking out Auckland's latest food event, and of course, stuffing ourselves with delicious food.
Part of the charm of this event, I think, is the fact that it's only held on Friday evenings for one month. It's also a great concept and we enjoyed exploring the different offerings from each vendor, eating all sorts of food from a hotdog to a curry puff, and also the huge space with plenty of seating and relatively quick service.
I didn't quite like that we had to pay an entry fee to get in - $5 is quite a bit just to enter an event when you don't really know what's going on inside or if you'd want to buy anything from any of the vendors. For a family of four, it means $20 just to enter the venue, which is a little much in my opinion.
As for the food, while a lot of what we had were really tasty (I especially recommend Ekhaya's Bunny Chow and their Chocolate tart, as well as the Pulled Pork from Al's Deli!) I would have much preferred smaller portions of food for less money, so we could taste and try more from the different vendors.
As it was, I would have been full on just one burger from Al's Deli, or a Hot Dog from Brooklyn Dogs, if I didn't have The Husband to help me finish up everything I couldn't. A lot of the dishes on offer ranged from $7 - $15, which is quite expensive for 'street food' in my opinion.
A $15 pizza, plus entry fee and a glass of wine served in plastic cups, and it would be more than what you'd typically spend at an average Auckland restaurant. Again, a little too much for an event like this.
Nevertheless, it is a novelty, and despite the high prices, there is a good vibe at the event, with plenty of tasty grub on offer and a really efficient clean up crew! We had a good time, which is of course, what matters the most, but I think it would be fair to say that we won't be going back for a second visit as we could have probably dined at a very nice restaurant with the amount we spent on the first visit alone, including parking in the city.
Graze and Feast is running for the month of July from 5pm - 10pm on Friday nights with $5 entry. You can also visit their Facebook page here to find out more. (p/s: Bring cash as some vendors are cash-only.)