10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin

10.118

3 (Fri) May 2019

Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin

3.25

at The Cut

-Auckland Central, New Zealand

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Mission to Fiji, Day 9.

Transiting thru Auckland, on my way home.  Finished a series of planning meetings and ocular inspections – Friday and Saturday in Nadi, Monday and Tuesday in Suva, Thursday in Nadi again – in preparation for the Fifth Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health, which will be held in Fiji in August 2019.  It was the third such mission in advance of the Fifth Meeting (see previously 10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut).

The return itinerary has me on an absurd 12-hr layover in Auckland.  I’m not complaining, as it gives me an opportunity to explore the city – first time in New Zealand.

BRUNCH

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Chicken & Cheese Panini (1.5): on board Fiji Airways, en route to Auckland.

LUNCH

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Faro (화로) – one of many many Korean restaurants in central Auckland.

New Zealand is the 16th country and Auckland is the 33rd city outside of Korea where I’ve had Korean (see KOREAN ABROAD).

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
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Sky Tower – the city’s signature building.
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Oh my god – remember this place (see 3.097 Mordor Pizza)?!?!

AFTERNOON TEA

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Queen’s Ferry. Wandered in at random, for a quick beer. Googled the place to see if maybe it was worth staying for dinner. Turned out to be the oldest licensed bar in the city.

DINNER

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The Cut is a steakhouse. Located in the Rydges hotel.

Generally, the food was good, if unremarkable. High quality, competently prepared.  While I did enjoy the meal as a meal per se, I didn’t enjoy it at all as an experience.  (I should’ve stayed at the Queen’s Ferry and had their “Build Your Own Platter” – doesn’t that sound intriguing?  Maybe next time.)

A couple years back, I took self-righteous joy in lambasting a steakhouse in Manila for marketing their steaks with pompous bullshit like source attributions, grade ratings, and feeding practices (see 8.085 Darling Downs Wagyu MS 5+ Grassed-Raised, Grain-Finished Ribeye Steak).  The Cut, even worse, exploits the supplier’s Maori heritage, twisting the apparent empowerment of indigenous peoples into a perverse selling point.

Nevertheless, I bought it.  At the time, already anticipating what item should be featured on this historic first-ever New Zealand post, I wanted it be as local as possible.  However, because the country doesn’t really have any signature dishes – at least, not that I yet know of – I thought that the ingredients at least should be local.  And so their ploy worked perfectly on a tourist sucker like me.

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500g minus bone and gristle = net 400g in edible meat.

In any case, the steak was pretty good.  Clean, beefy flavor.  Just the right amount of marbling to make it succulent without getting too umami.  Tender with a bit of chew.   A tad overcooked to medium.  Too much salt on the crust.

SNACK

In the Strata Lounge at the airport (see BEST IN LOUNGE).

As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel, especially via business class, including lounge access.  Any comments here, even the negative ones, are simply relative to other business class experiences, not complaints per se.

MIDNIGHT SNACK

On the final leg of the journey back home.

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New business class cabin on Philippine Airlines, which seemed nice at first for the privacy of these capsules, but the space under the monitor was so narrow that I couldn’t move my legs once the seat was fully extended into sleep position – First World problem, I know.
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Convenient set up for personal items.

The food remains abysmal.

BREAKFAST

Just before landing.

With the two meals on this flight, PAL has just dropped to last place on the list (see BEST IN FLIGHT).

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