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The best Taste of Auckland ever?

Taste of Auckland kicks off in Victoria Park

The verdict is in and Taste of Auckland 2012 might be the best one yet.

The Moa, Epic and Monteiths is flowing, as is the cider at the Savanna Cider village and the cocktails at The Icebar; there is more varieties of wine on offer than it’s even possible to drink and the musical acts are rocking out at the Peroni Bandstand with aplomb.

Menus.co.nz is at the opening of Taste of Auckland 2012 and we’re having a blast.

Clooney's delicious food at Taste of Auckland 2012

But this is very much a food festival and in that regard Taste of Auckland brings the yummy. Toto, Poderi Crisci, Kermadec, Vivace, Clooney, Mexico, Fish, Euro, The Commons, Molten and Depot are all here, all churning out amazing dishes to sate the taste buds of hungry foodies.

In fact, when there is this much quality food on offer it’s difficult to decide what to order. We can't resist trying Clooney’s razor back pig belly with apple, celery and toasted faro – a dish that is so succulent, tender and all-round delicious that we immediately wanted more.

Instead, we dropped by Mexico – the restaurant, not the place – for a guajillo dry rubbed beef skirt taco with roast green tomatillo, candied peppers and nasturtium; an eleven on a scale of one to ten and a taste sensation that beggars belief.

Mexico at Taste of Auckland 2012

Dishes are priced from $8-12, with all purchases made through Taste of Auckland crown cards that can be purchased on site. Fortunately it’s easy to reload the card because the money goes very quickly indeed.

In addition to the amazing line-up of Auckland’s best restaurants there is more than 120 hand-picked artisan food, wine and beer producers on site showing off everything from fine wines and wine cabinets to bacon and peanut butter.

Meanwhile, cupcakes, chocolate and whoopee pies cater to the sweet of tooth while sausage makers and bacon producers offer free samples of their delicious products.

The Whisky Shop’s whisky masterclasses proved popular on opening night as did the Fisher & Paykel Chef’s Kitchen, which will feature a series of cooking demonstrations by the likes of Fish’s head chef Shane Yardley and Kyle Street and Al Brown from Depot.

Cupcakes at Taste of Auckland 2012

Your next culinary adventure has already started in Auckland. Get along to Taste of Auckland 2012 this weekend and soak in the atmosphere, drink, eat and be merry.

For more details read our Guide to Taste of Auckland 2012 and read about two of the restaurants on site: Fish and Depot.

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