Tiny takeaways on carts on street corners, parks and beaches are a regular feature in many cities around the world but these are yet to make a major impact in New Zealand.
There is a certain charm and taste in ‘getting your hands soiled with good food’ and happily, New Zealanders are beginning to devour the experience.
‘Street Eats’ held on August 10 and 23 was an event organised by ‘Heart of the City- Lemongrass Production’ to tickle the taste buds of people. Organised as a part of the ‘Heart of the City,’ the one-day event held at Queens Wharf in the Central Business District attracted more than 25,000 enthusiastic residents and visitors on each of the two days.
I Village Restaurant presented its delicacies and culinary delights (which are otherwise available at lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday) at the ‘Street Eats.’
Smeet Girish, Director and Manager of the Restaurant was excited to discuss about the event, which he said, was bigger and better this year, compared to 2013.
Tandoor to people
“Our concept was to take the Tandoor (Charcoal Ovens) and cook in front of people to demonstrate the quality of food. We are grateful to the organisers for giving us such an outstanding platform to take the Indian Restaurant industry in general and I Village in particular to another level. We are proud that I Village has become a landmark less than 18 months after its opening last year,” he said.
I Village was among a select list of top quality restaurants including Bellota, Besos Latinos, Box of Bird by Bird on a Wire, Ima Cuisine, L’Assiette, Le Garde-Manger, Merchants of Venice, Mexico Britomart, Monsoon Poon, Orleans, Thai Street, The Food Truck, The Grill by Sean Connolly, Toto Pizza, Urban Turban and Y Not.
Taste of Auckland
Smeet was also excited to recount his experience at ‘Taste of Auckland,’ another quality event held at the heart of the city.
“I believe that the organisers were happy to have I Village as a part of this festival, since we have established a higher standard in the market, aiming to change the perception of Indian restaurants in the country,” he said.
Lemongrass Production organised the Taste of Auckland in the Heart of the City Auckland. ‘Taste Committees’ organise this event in 18 other places around the World.
The Committee invites restaurants to participate in the event based on a set of rigid parameters. As such, it was an achievement for I Village which is just second year in its operations.
Smeet said that the Festival is held over six sessions on four days celebrating ‘great food and wine with great entertainment.’ World-renowned chefs demonstrate their individual art of culinary.
“We were the first Indian restaurant to be invited to ‘Taste of Auckland.’ We got our Tandoor and cooked in front of the crowd. People are always interested to know how our Tandoor food is cooked and delivered. It is an experience for them to actually connect with our Chefs and see the process of Indian Cooking,” Smeet said.
He and his team look forward to this year’s event scheduled to be held from November 13 and 16, 2014 at Western Springs Stadium, Stadium Road, Auckland.
Tickets for the annual event, priced from $25 to $150 can be reserved online (www.tasteofauckland.co.nz)
1. Smeet Girish and his Chef give the Taste of Auckland
I Village Chef at Street Eats 2014 with Chief Executive Dimple Girish in the background