Anything can be takeaway material with enough MSG!
I realise that by the time you’re reading this, we may already be down an Alert Level. Fingers crossed. But if by any slight chance that it hasn’t… or for any future reference… here’s a guide. A foodie cheat sheet. During Level 4, I did a bit of ‘research.’ Tell me to do a 10% essay and I will probably need an extension. Tell me that you can get fried chicken, BBQ pork on rice, and pies at Level 4 and I’ve probably already eaten them. Here we go!
Turns out, the only main food source open during Level 4 is a lot more bountiful than you think. Unfortunately, not every supermarket is born equal. PaknSave Westgate is the first branch I’ve seen in Auckland that does gorgeously juicy fried chicken and chips. With chicken salt. I’d say it was as good as Sensational. I hear Ormiston has it too. A drum, thick thigh, and a small shovel of hot chips is $8. Turns out, this is pretty common in Northland… if anyone finds any other Auckland branches that do this, let me know.
You can’t forget about the actual deli sections though—New World Browns Bay has a fully stocked pie warmer and… Thai red curry(?!?!?). I’m sure the metro supermarkets have something similar.
Any supermarket bakery will have donuts, cupcakes, cakes, and scones to pick up—hey, it’s not much, but it’s something. But recently I’ve been seeing a lot of pastry development, especially with lockdown coming back in fashion. Countdown Greenlane had an assortment of those classic jam cream donuts, the long ones you can get at your local bakery. New World Pukekohe has freshly squeezed orange juice, cakes sold by the slice (a $3 slice was enough for two people), and a copious amount of sushi.
Now, promise you won’t tell anyone? Here’s the clincher: I was at Jadan Chinese Supermarket the other day. At the back of the store the BBQ section is selling hot BBQ pork (or duck) on rice. Combo meals from $13. I didn’t get anything, but it smelled really good and there was a decent group of people waiting for their orders, having already grabbed a soda from the fridge. I’m not super sure what happened with this, but as I was leaving with my phở ingredients, two big policemen cut the outside line to go in and investigate something… so if that operation is closed, someone snitched.
Thankfully, supermarkets are not the only option under Alert Level 4. Bakeries are allowed to deliver, along with places serving uncooked food items. Here are some of your options:
My local westie donut haunt, Grownup Donuts, is doing contactless delivery and online orders. They’ve come to the city campus a bunch of times and every time I get there the good flavours are all gone. Love a Lemon Meringue Donut. It’s not as good as my all-time favourite—Mama’s Donuts, which is also doing contactless delivery out of the Shore and Botany.
If you’re stuck at halls, Luna Café (the wholesome little shop that does Vietnamese food) is doing online delivery Auckland-wide of their matcha almond croissants, cookies, baguettes and did I mention the croissants? Delivery is only $7.5 and they will deliver as north as Long Bay and as south as Papakura.
One quick mention to Euro Patisserie Torbay: my childhood bakery. The owner Sopheap Long became the first woman in history to win the NZ Supreme Pie Award this year with an insanely good steak and cheese. They are doing contactless delivery for their pies and everything else—but you need a minimum spend of $40 and they only deliver around the neighbourhood. Perfect if you fit the prerequisites though (uni brain, what is wrong with me smh).
Yes, you are all poor, but also yes, most of you have expensive taste. Go crazy. A new boujee online service has emerged out of the CBD—courtesy of Savor group, which owns a bunch of fancy restaurants and bars. At savor.co.nz, you can get lobster roll kits from Lobster & Tap, croissants and sourdough from Amano, and even wine and cocktails delivered to your door. Idk how this works, but if your parents are rich or you invested in crypto early, go for it.
The other fancy lockdown thing you could do is get a meal kit box from mynourishkitchen.nz. You can recreate dishes from very acclaimed restaurants like the chicken parm from Andiamo, the sirloin steak from Jervois, and the mac n cheese from Soul. But be warned—dinner for two will set you back $125, and they sell out fast.