Restaurant Review: Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

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Last night S and I dined at Francesca’s Italian Kitchen as per a good friend of ours’ recommendation. She said it was excellent so we had to try it for ourselves. And overall, it was pretty spectacular!

Several things stood out: the slow-cooked beef (housemade) gnocchi (probably best in town), the tolerable noise level (I am so used to dining at Italian restaurants where I can’t even hear myself), the artsy pasta guide on the inner bathroom doors (who doesn’t like a good read whilst on the toilet), and the physical location of the place (I love anything close to New Regent!).

And of course it wouldn’t be a review if I’m not a slight bitch about it so… We ordered polenta fries as a starter, they were forgotten, and brought to us midway through our mains (yeah, yeah, first world problems). Speaking of polenta fries, they were good but not as amazing as The Bicycle Thief’s. In my opinion, those are much better. As for the pappardelle ragu, I think Cafe Valentino does theirs better, and the pumpkin brûlée, well, it was pretty unique in flavour but also highly diabetic. In other words, too much sugar (you know, even for a brûlée).

Despite the grumble, I’d rate our experience an 8/10!

I Am Growing Flowers…

in the darkest parts of my heart, for if light ever enters, it would know where to start. ~Noor Unnahar
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On Sunday evening, S and I went to The Tannery to watch one my favourite musicians, whom I first stumbled upon busking in Queenstown some 5 years ago (he busking not me) at live music venue, Blue Smoke. Of course, Graeme James was absolutely phenomenal – people like him make me wish I was at least slightly musical. On the contrary, S and I were not in top form.

You see, since his arrival, things have been pretty difficult. Getting used to one another’s presence after six months of separation takes work. Funnily enough, and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this, Lifa (my Israeli brother with the beautiful Japanese wife) contacted me with a very resonating message a couple days ago:  “Are you guys still madly in love?” he asked, followed by: “When Aki came to meet me in Israel she suddenly wasn’t sure anymore…I would blame it on me coming late to pick her up from the airport but you know…doubts started and all. Eventually we passed that but what I’m saying is that surprises can happen.”

In my case, there have been no doubts, none whatsoever at all. Just disappointments. Allow me to explain: for 6 entire months I had looked forward to his arrival. So much so, that I had booked and cancelled 3 different cafe’s for our first place to go to after the airport (I couldn’t decide which would impress him the most). Next, I’d planned our weekends, and week nights, and basically, every minute of which I was not at work. We’d missed out on so much, now that he was finally here, I wanted us to do it all! But as the old yiddish proverb goes: “man plans and god laughs.” At first S was extremely jet-lagged, then poor guy fell sick due to climate change, then I became sick (both physically and emotionally) due to overly attached girlfriend shenanigans (haha). And, it’s also winter, which means everything is just that much harder to begin with. So, with my grand schemes down the drain, and my expectations unmet, I found myself rather disappointed.

And this is where we chose love. Realising that if we wanted to be more than picture-perfect happy, we needed to put in the effort. So, as kindly as we could, we communicated our feelings, and as selflessly as we could, we acknowledged one another’s. It was an arduous process. It is an arduous process. I can’t say I’ll ever master it. But what I can say is that it was the rain (and shine) which made our relationship blossom. For the sincere way S offered me solace, made me fall in love with his beautiful soul all over again. In the words of Abdu’l-Bahá: “where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there is always time.”
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Be Certain That You Do Not Die Without Having Done Something Wonderful For Humanity.

Week four’s book is A Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou. It is short, it is easy to read, and it is brimming with learned wisdom; the kind which often springs from old people. And though I did not find every chapter relatable, I did find every chapter, useful. image-1-1
My mother’s precious hands, holding an almond milk cappuccino at recently opened Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters.
I’ve blogged THIS drink before. My momma doesn’t like it but I sure do! Traditionally used to soothe the stomach, Kawakawa leaves are known to be an anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic. Kawakawa tonic was traditionally used to aid digestion. To further this function AOTEA Native Tonics brew Kawakawa leaves with herbs and tea leaves that are also understood to help with digestion. So it’s good for you, too. image-1-3
“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike.”

(Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter)image-1-4
Who’s sniffing who?
Recently I attended my friends, Kate and Rory’s engagement party. My mother insisted on taking a picture of me before I left home. Since then, she has, bless her soul, posted this picture on every single one of her social media platforms.
Zen Sushi & Dumplings. Go get some. PS this is salmon and avocado with brown rice.
imageLast night my momma kept entering the kitchen and interfering in my business that I threatened her I’d never cook again (hehe). So, here it is: oven baked gurnard fillets rubbed with tangerine slices, chopped tomatoes, Kalamata olives, fresh garlic, olive oil, paprika, pepper, salt, and garden mint for The Last Supper. #cookyourowndamnfish

My Wish For You Is That You Continue

…continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. -Maya Angelou
image-1-png-4Real-life fruit ninja.
It’s getting hot in here!image-png-31
This is my gorgeous sis. She’s always “liking” and sharing my stuff (hint hint). image-png-30image-png-29
So what do y’all think of NZ, then?
Back to my favorite ice-cream joint of all time (now serving various dairy-free options)! All hand-made and all with ample love. Now, I know this because I know the family behind the ice-cream. And believe me when I say they’re just as delicate and just as sweet.
There are so many new Christchurch cafes! I just can’t keep up but I am trying. This is Park Ranger on Riccarton road. When I drive past, it always seems busy. I wonder if it’s just a phase? Like as was Yoghurt Story? Anyways, mama and I truly did LOVE their coffee (and almond milk availability) but the biscotti..oh the biscotti it almost broke my teeth. Yeah, yeah, biscotti is always hard, you tell me. But this guys was extreme. image-1-png-5
Last but not least, vegan Thai green curry. Nothing like cooking for a loved one. Love you mommy xx

Best of Christchurch

I apologise for the lack of posts, friends! To be honest, with working full-time, I have’t even had time to Skype my boyfriend! I can’t believe how much CHCH has developed and I can’t wait to go to every new place on my to-go-to list! For now though, here’s a short list of what’s been thus far sampled by my palette:
Frozen yoghurt sundae with raspberry sauce, fresh berries and dark chocolate by Berry Culture.
A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and honey latte from the world’s best cafe (C1 Espresso). image-2-png-18
No doubt, the best pizza in CHCH from Cafe Valentino.
And last but not least, probably the best chai latte I’ve had here. This is because, unlike the usual sickly-sweet Starbucks variety which everyone sells, Supreme Supreme’s chai was spicaaaay! Now, I use the extra a’s because drinking it was like licking the grounds of a Middle Eastern spice market, but in a good way.

CHCH Review: Patisserie Yahagi

As some of you may or may not know, I started this blog before coming to Japan. Iaccidentlyatethewholething was born in NZ. And in specific, Quake City AKA Christchurch which happens to be where the majority of you lovely followers reside. And so even though I’ve been eating my way through Asia, you and Christchurch have always been on my mind.

Excuse me while I hum tiki taane for a while.

Okay, done. As I was saying, you’ve been on my mind and I’ve been wishing that you too, could try all this delicious Japanesey stuff. Which is why I’ve asked my super hot friend Melissa Lin to guest post on here once in a while. Today ladies and gents is MEL EATS’ REVIEW ONE. Sorry Mel I just named you, is that okay?

For now, Anisa says bye! (I kinda like talking about myself in third person, I feel like that’s how J Derulo feels when he says his name in his songs)


Good news, foodies! You don’t have to teach English in Okayama to eat choux creme or cakes and pastries flavored matcha! What? When? How? Allow me to go on… tucked in the Church Corner Arcade (Upper Riccarton) is a little gem by the name of Patisserie Yahagi. The store is known for their delicious Japanese (and French) inspired cakes and pastries. They’re the first Japanese patisserie to open in New Zealand and one of my most favorite dessert vendors in Christchurch.

Walking into Patisserie Yahagi, first you are acknowledged and greeted by their warm and friendly staff. Next, you are mesmerised by their flawless creations delicately sitting on display. With so many delectable and award-winning goodies just demanding to be eaten, I have definitely had my fair share of pastries and cakes from this place. And although I am forever on an ongoing quest to taste all of their heavenly desserts, so far, one of my favorite pastries from Yahagi are their Japanese choux cremes (basically, giant cream puffs). Hands down, they are one of the best I’ve ever had! The choux pastry is airy and perfectly firm, it holds its shape and doesn’t go soggy when filled. Whatsmore, exquisite Tahitian vanilla bean crème is piped fresh into the pastry when ordered, creating morsels of deliciousness.

Patisserie Yahagi is definitely a place worth the visit. Their desserts aren’t too rich and have just the right amount of sweetness, making them irresistible treats for everyone. Though I’ll warn you now, it’s very tough, some would even say, impossible leaving the store empty handed.

For more info, click HERE

Thanks for having me!

Go To Hell

Dear marketing genius behind Hell’s pizza: you’v stolen a pizza my heart.

Hell’s pizza has always been my favourite fast food option for two reasons. One: their menu allows you to create your own personalised pizza and two: they’re punny as hell (see what I did there?)! As of lately, I have another reason to love Hell. They’ve introduced dairy and soy free mozzarella! That’s right, you can now enjoy a completely plant-based pizza! Which basically means (and I am speaking from experience here) you can gorge on pizza and roughly receive the same amount of nutritional value and calories as you would from a salad (don’t quote me on this). But it won’t taste like salad it’ll taste like pizza (well, duh); a guilt-free salad pizza- okay, I think you get the picture.

I tried the Damned pizza minus the camembert on thin base: onions, mushrooms, fresh spinach, cashews, avocado, sundried tomatoes and jalapeños with dairy-free Mozzarella. Oh mama-mia it was mouthwateringly delicious. What’s peculiar is that we ordered two other regular pizzas with regular cheese and everyone in my family liked the dairy-free pizza the best! In fact, after taking her first bite mum made a loud “mmmmm” sound followed by: “you can taste how much healthier this one is” – don’t let that turn you off, believe it or not, healthy doesn’t always mean tasteless!

So, if you’re craving a pizza and let’s be honest who isn’t, go to Hell (makes me laugh every time) and order a dairy-free vegetarian pizza! The box cheekily suggests you “dispose of the evidence” but I don’t quite believe the same advice applies when a pizza is so damn nutritious (get it?)!

Review No18 Pure Cafe Co

Healthy eating in all it’s forms (paleo, raw, vegan etc) is seriously on trend right now. I don’t know about you but my Instagram feed is swamped with raw cheesecakes, superfood salads, acai bowls and quinoa. In short, healthy foods are rapidly taking over the culinary scene (and eventually the world), one raw snickers bar at a time. In Christchurch, the number one place for healthy yet delicious (yes, such a thing exists and these guys will prove it to you) is Pure Cafe Co.

It’s almost embarassing how long it’s taken me to do a write-up on Pure Cafe seeing as their food philosophy and mine are identical: healthy (yummy) food that’s good for you. Pure Cafe is all about recreating your favourite treats with wholesome, nutritious, local and mostly organic ingredients. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. Sugar-free waffles? Raw Jaffa Slice? Protein Mancakes? Shut up and take my money.

For breakfast there’s an epic menu including oaty granola (pimped with activated nuts), power porridge, energy bowl, grain-free waffles and more. In addition; they serve superb coffee with the option of almond, rice or soy milk (every vegan’s sanctuary! Seriously, nowhere else in CHCH does this) and tasty smoothies served in glass jars – now, if that’s not trending, I don’t know what is.

For Lunch, choose from an extensive cabinet selection of pure goodness (see what I did there) including: healthy wraps, gluten-free sushi, vegan pizzas, superfood salads, buckwheat cakes, paleo hot pots and more. What’s more, each food item is distinctly labelled so you can clearly choose what type of health journey to embark on (GF, DF, V, paleo and so on).

For something sweet try their raw raspberry and beetroot cheesecake, paleo carrot cakes or a variety of clean cookies, slices and energy balls (nom nom). I dare you to choose just one thing.

In addition to insanely good food (and by good I mean next-level), the pure staff are super friendly and hospitable – once inside,  you won’t want to leave. But, when you eventually have to, pick a treat to take away. Seriously. No Ragrets.

What To Expect From Angus And Julia Stone’s 2015 Summer Tour

Last night, my sister and I watched Angus and Julia Stone perform at the newly restored Isaac Theatre Royal and it was (insert word which is similar to but greater than “amazing”, “incredible”, “breathtaking”, “wow”). In fact; they were so freakin’ good and by good I mean the former unborn word, that I would kill (okay maybe not kill but you get the picture) to rewind time and see them all.over.again. For all you lucky Australians yet to experience their suave, the following is a list of what you can anticipate from their current summer tour.

Note: I don’t see the following as spoilers but rather mere observations and/or pointers from personal experience which I hope, will enhance your overall concert experience.

1.Annoying late comers
There’s nothing worse than late comers at a seated concert (actually, being seated next to a sweaty (and so; smelly) individual would be worse or sitting behind a person with a fro…). Anyways, not that I was counting or anything but I had to stand up and sit back down 12 times in order to allow a latecomer to reach their allocated seat (i’ll take that 12 off my next squat set shall I?).

2. Julia will say something sweet about your hometown (In fact; Julia will do most of the talking during the night.)
During their 2 days in Christchurch, Julia recalled having walked through the gardens and eaten at a place where “burgers fell from the roof” – for those of you who are yet to experience C1 Espresso’s oh-so-futuristic why-didn’t-I-think-of-it-first pneumatic sliders, they’re nothing short of genius (PS you’re seriously missing out). In truth, these adorably cute bite-size burgers had made such a huge impact on Julia that I heard her telling a fan about them again at the signing table post-show. In short, pneumatic sliders are sitting on the same fence as garden when it comes to the “garden city” (for Julia, at least) – look’s like I’m not the only one obsessed with food.

3.That token obnoxious drunk
No concert experience is quite complete without an obnoxious drunk. I mean, there’s nothing quite like a bogan screaming out something entirely random/useless (in this case: “shut up Colin”) mid slow song.

4. “Marry me Julia”
Often it’s the girls yelling out “Marry Me (insert male name here)” but not in this case.  Julia, oh Julia, she stole the show. With her bright eyes, lush hair and smooth dance moves; even I wanted to marry her. In response to “marry me Julia” (most likely emitted by said token drunk) Julia replied: “but you don’t know anything about me” and shortly after: “I hope you have a ring” – good sport Julia, good sport.

5. A song that will make you cry 
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t truly honest with you as this one’s a bit of a spoiler. Before singing “For You” Julia expressed she had initially written the song for a lover and sent it to him via email (as we do). After patiently awaiting a reply,  TWO weeks later (typical), mystery man replied with a song of his own. Unfortunately, Mr. Wrong was in a death metal band at the time and his song titled “go to hell” didn’t gel too well with Julia. In saying that, she explained she still loved performing the song and proceeded to make everyone cry:

If you love me with all of your heart
If you love me
I’ll make you a star in my universe
You’ll never have to go to work
You’ll spend every day
Shining your light my way

6.Angus being all gentlemanly and humble
I haven’t said much about Angus yet have I? That’s because he stayed in the backdrop most of the time, humbly giving his sister 80% of the spot-light, which in my opinion, simply added to his insane charm. In fact; nothing I’d like more than to take a ride on his big jet plane. No, that is not a sexual reference – yes, you would know that if you were an actual fan. Go away you creep.

7.Terrible Clappers
I’m against clapping at any concert and/or performance in general. Main reason being most people have zero co-ordination/rhythm. Prepare yourself for cringe-induing claps, at least two or three times during the night.

8.Sweet merchandise
Dope t-shirts and back-packs which you’ll need cold hard moolah for. ATM’s seem to disappear the moment you need one so i recommend you fill your pockets (preferably ones with zips) pre-show.

9.Legitimately loud and long cheers and claps shall result in the most epic encore. 
Two words: in-credible.

Lastly, enjoy the damn thing! Call me Captian Obvious but so often we tend to get wound up in taking pictures and videos, Instagramming them and/or checking-in on Facebook and the like that we forget to live in the moment and enjoy the NOW – I mean, if anything, Angus’s beard is worth each and every second of your time AKA eye-candy at its prime.