Eating lunch at your desk is like imagining you are at the beach. And if you live in a city like Auckland, it is like imagining, while sitting inside your room at a beach-side resort. Ridiculous.  Now get out and eat.

In Auckland central, get out to Indochine, it removes any objection you could have; Too busy? They are as rapid at food transit as the muralled ambience is groovy. Can’t afford it? These are food court prices.  Dietary requirements? Whatever you want; vegan, vege, paleo, sorted.  All fresh and flavoursome.

First drink is always water, still or sparkling? Floor staff bring it direct to you with the menu as soon as you sit. Next, well personally, as it’s lunchtime, I go for the green tea, complimentary, steaming hot. If it’s a relaxed lunch, then great news. They sell beer. Real beer. Fresh, locally brewed and from the tap, Sawmill Pilsner or Pale Ale, sold by the half, pint or jug $7/$11/$22. Not overly hop-heavy, balanced brews.

Food wise I have had it all, this time of year Bò Sốt Vang $16, a French beef stew, is comforting goodness. On a healthy day I do the Combination Gỏi cuốn & Bánh mì $15, vegetarian, chicken or pork filled rice rolls with dipping sauce and salad. On a long-run or rundown day, Bò Tái Chanh $14.  Beef salad, on a bed of crisp fresh green leaves, with a Vietnamese dressing that I always tear my toasted baguette to mop-up. Buttered baguette, mmm, an indulgent little addition. Uplifting like the music, usually old school reggae, think Studio One classics, other times it’s funk. LOVE their music. The place is tiny, moody and it rocks, in a sexily restrained, way.

Like their little wine list, probably Auckland’s most under-rated winery has two slots, the Westbrook Marlborough Pinot Gris 2014, $12 a glass/$48 a bottle and my go to, pretty much whenever I see it listed somewhere, Westbrook Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2014, $12 a glass/$48 a bottle, made by a winemaker as clever as he is beardy, and he is very clever is James Rowan.

You see, now I’m off on a tangent? Which is pretty much the point of going out for lunch. It enhances productivity and mood. Our brains, minds and souls are not linear, we need to diverge, to let go and check out from the task focus. Here, off the beaten path lies imagination, innovation, happiness and health. As I type this I’m back from lunch with a bloke I met in a seminar recently. Smart man, humble, thoughtful and very interesting. At some point as he told me the tale of his own learning and growth to be the delightful grown up he is now, something shifted in me, an old wound healed, a long-lived insecurity let go and left me.

Beat that, as you drip your mouthfuls of over work on your key board or down your work shirt. It was a healing lunch. And I’m back at my desk inside the hour. As is my new mate, back fast enough in fact to send me this; “Thanks man, refreshing chat. Tasty lunch :)”

OK so adult men using emojis is questionable, but Indochine worked it’s rapid, budget friendly magic on both of us. He suggested a beer next time, maybe do the pre-dinner, happy hour? As the night wears on, the music gets a little louder, and the funky drop-lighting a little darker – quite unlike my mood right now, which has been buoyed by a good meal. See what investing in lunch can do?

DETAILS

What: Indochine Kitchen, Vietnamese Restaurant
Where: 42 Fort  Street, Auckland 1010
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 12:30am – 2:30pm. 5:30pm – late. Saturday & Sunday: 5:30pm – late
Contact: Website: indochinekitchen.co.nz, Email: hello@indochinekitchen.co.nz, Ph:  09 974 2895

About The Author

Timothy Giles
Contributor

Timothy known as Giles, drinks. He does other things, runs, swims and rides unfeasibly long distances, probably to make up for the drinking. Oh and he's a gardener. He's into permaculture which reflects what he drinks most, which is organic, biodynamic and natural wines and craft brews. Giles eats too, but always has a drink to start.

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