We were visiting the North City Plaza in Porirua for a quick lunch, and walked though the doors with a sign stating “No hoodies, gang patches, alcohol, smoking, dogs, or bare feet”. None of that applied to us so we felt free to enter. Food Halls in shopping malls seen to be the same wherever you go. There’s always a McDonalds of course, usually a Chinese, a variation on fish and chips, Thai, Indian, a Sushi Bar, and whatever else the stall holders come up with. There was even a Chocolate Cafe, which made my eyes light up and my mouth water.
Chinese was our choice, and we made our way around the buffet taking a bit of this, some of that, adding a few “crunchies” to the top of our plates, such as tiny spring rolls, a wonton or two, and how about one of those delicious stuffed and battered mushrooms. Finding a spare table in the busy food hall, we started on our meal. Sadly, our stuffed mushroom wasn’t a mushroom at all – instead we found a ball of rice with a few bits and pieces mixed it, then battered and fried. The place was really crowded, it’s still the Christmas school holidays here so there were family groups everywhere. Plus a couple of workers in their high vis jackets, we noticed, sitting down enjoying their meal, and a member of the police force who collected his take-aways to enjoy at the nearby police station, we presumed.
As we finished off our meal, Robin was busy reading a sign on one of the food outlets. “What the heck is falafel?” he asked. Mmm, I didn’t know either. So Robin walked up to the counter and asked the question from those who would know. Not only did they tell him that falafel is made from chick peas and spices, then deep fried, but they cooked him up a sample at no charge. How kind. We both tried a piece and decided it certainly was tasty, and they even popped a couple of grapes in too. Wrong – they weren’t grapes at all, but black olives. Not Robin’s favourite, but I gobbled them up, no trouble.
While I sipped my decadent hot chocolate from the Chocolate Cafe, which was a bit rich for Robin’s taste, he decided on a Macca’s chocolate milkshake. So we were both happy. And full, after our big lunch.