APPT Auckland: Here's cheers to Tahtouh

By Landon Blackhall and Sean Callander

Having just returned from the most recent APPT event in Macau, one of the world's great dining destinations, we find ourselves in New Zealand. OK, we're struggling to come up with a signature Kiwi dish but that's not to say that we're lacking for dining options. Among the offerings at SKYCITY include Chinese (Ming Court), Rebo Cafe (for a quick snack) or the Fortuna Buffet (something for everyone), Orbit or the Spanish-inspired Belotta.

But for those looking for a world-class meal, it's hard to go past Dine by Peter Gordon. Renowned for his "fusion" style of blending cuisines from around the world, Gordon is the country's most celebrated chef.

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dine by Peter Gordon - so what are the rest of you doing for dinner?

Dine opened in 2005 and has since won numerous awards for its food and design. Gordon returns each season from his UK base to work on changes to the menu with his staff, so regulars can expect a fresh experience with each visit.

No problems finding a decent bottle of wine to wash down a bit of fusion cuisine thought - New Zealand is home to more than 400 wineries and is recognised as one of world's leading producers of high quality wines. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has gained an international acclaim as the benchmark.

Whether it's a Cabernet Sauvignon from Hawkes Bay, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or one of the boutique beauties from Waiheke Island (just a short trip from Auckland), it's not hard to find an excuse for a glass of wine at day's end.

Or there's Lemon & Paeora, known as the soft drink that is "World Famous in New Zealand". Paeroa is home to a therapeutic spring that was discovered in the 19th century. This water, mixed with lemon is known as New Zealand's own natural soft drink. Goes a treat with vodka (or so we're told).

A man who loves a good drop of wine is PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Emad Tahtouh, and we're sure he's already thinking about the evening's dinner plans as he nurses the only stack above 100,000 into the second last level of the day. It's daylight back to Arnaud Bulle (65,000), Boris Cvetkovski (55,000), defending champ Daniel Craker (45,000) and Tahtouh's PokerStars.net Aussie teammate Grant Levy (42,000).