Master Cigar Roller in Auckland

Master roller - Ramses Pantoya Herrera
It's always a priviledge to have a master cigar roller from Cuba to grace our shore. Master roller Ramses was in Auckland to demonstrate the art of rolling cigars. I had the opportunity to meet Ramses and had the pleasure of enjoying a freshly rolled cigar.

Ramses was rolling cigars with his personal blend of seco, ligero and volado leaves which just arrived a few days ago from Cuba. The fresh cigar tasted very different to aged cigars. I could taste and savoured the variety of flavors and aroma from the tobacco. The cigar was rolled to perfection with just the right balanced draw and produced the most luscious rich smoke.

Petite Coronas rolled by Ramses

Previously I also had the opportunity to meet the following cigar rollers from Cuba.

Alfredo Andres Pino in 2008

Yasmel Rodriguez in 2007 

Customed cigar by Yasmel


Summer is just around the corner. Time to enjoy the outdoors, bbqs, Christmas and New Years holidays and a break.

I'll be back blogging and sharing.

In the mean time, sit back and relax with a cuppa and great cigar.

Food and Cigars Around Auckland

These are a collection of worthy food and cigars enjoyed around Auckland during the wonderful summer of 2010.

Cigar: Ramon Allones Celestiales Finos - 2009 Asia Pacific Regional Edition (46 x 137)
Drink: Kirin Beer
Location: Iguacu Restaurant & Bar, 269 Parnell Road, Parnell

Yum-cha at Dynasty Chinese Restaurant
Location: 57-59 Wakefield Street, Auckland CBD

Cigar: Por Larranaga Robusto - 2007 Asia Pacific Regional Edition (50 x 124)
Drink: Trim flat white

Steamed Treacle Puding

Location: GPK Bar & Grill, 262 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

Kiwi Breakfast

Location: Nosh Food Market Cafe, 133-135 Apirana Avenue, Glen Innes

Partagas Shorts & Trim Flat White in Ponsonby

H. Upmann Magnum 50

Mine love affair with H. Upmann Magnum 50 started after I tried a few when Habanos released this double robusto late 2008. I cracked open this box to celebrate a good friend's birthday. The box has been resting in the humidor for close to a year.

We enjoyed this cigar with 23 years old aged Ron Zacapa rum. Both of us nodded in agreement the combination was almost perfect. The smoothness of the rum enhanced the sweet and creamy profile of the Magnum 50.

At 50 ring gauge and 160 mm in length, the cigar evolved from creamy to dark sweet cocoa profile. I would consider the Magnum 50 a full bodied cigar and certainly like to have a substantial meal before lighting one up.

The Clarendon

Fresh Bluff oysters

The Clarendon restaurant is certainly worth a visit if one is in the garden city of Christchurch. The menu of the day promoting fresh seasonal Bluff oysters caught our attention. The rest was easy as we were ushered to a nice spot under the cosy outdoor umbrella.

The kind waitress explained the Bluff oyster arrived yesterday and were limited since the harvest commenced about a week ago (end of Feb 2010). The oysters were fresh, juicy with the taste of the sea and nice hint of metallic iodine. I say there were beautiful.....

Pesto & Funghi Risotto

Duck Breast

For the mains, we had pesto and funghi risotto and Asian spiced duck breast with kumara mash and duck filled croquette. The risotto was awesome and worth another visit to savour this delightfully cooked rice dish. The duck breast was well prepared and the croquette give the dish a different twist.


I can't finish a meal without desserts. We ordered two desserts to share. The strawberry parfait and apple -vanilla mousse with green tea jelly. The strawberry parfait served with rhubarb and strawberry sorbet on encased cone.

The Clarendon
Cnr Worcester Street & Oxford Terrace