• Judy Rogers.
  • Isabella Yallop.
  • David Li.

Local Life in March

In Channel Magazine we love highlighting people in our community who make a difference. Two local Devonport Peninsula people, Kate and Lauren, have created ‘Local Life NZ’ a social media entity doing similar online. We love what they do, so we’re now collaborating with them to include content in Channel Mag. This month they profile Judy Rogers, Isabella Yallop and David Li.

Judy Rogers

“It’s a fantasy world, my fairy-tree, but that doesn’t mean fairies don’t live there. I often look out and imagine who’s behind the little door in the knot of the pōhutukawa tree – we all need a bit of imagination in our lives.
“When we first saw our house nine years ago, the tree with its rope swing on the grass verge really made an impression on me, and I knew I had to do something with it.  So I set about creating a magical world using bits and pieces that I use in my art – a door, small huts, a toadstool, woodland animals and sculptured flowers. I use only sustainable materials – there’s no plastic, so it looks like they belong there, and that somehow makes it more real.
“I love listening to the chatter as people walk past – the tree’s a real talking point. Some leave me notes and I try to reply to as many of them as I can. Some have even asked for help with curing loved ones  – they believe in the power of magic as much as I do.”

Judy Rogers, mixed media artist: @jarartcreations
Judy’s fairy tree is on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Eton Ave.

Isabella Yallop

My favourite artist by far is David Bowie. I love his music - it’s helped me to see my individuality as a strength.
I first started playing at the Bunker late last year, performing original songs. I'd been going to the Bunker for a few years before that with my dad, and after writing a few of my own songs, I decided to give it a go.
The Bunker’s so welcoming and cosy.  People can be themselves - there’s no judgment there. Performing music, whether originals or covers, brings me huge satisfaction, and I love sharing my music with people at the Bunker."

- Isabella Yallop, stage name Caspian Wilder, made her solo guitar-playing debut at the Bunker in late 2020.

David Li

“Our kids are the future. Along with my three and a half year old son Patrick, I want them to feel comfortable and happy in our neighbourhood, especially when they’re walking past my store. So I decided to find an artist who could create a child-friendly mural that celebrates the love we have in our community. Local support has helped me run my business for the past eight years and I want to give back wherever I can, either by donating to fundraisers or commissioning art for everyone to enjoy.
“Painted by Auckland artist Harris Keenan, the mural’s an interactive map of the iconic sites in our area – Mt Vic, the old Post Office, the fire station, the bunkers, the marina and navy base. The idea is that kids can point out where they’ve been before and where they haven’t, so they can go and visit them with their families.
“I know from my son, that if you want to get kids’ attention you have to make something fun and gamey. The  mural’s a giant maze that kids can play with; whether it’s hitting a ball onto certain spots to get points, or running their toy cars over the surface, I hope it makes them feel happy and excited by this special place.”

David Li, Thirsty Liquor Belmont, 130 Lake Road, Belmont, Mon 10am - 7pm, Tuesday- Thursday 10am - 8pm, Fri and Sat 10am - 9pm, Sun 11am - 8pm, Delivery service is available for locals who are isolating at home. Call us on 094460345 or message through Facebook.

XO Yakitori & Issan Bar

XO Yakitori & Issan Bar has helped to breathe new life into the imposing corner site that straddles Lake Road and Jutland Road. Such a prime spot was never going to sit still for too long.
XO brings its unique flavours of pan-Asian cuisine to the neighbourhood, and diners are spoilt for choice with a dual kitchen producing both delicious Japanese and Thai dishes. They also offer a refreshing take on bao buns, with a DIY duck bao that you can make yourself at the table with crispy duck, cucumber, spring onion and coriander, topped with a wicked hoisin sauce.  
Dumplings are a crowd pleaser – choose from either chicken and lemongrass, or pork and prawn – while the Yakitori Bar offers two Japanese grilled skewers in a range of tastes, including chicken wings, pork belly, prawn, scallop and silken tofu.
The market fish sashimi boasts a range of four different species, depending on the catch of the day.     
Turning to Thai, there are all the classic dishes, including Pad Thai noodles, sizzling beef, Tom Yum chicken soup and Thai-style sweet and sour pork.  But the true mark of a good Thai is its curries, and XO’s Massaman curry comes laden with rich taste, sweet and mild flavours, and sticky lamb shoulder that falls off the bone. Order a side of coconut rice, and you won’t be disappointed.
Delicious and decadent sweet things – including homemade filled doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and tempura custard balls – are there to tempt you at the end if you can still move. If liquid decadence is more your thing, XO prides itself on its signature cocktails and liqueur coffees which they serve in the upper-floor Yakitori Bar with sensational views of the cityscape from the open-air balcony.
Owners Eduardo and Bo Viterbo run sister restaurants in Wynyard Quarter and Hobsonville, but XO is where their hearts are for now.  Everything is made on site, ingredients are fresh and in some cases, homegrown. Their one-month anniversary is coming up, and we bet the rafters will be rocking in true Lone Star style.  

XO Yakitori and Issan Bar
335 Lake Road, Hauraki (on the old Lone Star site)
Tel: 09 486 0003
Opening Hours:
Lunch: Thursday-Sunday, 11.30am-3pm
Dinner: Tuesday-Sunday, 5.30-9.30pm
Closed Mondays, Groups welcome
Takeaways available but not delivery