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Creative Powerhouses the Katayanagi Twins on Their Favourite Spots in Auckland

From brews to views, the powerhouse creative duo share their favourite spots in the city.
By Concrete Playground
June 17, 2022
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By Concrete Playground
June 17, 2022
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in partnership with

In the fast-moving world of creative and influencer culture, it takes a lot to stand out. This is a quality that Auckland natives China and Rain Katayanagi have been able to do without even really trying — after all, identical twins tend to turn heads.

The creative powerhouses seamlessly shift between the worlds of music and fashion. When they aren't front-and-centre of editorial campaigns for cutting-edge streetwear labels or walking the runway for brands like Huffer, they can be found at some of the hottest spots in Tāmaki Makaurau bringing the vibes with their mega DJ sets.

But even hard-working creatives need places to unwind. In partnership with Tiger, we've asked the creative mavens about their favourite places to hang out in Auckland — including a couple of spots where you can try the new Tiger Crystal Ultra Low Carb, a smooth, refreshing and crisp brew that features 70% less carbs than Tiger Original.

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Levi Steven

SWEAT SHOP BREW KITCHEN

Good brews, good grub and all-around good times — for nearly a decade, Sweat Shop has been a reliable favourite for many an Aucklander. This expansive spot on Sales Street features a tidy list of local and international beer (including Tiger Crystal Ultra Low Carb, of course). While Sweat Shop is home to what is reported to be Auckland's only floor-based shuffleboard, it's all about the big deck energy here thanks to the giant dance floor and one of the largest al fresco spaces in the city.

The main drawcard? According to the twins, the live music scene here is among the best in Auckland. "Sweat Shop always throws the best live events. If you love watching people perform live, Sweat Shop is the best."

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Levi Steven

PAPER BAG PRINCESS

"The first time we ever went to Paper Bag Princess we were around 17 or 18 years old. Now we're 25 and this place still has drip."

And what drip it is, with the racks of this K' Road go-to stacked with an excellent range of pre-loved threads — including heaps of hidden designer gems — with prices that won't break the bank. New items arrive daily, too, so whether you're looking for a new piece for your weekend fit or a total wardrobe overhaul, you'll find something here.

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NORTHCOTE POINT CITY & BRIDGE VIEW

From its idyllic beaches to its dramatic volcanoes, it's well known that the City of Sails boasts many a photogenic spot. Northcote Point is one such location, thanks to its sweeping views that take in the sea, city and the Harbour Bridge. Whether you're after a panoramic shot of the Waitematā Harbour or close-up views of the country's most famous bridge, this lookout point is a great place to catch a breather when you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the inner-city. The best time to go? That'd be after dark, according to the Rain and China. "This place is the best to go to for nighttime views [and] just to stare at the Auckland city skyline"

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Levi Steven

BANGKOK ROLLED ICE CREAM

"This place stands out so much out on K' Road! You can't miss it, there's a giant neon sign," the twins say about this popular grab-and-go spot that dishes up over 30 flavours of rolled ice cream. For the uninitiated, that's ice cream that's frozen and flavoured to order, to which you can then add from a selection of toppings for a bit of extra oomph. If it's carb o'clock, have yours served in a Hong Kong-style egg waffle or an ice-cream burger. The twins prefer a classic combo: "If you love Nutella, you have to try the Nutella and banana crepes. So yummy!"

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XO

Rain and China love the "cute and fun vibes" at this newly opened Takapuna yakitori bar, and it's not hard to see why. The sleek Lake Road venue plates up a menu of pan-Asian skewers, street food and share dishes for lunch and dinner, complemented by a thoughtful drinks list and, on a clear day, views across St Leonards Bay. Our tip: come for a sundowner on the expansive deck, and then stick around for an impressive dinner to make a night of it.

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Anthony Sowerby

LAKE WAINAMU

When it comes to escaping the city, there's one spot China and Rich keep going back to: Lake Wainamu. One of Auckland's best-kept secrets, this stunning freshwater lake in the rugged Waitakere Ranges is surrounded by mountains and sand dunes. Getting to the lake involves a fair stroll, but for the twins, the journey is part of the experience. "This place has the coolest dunes and there's a nice walk that leads to the lake. We're not so super fans of swimming in it, but the walk there is fun!"

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Big on taste, low on carbs — uncage your next thirst with Tiger Crystal Ultra Low Carb Beer. For more information, head to the website.

Top image: Levi Steven

Published on June 17, 2022 by Concrete Playground
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