Although Wellington is known as New Zealand’s ‘Culinary Capital’, Auckland punches well above its weight, with both home-grown and international chefs bringing a cosmopolitan vibe to the city’s foodie scene. Here are Auckland’s top 10 must-visit restaurants.
Sidart boasts an expanding trophy cabinet of accolades. The best in Kiwi fine-dining cuisine, Sidart combines fresh and unusual ingredients with a constantly changing menu. The tasting menus are available in five- or nine-course options with wine pairings. Throughout the year, the chefs tirelessly craft and tweak the restaurant’s dynamic new menu which features dishes such as the simply described quail, swede, cashew and raspberry. Imagination gets the better of the adventurous diners, who have total faith in the chef to create the beautifully presented and delicious meals. Diners can also become a guinea pig for the day, sampling the new menu on the ‘Tuesday Test Kitchen’. For the more inquisitive diners, the chef’s table allows an immersive experience, allowing customers to interact and observe the creation of their meal.
For a very casual and enjoyable restaurant experience in Auckland Depot comes highly recommended, having won ‘Metro Magazine Restaurant of the Year 2015’ and ‘Restaurant Personality of the Year 2013’. Something of an institution, it offers considered and tasty dishes. Run by chef Al Brown, the restaurant’s ethos is ‘in season, beautifully cooked, and to be enjoyed with friends’. A popular dish is the indulgent NZ meat board with; ‘Akaroa’ pork coppa, ‘Otellos’ beef bresaola & wild venison salami, wild rabbit rillettes with cherry relish and ‘Olaf’s’ fig crostini. There’s a raw bar, where oysters and fresh shellfish are shucked to order, and the kitchen features a large charcoal grill and a hard wood oven.
Since the restaurant’s opening in October 2006, Clooney has won a number of awards for its approach to Kiwi cuisine, including ‘Chef of the year 2013’ for Head Chef Des Harris. Housed in a once-derelict warehouse, the space now resembles a grand dining hall. Owner Tony Stewart has created a uniquely Kiwi dining experience in the heart of Auckland. The once concrete shell of a building is now vibrant and aromatic. The a la carte menu offers a range of interesting dishes including the succulently sweet boneless lamb, with coffee, miso, cocoa nib and butternut.
Self-described as ‘the steakhouse to end all arguments’, Jervois Steakhouse was set u