There are few things that have sparked such fierce debate in the eternal, good-natured rivalry between Australia and New Zealand than the pavlova. It’s too lengthy to go into now, but The Culture Trip has done its part in compiling the 10 best places in Auckland to get your hands on this contentious dessert.
Cafe, Australian, $$$
If you’re after a spot that isn’t going to break the bank with a laid-back, out-of-city vibe then Corelli’s Cafe is the one for you. Here you’ll pay a mere $7.50 NZD for a nice piece of home-made pav, just like what grandma makes. It’s a far cry from the pavlova you get in the city – nothing like paying 20 bucks for dessert – when it comes to price, but not when it comes to quality. Catch the ferry over to Devonport, escape the big smoke and sink your teeth into this one.
Patisserie, Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
With a name that means ‘to crave’ in Gaelic, this delectable restaurant knows the dessert game inside and out. In fact, co-founder and chef Brian Campbell has been in the patisserie business for several years – he even did a brief stint at the famed Milse. Miann’s colourful gourmet treats include gelato cakes, petit gateaux, bonbons, gelato sticks, and high-end à la carte selections – and of course a pavlova-inspired gelato. Whilst it’s not a pavlova in the traditional sense it does capture everything that we love about the pav with its burnt Heilala vanilla, berry and pavlova pieces.
Restaurant, Australian, Steakhouse, Seafood, $$$
Tony’s is one of those brilliant restaurants that every city – and every neighbourhood, really – needs. It’s a warm, cosy and relaxed affair, and the menu caters for all tastes and appetites. This means that it comes as no surprise that they have a Kiwi classic such as pavlova on the menu. Recipe-wise they’ve stuck to what works and haven’t strayed far from the tried and true. They have made a slight tweak though, and that is in the presentation. At Tony’s they smash up their pav so all the separate elements come together in a new way.
Restaurant, Fusion, $$$
When you think of a food court, the image of a fairly naff open area next to a cinema or in a shopping mall can spring unbidden to mind. This is definitely not the case in Auckland’s Elliot Stables. This is a food court as food courts should be. It’s the way of the future. Here you’ll find all sorts of tasty eating and drinking options, which make finding a ripper of a pavlova unsurprising. Have a little hunt around here, you won’t be disappointed.
True Food & Yoga
Restaurant, Cafe, Australian, $$$
Pavlova and yoga might not be two words that you commonly whack into the same sentence, but at True Food & Yoga they’re willing to make an exception. This pavlova comes with pretty much zero guilt as it’s made up of a matcha pav, blueberries and coconut custard. How’s that for a dessert that’ll leave your tummy smiling?
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
Masu is a beautiful Japanese restaurant that is located right by the Sky Tower in central Auckland. This makes it the logical choice for those who wish to see an iconic New Zealand landmark up close whilst simultaneously putting the nosebag on at one of Auckland’s premier dining establishments. As the Sky Tower is a bit of a national emblem when it comes to New Zealand, so is pavlova. So why not tick off two must-dos in one fell swoop? This dessert is a shiro miso pavlova with roasted tamarillo, dried pineapple and guava chilli sorbet. We bet your grandma didn’t make it like that.
Mikano Restaurant & Bar
Bar, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
If you want a place that’s set right in the city, with views of the harbour that’ll keep your eyeballs happy and a pavlova the likes of which you’d trip your grandma up to get to before she did, then Mikano is the restaurant for you. Their take on the pav is a slightly softer version – rather than the typically crispier one. This pavlova roulade is served up with a mouth-watering passionfruit sauce and topped with kiwi fruit for that extra kiwi touch.
Euro Bar & Restaurant
Bar, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
Euro Bar & Restaurant
makes no compromises in providing a brilliant and memorable dining experience, using classic European gastronomic techniques that bring out the best of their ingredients and result in complex and delicious flavours in every dish. As well as having a fantastic variety on their à la carte menu, the kitchen lets you indulge in one of their brilliantly balanced set menus that provide a taste of the chefs’ true talent. Located on Auckland’s bay, you’ll have a fantastic view over the water while dining in a classic European fine dining establishment. When it comes to pavlova, this summer the talented chefs have opted for summer berry pavlova with Kaffir lime leaf, white chocolate mascarpone and passionfruit sorbet. It’s good. It’s really good.
Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, Middle Eastern, Fusion, $$$
Pavlova can be a simple affair on paper, but when it comes to the jazzed up version you won’t find many flashier than the one they serve at Winona Forever. Made up of summer brioche French toast with pistachio and vanilla bean meringues, whipped mascarpone and raspberry compote, fresh Kumeu strawberries and organic maple, this is anything but your run-of-the-mill pav.
Restaurant, Australian, $$$
It would be remiss of us not to mention Cibo when it comes to a list of restaurants that take their pavlova seriously. The team at this Parnell-situated restaurant have made sure everyone’s pavlova bases are covered by giving the menu no less than three pavlova options. You can get a salted caramel and peanut brittle pav, one that is all about the classic lemon meringue, and our favourite, a pavlova that is based on a lamington with raspberry and coconut. It’s a shame mere mortals can’t usually eat three desserts in one sitting.