Dining out
Comments 8

6. Cazador

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe.


The atmosphere is…cazador

A charming kitschy restaurant complete with round archways, plastered walls and more taxidermied beast and fowl than some diners will feel comfortable with. The bar area was packed and boisterous at 6pm when we arrived, the dining area quietly well behaved.

Come here for…
Game meat (and vegetable) dishes served in an unfussy style. Simple clean flavours using unusual ingredients. The menu of about 5 starters and 5 mains changes frequently with daily specials to entice.

The most interesting thing on the menu…

  • Crumbed lamb’s brains with sauce gribiche (current menu)
  • Poussin hearts with pancetta and parsley (daily special)

Unexpectedly wonderful…

  • Braised ox tail
  • Crumbed lamb’s brains with sauce gribiche

I would come back to try…
Everything. They menu is updated every 2-3 weeks to keep things interesting, though favourites will re-appear in various forms.

Catering to…
Omnivores and adventurous meat eaters. Free range, ethically sourced meat eaters. Gluten free options available. Please leave your vegetarian friends out of this (although they can make wonderful vegetarian food on request).

Expect to spend…
$50-70 per person

The service is…
Super. Our drinks and food orders were taken in good time and paced perfectly. As The Koala put it: “Johnny-on-the-spot always kept our waters topped up.”

Avoid if…
You are vegetarian. Even recovering vegetarians might feel squeamish here. They have a couple of vegetarian starters, but all mains are meat based. Pescitarians will be well pleased.

854 Dominion Road, Balmoral
Open every day except Sunday

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    • Are they usually called something else?

      It is a game restaurant well known for the kinds of food they serve so I guess the diners who come expect to see unusual (sometimes gruesome) words on the menu.

      If this was your average restaurant, I’m sure they would try and change the name.

      • To be honest Genie, I have never seen it on a menu.The most I’ve seen are sweet breads which are the thymus gland I believe.

  1. Hi Genie, we’re so pleased you enjoyed your dinner at Cazador. Good on you for trying our more unusual dishes.

    Thanks for this review, and for your lovely photos, they’re great!


  2. I’ve heard such good things about this place but as a recovering vegetarian (still!) I just don’t think I could do it. I’m just not an adventurous meat eater, and that’s okay – I’m coming to accept it!

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