Dining out
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18. Ima Cuisine

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.

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The atmosphere is…ima
Warm and cozy. Bookshelves full of books, a welcoming mural, beautifully patterned lit ceiling and low light make for lovely ambience. On the quiet end of Fort Street, once you are inside you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. The smallish dining area can feel a bit noisy and full though so be prepared if you’re looking for a quiet night out.

Come here for…
Middle Eastern, Israeli and North African inspired healthy and hearty food. Ima means mother in Hebrew and family-style dining is celebrated here. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The most interesting thing on the menu…

  • Brik – North African delicacy. A crisp fried parcel with fresh tuna preserved lemon and a soft cooked egg
  • The range of vegetarian sides

Unexpectedly wonderful…

  • Mezze – especially the spice roasted cauliflower
  • Arab rice – lentil pine nuts almonds pistachios and caramelized onions

I would come back to try…

  • A main course all to myself (we shared our meal as a large group which was a fun way to try a few dishes)
  • Knafeh – an Arabic dessert of mozzarella, pastry and sugar syrup.

Catering to…
Everyone. Plenty of vegetarian options, vegan options available on request. All the sides and mezze vegetarian. All the sides and mains are gluten-free. Gluten-free bread available. Dietary/allergen options are unmarked on menu so discuss your requirements with your waiter.

Expect to spend…
$30-45 per person

The service is…
Casual, friendly and accommodating.

Avoid if…
You love meat and dislike vegetables. The meat portions are small here and it is the vegetable dishes that really shine.

Auckland Restaurant Month special:
$40 PER PERSON FOR TWO SHARED COURSES, SIDES AND A GLASS OF WINE
Includes a shared mezze to start, with your choices of lamb, chicken, haloumi or sabich and sides for two. Served with a glass of pinot gris or syrah.

Ima Cuisine
57 Fort Street, Auckland CBD
Open every day except Sunday
www.imacuisine.co.nz

*please excuse the photos, the lighting is rather dim and I refuse to use flash.

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