Dining out
Comments 3

30. Ortolana

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…orto
An airy, light-filled conservatory space with a bistro/cafe inside. Beautifully designed, the space reflects the food.

Ortolana is your cool cousin who went away for a year to study in Italy and came back with big words and designer clothes that made people either roll their eyes or immediately worship her.

Come here for…
Fancy European style food using fresh ingredients. They claim their food is simple I feel it’s verging on pretentious. The food has a lightness to it that will appeal to clean eaters. A menu worthy of it’s own Google Search or culinary dictionary. Some words feel like they’re made up. Best to close your eyes, point at something and hope it’s a good one. Could be a good place to impress someone.

The most interesting thing on the menu…

Things I cannot pronounce such as:

  • Nooch
  • Escabeche
  • Stracciatella
  • Gnudi
  • Olio nuovo
  • Fazzoletti
  • Pillus
  • Cotoletta
  • Pangritata

Unexpectedly wonderful…

  • A list of ingredients from their farm
  • Sparkling water by default
  • Outside seating with blankets to keep off the chill

I would come back to try…

  • More food I cannot pronounce.

Catering to…
Whole food enthusiasts, garden to table eaters. Healthy foodies and fine foodies. My body is a temple foodies. Vegetarians are well catered for but make sure the mystery word in your order is not actually another word for meat. GF options available but not marked on menu.

Expect to spend…
$30-40 per person

The service is…
As expected, pretty good. Sparkling water topped up regularly.

Avoid if…
You dislike micro-greens. Avoid if you hate surprises and need to know exactly what you are eating. Ortalana’s menu is difficult to comprehend and has no descriptions. Almost every dish has an uncommon word thrown in.

Auckland Restaurant Month special:

Courses include piadina with mushroom, mozzarella and mustard greens, fazzoletti with pumpkin, quark and hazelnut and gelato on a stick to finish.

31 Tyler Street, Britomart
Open 7 days

Photos taken by my sister Joey on my birthday. 

ortolana-genie  ortolana2 ortolana3


  1. “Ortolana is your cool cousin who went away for a year to study in Italy and came back with big words and designer clothes that made people either roll their eyes or immediately worship her.”

    I laughed so hard at that metaphor! I feel bad for the wait staff, they must get tired of having to explain every single item on the menu 500 times a day.

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