Dining out, Events
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Auckland! Prepare your waistbands.

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This is not a sponsored post.

Sorry if I get gushy…I just get easily excited about food and I love a bargain.

It’s almost August which means Auckland Restaurant Month starts next week. A great time to visit all the CBD restaurants you have been meaning to visit. There are special menus starting from $25 (some including wine!) there is something for all tastes and budgets.

Below is my 10 picks for the month. I’ve curated this list from over 100 offerings. Some are set menus and others have options to choose from.Hopefully this helps you make some decisions or entices you to check out the other menus for the month.

Full disclaimer, this list is purely self indulgent. They are all places that were already on my wish list or places I’ve wanted to get back to. I’m unlikely to get through them all but a girl can dream. Have a nosey and if you are hungry for more, check out the rest of the offerings here.

IMPORTANT! Make sure you read the terms and conditions before heading to the restaurants. Some deals are only available with booking and others some are for set times only.

I will update this post as more information is posted on the official site.

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Top 10 picks

(in $ order)

1. Gusto at the Grand, Skycity

$25 FOR A 2 COURSE DINNER OR LUNCH INCLUDING A GLASS WINE
Set menu: Garlic and rosemary pizzetta with ricotta, honey, pine nuts.
Pappardelle al ragu alla bolognese matched with a glass of Sangiovese wine.

2. Xuxu Dumpling Bar, Britomart

$25 FOR A 2 COURSE DINNER OR LUNCH INCLUDING A GLASS OF WINE
Your choice of two dumplings and wine.
Dumpling options: Spinach & Water Chestnut Momo, Prawn & Ginger Har Gao,           Chicken & Shiitake, Tofu Soy Bean & Garlic, Fish Lime & Chilli, Beef & Lemongrass, Chocolate Fondant, Banoffee.
Wine options: Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough or Loop Road Pinot Noir 2016, Central Otago.

3. Pocha, Chancery

$25 FOR A 2 COURSE DINNER
Your choice of an entrée and a main.
First course options: Mun-Uh Albab: Korean clay pot mixed rice with fish roe and octopus. Bibimbab: Mixed rice topped with seasoned vegetables, beef mince, egg, Korean chili paste. Fried Rice Combination: Korean style beef & chicken fried rice
Second course options: Almond Karaage Chicken: Deep fried boneless chicken with crunchy almond coating, sweet chili sauce, mayonnaise. Ggan Pung Gi: Deep fried boneless chicken with tangy spicy sauce. Soo Yuk: Korean style steamed pork belly served with lettuce wraps, kimchi, homemade soy bean dip.

4. Beirut, Fort Street

$40 FOR A 2 COURSE DINNER OR LUNCH
Set menu: Turkish Borek (red cabbage salad, pomegranate, harrissa) and Hapuka with barberies, lemon, broccoli purée, tamarillo persimmon chutney and hazelnut gel.

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5. Culprit, Wyndham Street

$40 FOR A 2 COURSE DINNER INCLUDING A COCKTAIL
Your choice of sharing plates from a select menu.
Choose three bites:
market fish kokoda, roast bone marrow, oxheart tomatoes and chorizo oil with Massimo’s bocconcini, chicken liver parfait with donuts, smoked fish buttermilk pancake, duck and pumpkin tortellini
Choose one main: braised pig face, roast west coast turbot.
Choose one side: waffle fries or ugly carrots.
A gin & juice slushy with boysenberry.

6. Giraffe by Simon Gault, Viaduct

$40 FOR 3 TASTING DISHES AND A DRINK.
Showcasing 3 signature tasting dishes from the Unplugged menu matched with a drink.

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7. Le Chef, Vulcan Lane

$55 FOR A 3 COURSE DINNER
Your choice of an entrée, main and a dessert
Entrée options:
Poulet Suprême (chicken), Coquille St Jacques (scallops), soup of the day.
Main course options: Posson du Jour (fish of the day), Carré d’Agneau (lamb rack), lemon chevre semi-dried tomato peas and rocket risotto.
Dessert options: Crème Brûlée, Fondant au Chocolat.

8. O’Connell Street Bistro, O’Connell Street

$55 FOR A 4 COURSE LUNCH OR DINNER
Set menu: Jerusalem Artichoke soup with truffle beignet and celeriac cream, roasted market fish with braised lentils, brioche crusted lamb with butternut and harissa, and chocolate fondant with malt and milk sorbet.

9. Cassia, Fort Street

$90 FOR A 6 COURSE TASTING MENU DINNER
A six course tasting menu showcasing signature dishes as well as new items specifically designed by Sid Sahrawat.

10. Clooney, Sale Street

$100 FOR A 3 COURSE DINNER
Set menu: Chatham Island blue cod, aged Te Mana lamb with celeriac and mushroom place, sheep’s milk yogurt with beetroot, carrot.

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Special events

For those that yearn something a bit different, the official “Eat Odd” spirit of this year’s festival encompasses many of the special events. These include a mystery night, progressive dinners, restaurant/chef takeovers and never seen before collaborations. Some are already sold out so check them out here and here for more info.

In the meantime, my picks are…

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Street Eats, Shed 10, Queens Wharf

10.30am to 8pm, Saturday 19 August 2017
$5 on the door or free x 2 with American Express Card.
A slightly overwhelming celebration of Auckland’s culinary landscape, this is a great day out. Can get crazy busy so get there early to avoid disappointment.
Restaurants: The Cut, Le Chef, Y-NOT Restaurant & Bar, Crab Shack, Misters, Fireworks Smokehouse, The Culpeper, IMA Cuisine, Orleans, Thai Street, Café Hanoi, Mexico, Ela Cuisine, El Faro, Le Garde-Manger, L’Assiette, Monsoon Poon.
Food Trucks: Atomic Coffee, Black Stag, Fritz’s Wieners, Lalele Organics, M&L, Melt, Temaki Truck.
Pop-ups: Akemi’s Gyoza, Judge Bao, Puha & Pakeha, Salash Delicatessen, Scratch Bakers.

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A Taste of Māori Fine Dining

with Monique Fiso, Morgan McGlone & Neil Brazier at The Sugar Club
6pm, Wednesday 30 August 2017
$230pp (link)
Three very different chefs draw from Māori cuisine to take over The Sugar Club. The Sugar Club possesses a level of dining high above the rest (geddit?).
I’ve eaten both Morgan McGlone’s Belles Hot Chicken (pop up at Culprit) and Monique Fiso’s various pop ups. This is going to be epic.

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Foodie film: Theatre of Life

1pm, Sunday 20 August 2017
Free entry, presented by Doc Edge
“The story of the Refettorio Ambrosiano, an extraordinary soup kitchen conceived by renowned chef Massimo Bottura during the Milan 2015 World Fair. Massimo invited 60 of the world’s best chefs to join him to cook for refugees and the homeless of Milan. All meals were made from the food wasted at the Expo.”


For more information on Auckland Restaurant Month, please visit the official page here: www.heartofthecity.co.nz/restaurant-month

1 Comment

  1. Eat, drink and be Kerry says

    Great food in Auckland. Pack your stretchy pants! 🙂

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