Love to dine out? Bank balance says “No”?
I *could* spend an embarrassing amount of money dining out. But for the last wee while I’ve been to sticking to a self-imposed budget. $50 a pop. It’s not a super tight budget and I still dine out regularly, I just politely decline the $50+ invitations. With American Express Restaurant Month coming up in a couple of weeks, I was little nervous about what my bank account would look like…but never fear! The $25 menu is here.
I’ve had a good squiz at the $25 menus and I’m pretty excited. This is my shortlist for the month, all $25 a pop, most with options and some even come with a glass of wine. I’m going to need some dining companions so hit me up and let’s make a date.
Genie’s Top 5 for American Express Restaurant Month
THE $25 EDITION
(in no particular order)
1. BEAST & BUTTERFLIES – Quay Street
$25 for 2 course lunch with options.
Market fish ceviche: Pickled ginger gel, coconut, chilli, basil, crispy shallot, pomegranate
Salt & pepper squid: Japanese lemon mayo, shichimi, peanuts, pickled cucumber & caramelised chilli dipping sauce
Prawn & chicken laksa: Tofu, egg noodles, crispy shallots & poached egg
Beef rendang curry: Toasted coconut, kaffir lime leaf with a side of steamed jasmine rice
2. THE GOOD LUCK COCONUT
– Wynyard Quarter
$25 main and dessert with options. Available lunch and dinner.
Potsticker dumplings (V, DF): Shiitake, chive, fermented shiitake crisps, black vinegar
Ika mata (GF, DF): Market fish, coconut, lime, shaved melon, mint, watermelon
Crispy chicken karaage (DF, GF): Coconut sambal
Soft shell crab slider: Green papaya salad, sriracha mayo
Beef bulgogi tataki (DF, GF): Raw beef, black sesame, pickled nashi pear
Coconut parfait: Grilled pineapple, coconut sorbet, pineapple rum gel
Madagascan chocolate custard: Koko Samoa streusel crumb
3. XUXU DUMPLING BAR – Britomart
$25 for two baskets of dumplings and a glass of wine. Available lunch and dinner.
Spinach & water chestnut momo (VG)
Tofu, shiitake and Chinese chives dumplings (VG)
Prawn & ginger har gao
Chicken & water chestnut wonton w drunken sauce and chilli
Roast duck & leek w hoisin dipping sauce
Beef & pickled radish dumplings
Fish, sambal & coconut dumplings
Pork & shrimp shao mai
Steamed chocolate buns
4. GUSTO AT THE GRAND – SKYCITY
$25 two course set menu and a glass of wine.
Available lunch 12pm – 2.30pm and dinner 5pm – 6.15pm.
Pea, mint, ricotta bruschetta
Pappardelle al Ragù alla Bolognese
Marchese Antinori ‘Santa Cristina’ Toscana
Previously, Gusto have offered a delicious vegetarian pasta option, so just ask!
5. THE CULPEPER – Princes Wharf
$25 entree and main with options. Available lunch and dinner.
Lamb merguez corn dog: hazelnut dukkah spice, date, whipped feta dressing
Big Glory Bay salmon poké: avocado, onions, cucumber, wakame, sesame, radish, soy sauce
Culpeper fried chicken: scotch bonnet mayonnaise
Rotisserie jerk spice chicken: lime, dirty rice, green papaya slaw
Crispy pork cheek scrumpet (GF): ‘Burnt end’ beans, smoked potato ‘saffron rouille’
Blackened market fish: blistered tomato stew, olives, freekeh wheat
The above is only a small portion of what American Express Restaurant Month has to offer. There are some stunning $40 menus, $55 menus and epic Chef Dining series. Restaurant Month can be a great time to tick off those bucket list restaurants you’ve been meaning to check out. All while being a little gentler on your wallet. I’ve ticked off Sugar Club, Cassia and Clooney during previous Restaurant Months and they were incredible.
To have look for yourself, check out their website here.
IMPORTANT! Make sure you read the terms and conditions before heading to the restaurants. Some deals are only available with a booking, some are for a minimum number of diners and others some are for set times only. Many also have unlisted vegetarian options so if you need a vegetarian option, it pays to check first.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I just LOVE Auckland city dining.