The time has finally come that we can now get out and experience the Heart of the City outside of the virtual world. After 7 weeks of committed curve flattening, we believe everyone deserves a little reward. With the weather slowly starting to get cooler each day, we thought we'd round up a selection of the best comfort food meals from our restaurants in the heart of the city. Whether you want to go out and dine in at a restaurant or take a delicious meal kit home to enjoy in your dining room, let a top chef do the cooking for you and support your local city centre restaurants. 

The Grove


The Grove is Auckland fine dining at its best. Marrying exquisite modern New Zealand cuisine with a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere, the Grove is known for their outstanding specialised dégustation dining. The menu frequently changes with the seasonal availability of ingredients so you can always expect the freshest and highest quality meals.

The intimate and warm feel of The Grove is the perfect setting for a winter date night, choose either four, five, or seven courses for your dégustation and expect dishes featuring New Zealand raised beef, lamb and seafood all paired perfectly with seasonal local produce. On Sunday's from 12-5pm degustation dining will be replaced with a heart warming menu designed for families. The Family Style menu will be The Grove's take on a traditional Sunday roast, what can be more comforting than a juicy lamb leg that has been roasted to perfection and topped with mint sauce and gravy?

If you’re not keen on heading out you don’t have to miss out. The Grove has carefully designed “The Grove at Home Experience” where you can get a full fine dining three course meal for two to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. We recommend the mushroom and chestnut soup with truffle oil as your starter, the beef cheek wellington with 50/50 mash, parsley buttered greens and bone marrow gravy for the main affair and the chocolate tart with orange caramel and Lewis Road Creamery burnt butter ice cream for dessert.

Hello Beasty


Serving up contemporary cuisine inspired by regions of Japan, Korea and China, Hello Beasty is a cult eatery on Auckland's waterfront. Hello Beasty’s kitchen offers a tasty and approachable sharing menu, providing an experience that delivers clean, bold flavour profiles with a touch of heat, from shucked oysters served with fresh wasabi, to spicy buns, a Beasty cup ramen, and their own creative take on KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower).

The Hello Beasty Ramen Cup Noodle is the ultimate winter warmer comfort food - Steaming chicken broth filled with ramen noodles and topped with bbq char siu pork belly, pork + prawn dumplings, spring onion, chili and a six minute egg. Add a grilled mung bean + kimchi pancake and kkwabaegi (twisted donuts) to your order and you’re guaranteed to leave with a happy and full stomach!

For those who would prefer to enjoy Hello Beasty’s delicious menu from home can order online for takeaway. As well as ordering off of Hello Beasty’s main menu, you can also choose one of their daily dinner packs. Dinner packs can be made for up to four people and include a selection of Hello Beasty’s best dishes. 

Ima Cuisine 


Ima’s mezze style dining is the ideal way to get out and enjoy an evening with friends and family. The dishes on Ima's menu highlight Eastern Mediterranean cuisine and take inspiration from Yael's (the owner) home town Tel Aviv in Israel. Every dish is made with the utmost care and attention to detail, it's hard to pick a favourite. Taking a seat in this eatery you will immediately be transfixed by the evocative smells from the kitchen.

Mediterranean dining is all about bringing people together and sharing a love of food. Get the full Mediterranean experience at Ima by ordering salads and a selection of mains such as Lebanese lamb shoulder and fried haloumi to be shared with your table.

You can also get the full ‘Ima Experience’ at home by ordering for takeaway (some cooking and heating at home is required for this).



During the lockdown, Culprit. have been working hard on a special level 2 ‘Support Local’ menu that will have a strong focus on local, small and independent producers and suppliers. From the moment you arrive right through to dessert, Culprit’s new support local menus are filled with dishes to warm you up and keep you happy on a chilly winters day.

We can’t wait to try out these new set menus, and are especially looking forward to tasting the fig leaf panna cotta, the pig face bow-tie pasta and the chocolate & quince dessert (complete with rice bubble crackle and caramel crumbs).

If it's just too cold to go out but you still want Culprit’s delicious food to fill you up, order the Culprit At Home meal kit. Culprit’s meal kits require simple heating and plating at home and come with either three courses in the deluxe meal kit menu or two courses from the Heat & Eat menu. 

SOUL Bar & Bistro 


Sitting right on the Viaduct Harbour and looking out to the Marina, grab a table on SOUL's elegant all-weather terrace which is the perfect viewing location for some spectacular sunsets over the water. SOUL's menu has an emphasis on seafood and prides itself on their use of the finest local ingredients.

SOUL’s scampi linguine in tomato vodka sauce is one of our go-to comfort foods in the city centre. This light and silky pasta is just right for a winter evening and is great paired with the rocket & parmesan salad on the side. 

Looking out to the water as you dine is hard to beat, but if you just want to enjoy SOUL’s menu from home, you can do that too. We're thinking the pork croquettes and macaroni & cheese will make for the ultimate comfort meal. Order from SOUL’s SOUL-to-go menu to create a delicious winter feast.


If you are a city centre business we would love to hear from you about what you are currently offering at Alert Level 2. Please email us at so we can support you by spreading the word and including you in relevant wrap ups

Last updated: 14 May 2020