The Heart of the City is always changing, and with that comes an exciting number of new dining choices popping up. When you're next planning a special night out, be sure to get acquainted with these new places that are already getting rave reviews.
Ahi | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
Ahi translates in Te Reo Māori to fire, and according to head chef and owner Ben Bayly, fire is the heart of the kitchen and without fire we are not human. With a carefully thought out menu celebrating New Zealand food and ingredients, Ahi is a destination for the food lovers with breathtaking views looking out to the Ferry Building and Waitemata Harbour. Each dish is connected to a specific place in Aotearoa, from crayfish soup from Fiordland to wild fallow deer from Marlborough and kingfish from the Tauranga harbour.
East | 63-67 Nelson Street
Located on the ground floor of Nelson Street's Sudima Hotel, East is the popular new restaurant that has dedicated seventy-five percent of its menu to vegan dishes - 70 percent of these also being gluten-free. Designed for sharing, enjoy food of full of flavour at this modern-Asian eatery - think Peking jackfruit pancakes, tapioca chips and ginger caramelised bang bang shitake mushrooms. There's also a fantastic cocktail menu offering a bespoke range of pan-Asian drinks.
Mr Morris | Cnr Galway & Commerce Street, Excelsior Building
Michael Meredith is about to begin another chapter in his acclaimed career with the opening of his new restaurant, Mr. Morris in Britomart. Bookings are now open with the restaurant opening mid November (keep an eye on the @mrmorrisnz social pagesfor all the official details!). Nestled in the old Cafe Hanoi site, Mr. Morris seats approximately 70 diners and features big round booths, perches at the stone bench bar, sofas at the centre or intimate tables amongst the plants - take your pick! Also tucked away in a former bank vault is the private dining room, known as Mrs. Morris. A dark and delicious cave with its own Miele kitchen, it offers an intimate, up close and personal dining experience with a dedicated chef, for up to 20 guests. The menu at Mr. Morris is all about championing hero ingredients and is less technique-driven than Michael’s previous restaurant Meredith’s, with the team describing it as ‘local, ethical and seasonal with a devotion to flavour, no matter its origin’.
Saxon + Parole | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
Hailing from New York’s Bowery District, Saxon + Parole has recently opened in Commercial Bay and is led by Michelin-starred chef Brad Farmerie. Radiating international appeal, the menu at Saxon + Parole is filled with delights ranging from famous NY Saxon Burger to Buffalo Ricotta Gnudi and slow-cooked lamb shoulder. To top it off, the immaculate cocktail cabinet will blow you away, and there's a unique option for diners to receive a custom bottled cocktail for them every month, marked with their name and the history of the concoted drink. See more about it here.
Cafe Hanoi | Britomart, 27 Galway St
Fasting becoming a Britomart institution, the famous Cafe Hanoi has recently moved into a new space, via the Britomart Hotel laneway. Now in the old 1885 nightclub location, Cafe Hanoi now offers an even larger dining space, an airy and open kitchen, and a conservatory overlooking Galway Street. Come visit the new space and enjoy the vibrant flavours of Vietnamese cuisine along with some tasty cocktails.
kingi | The Hotel Britomart, 29 Galway St
Brought to you by Tom Hishon and Josh Helm, the minds behind Orphan’s Kitchen and Daily Bread, kingi is a new seafood restaurant on the ground floor of the heritage Masonic Building which has been refurbished as part of The Hotel Britomart. Its delightful menu places emphasis on sustainability and quality, with Hishon and Helm keen on changing New Zealanders' perceptions of seafood - particularly how it can be cooked and enjoyed. kingi, a common colloquialism for Kingfish among fishermen, reflects the salt of the earth nature of the restaurant, a place that aspires to be "a neighbourhood home away from home".
Captain’s Bar | Park Hyatt, 99 Halsey St
Located in the newly opened Park Hyatt Hotel, Captain’s Bar is a tavern complete with a fireplace and stunning views of the water - making it a great place to come in both winter and summer. Perfect for a glass of whisky and slow grazing of an assortment of delicious platters and tapas, after a long day enjoying all that the waterfront has to offer, Captain’s Bar is the ideal oasis for a crisp sundowner.
HQ125 | 125 Queen St
Located inside the QBE Building at 125 Queen Street, the newly opened HQ125 is ideal for all occasions, from private functions to a quick lunch, or a long celebratory dinner. Try their happy hour every Wednesday to Friday 3:30pm - 6pm, and receive a 400ml beer and fries for $14. Mouth-watering pastas, fresh sandwiches, and healthy salads are just a few of the other great items on the menu.
La Marée | 21 Viaduct Harbour
Set inside the newly reopened and refurbished Sofitel Viaduct Harbour is restaurant La Marée, helmed by Michelin starred chef Marc de Passorio. Translating to 'the tides' La Marée celebrates the best of New Zealand seafood and produce with French culinary techniques.
Esther | 4 Viaduct Harbour Harbour Avenue
Enjoy the authentic tastes of Mediterranean whilst enjoying the views of the Viaduct Harbour at QT Auckland's signature restaurant in collaboration with Chef Sean Connolly. Due to open in early November 2020, this European-style bistro is due to open early November for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a menu inspired by Connolly's travels chasing food of the sun, using flavours and spices from Sicily to Southern France to Morocco. Many items are served by trolley service - think tableside salt-crusted fish, salads and desserts.
Homeland | Pier 21, 11 Westhaven Drive
Homeland is the latest venture from renowned New Zealand chef Peter Gordon and his partner Alastair Carruthers since moving back to New Zealand in 2020. Best described as a Food Embassy - it’s a restaurant, film studio, cooking school, food innovation hub and community space; a social enterprise with the goal of connecting food and people - and boosting trade. Come and enjoy the seasonal menu that changes often - even weekly - but includes popular dishes like Peter's famous Turkish Eggs as well as hot-smoked Ora King Salmon and Cloudy Bay Clam rosti with fried eggs, chilli jam and creme fraiche.