This Mother's Day, Ima Cuisine are hosting a series of scrumptious six course dinners and a special brunch, so you can celebrate your mother or mother figure the right way - with a delicious feast! 

Multicourse dinner | 9-11 May, 5.30pm-9pm
The $70pp sharing-style menu will showcase a curated selection of Ima's favourites spanning the past two decades. Highlights include their beloved 'brik', a North African, hand-made warqa pastry filled with egg and fresh tuna, spicy Moroccan fish strew, a myriad of stuffed vegetables and a vibrant mezze platter with falafel, hummus, stuffed kibbeh and more. All of these dishes are particularly special and labour-intensive, just like a mother would make for her dearest ones. 

Mother's Day Brunch | 12 May, 9am-3pm
Expect all Ima's breakfast favourites plus a few exciting specials and mimosas too of course! 

Book a table via Ima's website here, email here or call 09 377 5252.

Yael Shochat has owned and operated Ima Cuisine for 20 years, and is proud to cook like a mother, not a chef. Read more about her time working in the city centre below.

On my twentieth anniversary of being a restaurateur in Auckland city, I’m reflecting on what it means to have my restaurant named “Ima,” “mother” in Hebrew. 

I often say that I cook like a mother, not like a chef. A mother’s job is to take care of you and to do it with love. I feel this is especially true of the cuisine of my home country, Israel/Palestine. What makes the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diet so healthy and conducive to longevity is the focus on fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, legumes. The cuisine is not strictly vegetarian by any means but salads and vege are not side dishes but take centrestage. That’s what makes our menu so special.

I opened The City Lunchbox in 2004 on Shortland Street under the same ethos. The name reflected a feeling of sending customers out to the world like you would send your child off to school each day, with food that is nourishing as well as a wee treat to look forward to.

Yael Ima Cuisine
Ima Cuisine
Ima Cuisine

Starting then in Shortland Street, as an immigrant woman with young kids still in school, I had no idea how hard it was going to be. It was tough, the stress of the kitchen, the financial pressure, the changing city, as well as challenging the kiwi culinary sensibility at the time.

I moved to Fort Street in 2008 and I’m still here! In 2014 we introduced serving a true sharing menu of mezze and side salads. This  isn’t just dishes strewn throughout the table, but a whole set of delights designed to go together like a real family meal. That was also a big change.

I still persist in making authentic Middle Eastern food, not compromising to cater to the kiwi palette - although the mindset on new flavours from around the world has changed considerably since I started!

These last 20 years haven’t been easy. But I am here despite everything because of the passion I have for what I do (and of course my signature strong headedness).

So to celebrate being Auckland's Middle Eastern mumma for 20 years, we are holding this special event.

We are so honoured to be here in the heart of the city for 20 years, here’s to another 20!

Ima Cuisine
Ima Cuisine
Ima Cuisine

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Last updated: 21 April 2024