Saffron Fine Indian CuisinePonsonbyBest curries ( for taste ) In Auckland but also do very cheap lunches on certain days.
Sangeet Indian CuisineManukauMy 2nd choice for best curries ( for taste) in Auckland. A little further out in Manukau but worth it.
Chapati Indian RestaurantHendersonMy 3rd choice for curries ( taste) in Auckland but not far from my first choice. See lists.
Empress of IndiaGrey LynnOn my list next to try.. can’t wait looks fab.
- 117A mere 40 mins from central Auckland and we were winding our way down lovely back country roads ( simple well signed posted turn off from the motorway north). A couple of k's and we found the Puhoi Cheese Shop & cafe. OMG KUDOS Puhoi Cheese. I'm very impressed and as for the cheese. Fabulous.. I bought 3 and got 1 free ( thank you for the voucher)... what amazing cheeses.. We bought a 6 year old parmesan ( OMG), a blue, and two quite different bries. Fabulous fails to describe them and not too pricey. I paid $27 for 3 good chunks. The cafe had some to die for looking ice cream selections.. a limited lunch menu (divine baps & filled rolls, salad & homemade pie. It was 3pm so we may have missed the good stuff). I'm sure it wont be long till they add a cooked selection. Best part is you can eat lunch while watching them make the cheese. The setting is lovely with a large fountain in the little river nearby, an excellent playground for childtren and large run-around areas. What a gem for a Sunday country drive.
La Cigale French MarketParnellWhat a treat. An authentic French market with all you need to feel like you are on the other side of the world… divine food, great market, great atmosphere.
- 311Stop off at your fav deli or french patisserie or even supermarket… buy french bread, brie, salami, gherkins; a cooked chicken and premade salad, some nice fruit and a bottle of wine or juice and off you go for a peaceful family picnic in lovely natural surroundings. In summer its a beach - fantastic for small children as well as larger, and in winter a nice setting amongst the trees for a BBQ or picnic.
China Yum Char Restaurant & BarAuckland CentralWe have been here several times and find it a great experience with the kids and Ive never seen kids eat so many green beans! Theirs are the best. We know now what to order and for under $100 we all have to waddle out with loosened belts. Our family favourites are : their signature prawn spring rolls, sweet & sour pork ( best in Auckland) , green beans, pork & prawn steamed dumplings, battered squid, dim sums, crispy duck ( not as good as expected but tasty), and sometimes pork buns. Yum… now I’m craving it again.
- 56As far as family foodie experiences I has to add this place as my kids insisted. Its great even for little kids becuase it teaches them about mixing flavours - oils, sauces, meats & veges and they can experiment over & over at no extra cost. (I hear management growling at me …) What better way to teach young & old about the diversity of tastes and flavours… especially spices.. all or a very reasonable price. Well we love this place and you can always finish with a Mickey mouse shaped pancake!!
Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality GroupAuckland CentralNothing even comes close to the luxury, elegance and superb service at The Langham. Come enough and join their 1865 club for perks to die for. I just got upgraded to a $680/night suite. I love The Langham and stay every birthday, anniversary and anything else I can justify.
The Rendezvous Hotel AucklandAuckland CentralThe decor, service and overall ambience is what makes this my 2nd fav choice in Auckland. Location is fab for a quick walk downtown. The rooms are big and very nice and if you splurge to Club class (which isnt that pricey) you get free drinks and nibbles overlooking Auckland city. Love this place for a great value stay.
Pullman Auckland HotelAuckland CentralHavent been for a while but is antoher superb top class hotel fulfilling all my needs.
Hilton AucklandAucklandCrisp, white, upmarket, perhaps a little stuck up but good rooms, good service, modern, sexy and efficient.
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct HarbourAuckland CentralAnother top Auckland hotel boasting French chic, fab views and luxury rooms. You can’t go wrong with the Sofitel name ( Owned by Accor group) . Going again soon so will update this very soon… …. … ….
Jervois Steakhouse & SaloonHerne BayWhat a meatatarians heaven this place is. We booked for a leisurely lunch and as true beef addicts we thought it was about time we tried Aucklands premier Steak house. We were not disappointed. We decided to exercise our gluttony right and have a starter - salt &amp; pepper prawns and the calamari snitzel. These were delightful but not too exciting in that I felt the prawns were great but there was too little of the yummy sauce to taste fully and albeit a unique concept , the calamari snitzel was good but not fabulous. The aoli with it was ordinary. But then…. the mains arrived. My partner had the sirloin and I had the petite fillet. One word…. Perfect. Then we tried the sides and sauces… OMG good is not appropriate. We got 4 sauces and although each was great… we settled on our 2 fav’s - The spinach and gorgonzola blue cheese….. AND the Brandy and green peppercorn… combined were out of this world. The sides were even better… we went for the perfect mix of candied kumara and the JSH creamed spinach. These 2 sides have now been voted as the best sides ( separately and even more so together) in New Zealand.. in fact perhaps just the world. We went a week ago and I am craving this divine meal every day. Fab service, fab wine and it really doesnt get much better than this.
Soul Bar & BistroViaduct HarbourOutstandingly Good! This was my 3rd visit to Soul and was by far the absolute best. Not sure if booking helped plus being lunch it was a lot quieter than the usual hectic dinner crowd and queues. Either way we were welcomed to Soul and received wonderful service as we were shown to our table in the lovely flower pot adorned atrium setting showered with sun. The menu is not huge but still takes a lot of careful deliberation due to the innovative nature of the meals. Divine...divine... divine.. they all look divine!!! We settled on the Scampi cocktail with whipped avocado & Moroccan ketchup to share as our starter. I wish I'd got one each but at $28.50 it was not going to happen It arrived in a martini class (nice touch) and had about 4 large prawns in a divine avocado mousse with salad and had a large crumbed scampi on top. Divine! I then chose Roasted Savannah beef fillet, smoky potato purée, beef marrow + horseradish pesto (excellent value @ $38.00). As a self proclaimed beef connoisseur I can honestly say this was one of the best steaks I have had in many many years. Divine does not do it justice. My partner ordered the Merino lamb rump with mini lamb & pumpkin pie.. Again another wonderfully good meal. We had the Creamed feta spinach with fried almonds as our side ($8) which was the perfect accompaniment to this fabulous meal. Having discovered gluttony is a wonderful sin.. we proceeded to share a dessert. Our waiter insisted the bittersweet chocolate was the one but knowing our own minds too well we settled on the Hazelnut meringue, praline parfait, Valrhona milk chocolate brulee & pear confit ($16.50). We both had to agree this is the best dessert we have had. ( Admittedly we are not huge dessert people but do love sweet things). This was a subtle sweetness with heavenly flavours of praline and pear which worked so well together in presentation & taste that we have made it our top choice for a dessert. So as you can see I'm not sure whether the moons were all aligned in the right places or we had an extra dose of happy that morning .....I apologise but I can only say one word... Divine.. over & over & over... Soul delivered us a little slice of awesome today....
Prego RestaurantPonsonbyIf you've ever been to Italy you will know its about dining with warmth, family, friends and fantastic food. Prego epitomises this and never disappoints. It is the hub of the colourful Auckland people scene. You never know who you are dining with but you know you've seen them on TV, in magazines or just know they people who want to share in that buzz of I'm an Aucklander and I'm special. We strolled up at 2.30pm looking for a late lunch and were greeted by the wonderfully efficient staff. We chose to sit outside (I mean who wouldn't on a gloriously sunny day). We sat under the gorgeous canopy of a huge yellow tree (hate to admit I don't know its breed) but the setting has a reminiscence of Italy. We ordered the calamari to start which arrived fairly promptly (what you want at 3pm) and was beautiful. A light batter and scrummy aoili on rocket salad. Perfection!! We added two glasses of a strange sounding red wine which the waitress assured us was good...she was right, it was excellent. (Don't you love staff you can trust). As self proclaimed steak connoisseurs we couldn't order anything but the Surf and turf.. a prime piece of beef adorned with 2 grilled prawns and surrounded with the (yep an OMG good) bernaise sauce... on a bed of polenta which was a new experience and one in which I want again as soon as possible.. OMG yum! We accompanied this with a rocket salad (with shaved parmesan and balsamic dressing)- a must when having a good steak. Yep I can die now and go to heaven ( again!!) it truly is a 10/10 meal. Cause we are crazy and have discovered gluttony is a wonderful sin- we went on to try the Tiramisu for dessert (sharing one of course- we are not that crazy)... It was presented beautifully and was good. Possibly could have been a bit sweeter in the syrupy parts but the mousse-like majority was divine. Perfect food, wonderful atmosphere and excellence in all things Prego keeps this as my number 1 Italian (well #1 in most categories) in Auckland.
The Grill by Sean ConnollyAuckland CentralAs a last minute Mothers Day treat we rang and luckily got in. Being part of the Sky Hotel complex parking was straight forward albeit not cheap. The restaurant is dark, alluring and different with an array of delectable meats, cheeses and seafood out in all its glory as you walk in. Try to not stop & look. I came for one thing and one thing alone… the Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire pudding ( for $40).. although I confess there were a lot of other divine sounding dishes I could as easily ordered… but being true to my British upbringing of roast beef & Yorkshire pud every Sunday lunchtime while I grew up on the farm… I stayed true. We started with the Queensland prawns ( some cold (@ $9.50 each) & some hot to share ( $38 for the hot). They kindly gave us extra since they were not as large as they should be. These were superb with a capital Sup The kids had a maccas & cheese ($12) to share & fries cooked in duck fat ($12 I think)… it was plenty after the starters. ( and VERY tasty I might add). My partner had the sirloin which was huge and I the roast. Well I have to admit it was the best roast beef I’ve ever had. A huge slice (or chunk) of rare beef with a blob of Bearnaise and a jus.. roast potatoes and a large carrot. The Yorkshire pudding itself rivaled my Mothers and thats no mean feat!!!! The food superb, the service exemplary, the environment dark, warm and very very comfortable in a fine dining kinda way. PS: I noticed 2 very sexy little booths I am definitely going back to sit in one of those… soon I hope.
The Block CafeBlockhouse BayA fab addition to our neighbourhood & what a little gem in Blockhouse Bay. Excellent steak & bernaise sauce for $25.. comes with giant crunchy fries, an egg, vine tomatoe and a little jug of gravy (tasted very similar to the one at JSH). This place is our regular spot for lunch.
The GroveAuckland CentralAt last an excuse ( not that I really need one) to come to a restaurant with strong credentials and a reputation as being one of Auckland's finest. From my immediate impression of warm comfortableness with elegant overtures to the last, when I really didn't want the experience to end, I was completely satisfied and content. The environment and atmosphere was perfect for private, romantic dining yet with enough gentle buzz around me to feed my soul with 'people aura' that I love. The staff were professional yet charming and happy which I find essential. Plus superbly knowledgeable when it came to choosing our wine for the evening. We just had to have the 9 course degustation "tasting menu" and spent the next 4 hours eating our way to gastronomic heaven. I couldn't fault a course.. not in any way. Perfection on a plate. A fabulous night in every way .......I want to do it all again.. very soon..
The French CafeNewtonApparently I had mentioned I wanted to come here for the last few years so when our anniversary rolled around I was finally given my wish. To make it even more amazing we booked The Langham hotel nearby so we could roll into a taxi and not have to drive anywhere for I knew I wouldn't be up to that! Luckily I had rung them to confirm the booking & discovered the full 9 course degustation menu took 3.5 - 4 hours so I changed our booking to an earlier 6pm. We felt if we were coming here we had to do the full 9 course chef menu with matching wines. (Thank god we knew it took 3.5 hours before hand). I also saw online the tables weren't as intimately placed as expected so I asked for a table against a wall. I am very glad I did. I loved our setting. All guests get a complimentary starter ( a pumpkin soup & goats cheese balls today).. course #1. Divine. We then proceeded to eat our way through the 9 course menu ( add the bread roll then the amuse bouche and it made 12 courses!!! Its hard to describe the experience but it is one you MUST try at least once in your lifetime. Classy, divine, impeccable, unique are the words I think of. French Cafe, I thank you for a wonderful food experience. One I will definitely be coming back for.
ClooneyFreemans BayBeing degustation fiends, we thought it was time to try Clooney. The cab pulled up and we wondered about this dark warehouse and what it contained within. Our welcome was wonderfully friendly and we were shown to our table, Loving the a circular leather sofa style in little beaded alcoves. The waiters appeared silently from through the beads to talk us through our 7 course degustation meal. Explosions of colour, texture and taste is what comes to mind. Each course more unusual than the last. We were mildly concerned that our usual degustation experience was 9 courses and this being only 7 that we may end up not as satisfied however by the 4th course i knew they were far richer and slightly bigger than what we were used to which totally allayed all concerns. In fact I truly struggled past course 5. Exquisite visually, sublime tastes and flavours made this a fabulous experience in a modern, sexy environment. We will be back... many times.
Sidart RestaurantPonsonbyA $50 5 course degustation menu for Friday lunch was an offer too good for us to turn down, especially as a birthday treat. Parking is not thrilling but the place, albeit deep in an arcade, is easy to find. The welcome was good and the environment certainly upmarket and to my liking. There is even a superb view. The food was delectable and certainly made my palate very happy. Mixed with the exuberant but excellent service this was a fabulous experience, and one of my new fav’s for fine dining. I can’t wait to come back and try the evening tasting menu.
Cable Bay VineyardsOneroaA short cab ride from the ferry and we found ourselves at the large doors leading into Cable Bay Vineyard. They stood slightly foreboding as we approached and entered. Wow.. actually came out of my mouth because I was expecting one of your usual vineyard restaurants. This was not what I had imagined behind these doors. An atrium leading off to tasting rooms, a shop and the large formal dining room. The choice was easy. With huge open fire and very warm comforting feel we knew this was the perfect place for us to be this day. The staff member approached and showed us to what I truly believe was the best table in the place. A fabulous table near the large windows with spectacular view across the harbour to Auckland. The only interruption to the view was of unique artwork pieces placed on the lingering front lawn. The kids quickly settled into their better behaviour faces and we all relaxed immediately. Helping the relaxation process was a bottle of their syrah and some ciabatta bread with a superb olive oil, butter and some olives to sample. We then ordered the wagyu steak ( rare of course) for us and the kids chose pork belly (since fish or hotdogs was not an option) & chips. Fabulous food with matching service. Our three waiters were finely tuned in their profession and made it an art. Particularly Manny ( whom we have known from a previous restaurant) who kept us very happy throughout the experience. Loved the food, the ambiance, the superb wine and of course the service. Not cheap at nearly $400 for our lunch but the good things in life are worth the extra. ( And we consumed 2 extremely good bottles of wine).. On a cold day.. what more could anyone want than a warm fire, superb wine and food all served with a view to linger with.