Plan ahead for Auckland's Restaurant Month, on this August. Photo / Supplied

Dine At Elemental AKL, Discover A Culinary Convoy & More Fun Things For The Weekend

A flurry of craveable dinner specials and cook-alongs are coming, as is great dance, theatre and cinema

Head to Elemental AKL
Elemental AKL — the series of curated events celebrating the culture, cuisine and creativity of Auckland — returns once again from now until August 1. Featuring eateries and bars, theatres and public spaces across Auckland transformed into hubs of exciting experiences, on our radar is Takurua — Battle of the Brothers, a cross-pollination of hospitality, theatre and dance. Celebrating indigenous practices in food preparation, the sumptuous five-course banquet with matched wine is supported with a theatrical display of Pasifika contemporary dance and Māori martial arts.

Conceived by artistic director Tausani Simei-Papalii while working as head chef at Sails restaurant in Rarotonga, the event sees Euro’s head chef Uelese Mua serving up a fresh take on classic Pasifika dishes. Held at the Hunua Room, Aotea Centre, for four nights (July 16, 17, 23 and 24), performances include renowned Pasifika women’s dance collective Ura Tabu Pacific Dance and new choreographers from the Tulou Collective.

Music lovers should attend the Elemental Nights Festival, a curated concert series with events like the Fly Nun 40-Year Anniversary and gigs from Dope Lemon with Mild Orange to Courtney Barnett with Emily Edrosa. Afterwards, head to Our Land is Alive, the Cordis Hotel’s newly opened little bar serving special Elemental cocktails, from mulled wine infused with mushroom and lime to dirty martinis shaken with Imagination Seawood giin and topped with dried seaweed. Available from noon to midnight. See the full schedule of events at

Curl up in an igloo
Auckland rooftop bar Dr Rudi’s is home to some cosy indoor igloos complete with drink and nibs. Book your spot in one of its bubble-like domes, sans the cold. Level 2/204 Quay St, Auckland central.

Strut at a street style festival
Five local artists have been commissioned for The Nest: Street Style Solo Dance Festival, an exciting week-long festival which will see hip-hop, krump, waacking and voguing at The Basement Theatre. There’s also an exhibition, a party, DJs in attendance and giveaways on offer. On now until July 17. Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland.

While you’re at the Basement Theatre, don’t miss Lyncia Muller, Jaycee Tanuvasa, Disciple Pati, and Amanaki Prescott-Felatau’s new theatre show Fala Muncher, suffused with poetry and dance and on from August 3 to 14.

See the cinematic delights of Lithuania
Academy Cinemas' inaugural one-day-only Lithuanian Film Festival is on this weekend with a programme full of award-winners, from documentaries to Nova Lituania, the country’s most successful film of 2020, by Karolis Kaupinis. Sunday, July 18. 44 Lorne St, Auckland central. 

Make for a culinary convoy
Head to Catalina Bay for its Midwinter Food Truck Night featuring tantalising offerings from Canteen Bali, Carmel, Israeli Street Food, Catch’ya Cookout, Double Dutch Fries, Gracefully Jerked, Lalele Organic Gelato, Let’s Brezel, and Sweet As Crepes. Saturday, July 17, from 4pm to 8pm. 1 Bondary Rd, Hobsonville Point, Auckland.


Wait for a ticket drop
Everyone’s favourite seven-piece, Fat Freddy’s Drop, has a new album, Wairunga, and a new national tour from Christchurch to Dunedin, Nelson, Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton with special guests including Harper Finn, Deva Mahal and Rubi Du. Tickets are on sale Monday, July 19, at

Eat your way through Wellington On a Plate
The capital's biggest annual food festival boasts an unmissable, delicious programme for 2021. Satisfy your sweet tooth at A Carnival of Chocolate, complete with tastings, pairings, professional panels and sensory experiences; create your own coffee at Mojo Coffee Roastery; sample Floridita's Flora No Fauna menu, as the restaurant turns into a vegetarian eatery; and enjoy haute pizza at Pizza: A Fine Dining Experience. See the full programme at

Wine and dine through Restaurant Month
Heart of the City’s Restaurant Month is almost upon us, with a line-up of over 100 menus variously priced at $25, $40 and $55+, soon to be announced. Seats to the hotly anticipated Chef’s Table series, including Euro and La Maree, are selling fast, as is Vivace’s annual longing-worthy long lunch of Tuscan cuisine.

There’s also two exciting new events in the mix: Social Hour, which includes two cocktails and a sharing plate for $40 at institutions like The Sugar Club and Little Culprit; and Extraordinary Evenings, a series of unsurprisingly surprising meals, from a Giapo x Soul Bar mash-up to a Masu-meets-Weta Workshop Unleashed four-course dinner. August 1 to 31. Various locations across Auckland.

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New Zealand Herald

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