Eat as the chefs do at Saint Alice with the Viaduct restaurant's new express menu. Photo / Supplied

Where To Snack Like A Chef & More Dining News For July

Plus Ben Bayly has opened a cosy new Italian restaurant in Arrowtown

BOOK IN 

• Cosy into Williams Eatery for a five-course wine matched dinner with natural wine expert Tamra from Kelly Washington Wines. Diners will be guided through the wine selections by Tamara who will share her knowledge of growing and cultivating organic wine. Wednesday, July 10, 6-10pm. G03 85 Daldy Street, Wynyard Quarter. Tickets $95.25 at Eventfinda.co.nz

• UK-based Kiwi Anna Hansen (ex-head chef/owner of London restaurant The Modern Pantry) is returning for two special dining events at Ponsonby Rd Bistro in July. Sarah will cook alongside friend and Bistro head chef Sarah Conway (the pair used to work in London together at The Modern Pantry) for lunch and dinner as part of month-long food festival Eat Drink Love Ponsonby. Each course will be matched with wines from Martinborough's Ata Rangi Vineyard and poured by award-winning winemaker Helen Masters. Wednesday July 24. Five-course dinner and matching wines $195. Friday, July 26, from 6.30pm. Four-course lunch and matching wines $175. 12pm. Email Liz@Ponsonbyroadbistro.co.nz for tickets

 The Sugar Club will hold an exclusive dinner hosted by Yukino Ochiai, Australia’s only female Sake Samurai. The evening will consist of a five-course dinner created by Josh Barlow, matched to Déjà vu Sake. Tuesday July 16, 6pm. $155pp email enquiries@thesugarclub.co.nz or call (09) 363 6365 

Sammies from Forest Pop-up will be on the breakfast menu at Kokako for one Saturday only this month. Photo / Supplied

•  Skip the Saturday snooze as plant-based Forest Pop-up's serves a special brekky at Kokako this month. The event has aptly been called 'Good Morning' with a menu featuring breakfast sammies, freshly squeezed Kelmarna OJ and Kokako coffee. Creator and chef Plabita Florence's locally sourced and minimal waste ethos were introduced to us last month, as part of her Forest Thursdays pop-up dinner series at Midnight Baker. Saturday July 13, 9am-12pm. Tickets $15 (sandwich and drink) at Eventbrite.co.nzKokako Coffee Roastery, 9 Charles St, Mt Eden

• The obsession with gin continues at Cordis Hotel’s gin-tasting evening featuring handcrafted gins from Hidden World next month. Guests will be presented with a cocktail on arrival and be seated for five more with matched canapes in the Chandelier Room. Tickets are $65 and can be booked at Cdakl.eats@cordishotels.com or 09 300 2924. Thursday July 4, 6-8.30pm. 83 Symonds St, Grafton

•  The boozy fun of Craft’d Wine + Spirits Festival will arive in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter this month, with more than 40 small producers showcasing their best tipples. There’s also masterclasses, vertical tasting sessions (flights of the same wine from different years), and a new Festival Club Lounge for snack breaks and one-on-one chats with winemakers. Sunday, 21 July. GridAKL, 12 Madden Street, Wynyard Quarter. Tickets from $44 (GA) at Eventfinda.co.nz

Cheese on Toast is a cute new bakery in Mt Eden. Photo / Supplied

• Eastridge Shopping Centre's Royal G are serving their Indian street food delights to more diners this month. Royal G will pop-up at Deadshot bar every Friday and Saturday night throughout July with the crowd favourite Chit Chaat in a bag on the menu. Friday-Saturday, till late. 45 Ponsonby Rd. Ponsonby 

Royal G is also holding a 6-course degustation evening with drinks matched by Deadshot/Caretaker bar. The evening is promising to be an "edgy and thoughtful look" at Indian food. Monday, July 15. Tickets $60 for food + $50 for drinks. Book at info@royalg.nz as pre-sales only.

Also for one night only. Royal G will stop by Lovebucket Bar to serve a couple of dishes. Tuesday July 23. 309 Karangahape Rd, Newton 

• Eden Terrace cafe Coffee Pen is hosting a market day to celebrate local makers who will donate five per cent of all sales to Auckland City Mission. Makers include Beach Brains, Klay, Ophelia Mikkelson, Godmother X Harry Were collaboration, Penny Sage, Petley, Thea Ceramics, Walk in The Park and more. Artwork from Cloud Workshop and John Reynolds will also be for sale with proceeds donated to Cloud Workshop. Plus fresh produce and honey to buy from OMG, and Tatsuya from Pasture cooking food using the OMG produce. The usual coffee, treats and savouries from Pen served from 9am. Sunday 21 July, 10am-2pm. 6 Basque Rd, Eden Terrace

• Orphans Kitchen is celebrating Maori New Year with a two-course set dinner menu for $35. Choose between two entrees (sticky feijoa lamb ribs or smoked kahawai croquettes), and two mains (braised wagyu cavatelli or wood-roasted swordfish). With optional desserts to end the evening on a sweet note. June 18 - July 13. 118 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby 

• Fumi’s Sake Club returns to Masu for a chance to taste the restaurant’s Queenstown-brewed sake matched with a few dishes. The popular event is hosted by the restaurant’s passionate manager and internationally certified Sake educator, Fuminobu (Fumi) Nakatani and David Joll, the head brewer and director of New Zealand’s only sake brewery, Zenkuro. Saturday 27 July, 3pm–5pm. $79pp email info@masu.co.nz or call (09) 363 6278 

NEW OPENINGS

Newbie, Newmarket 
From the owner behind East Tamaki eatery Woolfy’s and Torbay cafe Scout, Newbie cafe has opened on Newmarket’s Broadway. Newbie adds a splash of colour to the burb with an eccentric interior designed by Material Creative and art murals by Evie Kemp. We’re eyeing up the eggs Benedict served with miso eggplant and the cabinet loaded with sweet cakes to fuel our next shopping trip. 33 Broadway, Newmarket

Ben Bayly has opened a new restaurant in Arrowtown named Aosta. Photo / Supplied

Cheese on Toast, Mt Eden
Cheese on Toast is a cute new bakery to Mt Eden from the couple behind food truck Guerrilla Grill. Find truck favourite grilled toasties on home-baked bread, toast and toppings, cabinet salads, sweet treats, Eight Thirty coffee, and fresh loaves to take away. 931b Mount Eden Rd, Mt Eden 

Chinoiserie, Manukau City
Mt Albert’s Asian fusion eatery Chinoiserie has opened a second outpost in Manukau City — an excuse for a round of bao surely. 613-615 Great South Rd, Manukau

MizuBread+, Eden Terrace 
Try traditional Japanese mochi, bread, sandwiches, rolls and sweet treats from Kazuya restaurant’s new storefront bakery MizuBread+. Mizu means water in Japanese; they chose the name because they believe water is the most important factor in making bread. Tuesday-Thursday only, 11am-1pm or until sold out. 193 Symonds St, Newton

The Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover kicks off this month. Photo / Supplied

Aosta, Arrowtown
Bringing his love of Italian food to Central Otago, Ben Bayly has opened a new restaurant in Arrowtown. Named Aosta — a nod to the small Italian town which inspired Ben's love of Italian cooking — the intimate 45-seater (previously long-running Saffron Restaurant) will be a coveted cosy spot this winter for pasta, risotto and hearty ragu. Ben has partnered with businessman, jeweller, philanthropist and Arrowtown local Michael Hill on the new venture. 18 Buckingham St, Arrowtown

DON'T MISS

Eastridge Shopping Centre's Royal G are serving their Indian street food delights to more diners this month. Photo / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

• We can’t wait to feast our way through all the cheesy treats on the menu for The Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover. Now in its second year, 50 eateries from Lowbrow to Lovebucket will serve a signature toasted sandwich from now until the end of August. Plus in a toastie tour first, participating eateries will be judged on their creations with Joe McClure from McClure’s Pickles making the final bite in judging and naming the winner as Best New Zealand Toastie. Now until the end of August. For all participating eateries visit Toastietakeover.com

Cafe Hanoi's new Canteen Lunch menu. Photo / Supplied

Cafe Hanoi's new Canteen Lunch menu promises to satisfy the inner-city lunch crowd with cheerful Vietnamese street food dishes. Dishes include Pho Bo beef noodle soup, coconut pancakes with pork belly and shrimp and a Bun rice noodle bowl for $25. Or for $18.50 nab a pork belly and pickled vege Banh Mi. Monday-Friday, 12 till 4pm. Excelsior Building Cnr Galway & Commerce St, Britomart. 

• Eat as the chefs do at Saint Alice with the Viaduct restaurant's new express menu. Head chef Maia Atvars has taken inspiration from the dishes they whip up on their lunch break for a menu of tasty quick bites $19 each. And we're pretty hungry at the sound of a salt and vinegar potato chip crumbed snapper tacos. Service is promised to be speedy with the menu changing regularly. Monday-Friday, 11.30am-3pm. Level 1/204 Quay St, Viaduct

Signed up for Dry July? Sid at The French Cafe has designed a trio of Seedlip cocktails to pair with the new winter menu. Photo / Supplied

• Signed up for Dry July? If you do, you can support New Zealanders affected by cancer through this year’s charity, Look Good Feel Better. To help participants dining out dry, Sid at The French Cafe has designed a trio of Seedlip cocktails to pair with the new winter menu ($15 each or $40 as a bundle). Also part of the tasty teetotal line-up this month are Han with a Seedlip Garden Granita, Azabu with an Otaku Mule, Depot with its Green Placebo and Cassia with a Mango Sour. 

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