Off Duty: Fabric's Owners Share Their Top Spots To Eat & Drink In Auckland
Luke and Melissa Shore, owners of all-day bistro Fabric, on where they like to eat around town
Whether you opt for a cosy seat in the stylishly-muted interior or out on the spacious veranda, the sparkling waterfront views of Catalina Bay really shine at Fabric. The sophisticated all-day destination from couple Luke and Melissa Shore has become a much-loved spot for Hobsonville since it opened in the Catalina Bay development. Classic brunch fare transitions into a polished menu by night with some of the best chunky fries around.
• Find Fabric at 8/3 Boundary Rd, Hobsonville Point
WEST AUCKLAND DISCOVERIES:
Melissa: We have always lived in the central city and out east, so when we moved out west to open Fabric it was a big adventure discovering what was ‘good’. I was so excited to discover some incredible Asian restaurants out this way — Bunga Raya in New Lynn (Malaysian) for one. We also visit Hallertau frequently, they have these beef brisket croquettes that no one ever wants to share. And the west’s best-kept secret is The Real Bread Project in Helensville.
YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL: Siamese Doll opened about three months after we did, and we quickly formed a bond with the owners. We go there as often as we can, their food is amazing and it’s such a cool and eclectic space. Our favourites are the sashimi platter (it’s always as fresh as you could get anywhere), or the crab and prawn dumplings doused in this really complex ginger dipping sauce. And their roti is the real deal!
BRUNCH: There are so many spots that we enjoy — Amano is brilliant and just has it all. Honey Bones in Ponsonby is a favourite — it isn’t easy to make brunch sound inspiring and unique, yet I’ve only ever tried dishes here that are completely new to me. Orphan’s Kitchen is my ideal spot when I have an hour to myself (any time of day). And of course Daily Bread, there is no better breakfast than a black coffee and freshly baked croissant.
BEST ITALIAN: I was very, very impressed by Cotto when they opened, I think they’re doing something so honest — you feel it when you walk in. They serve some dishes that I have only seen members of my family make before, like ricotta and spinach gnudi, which are almost like ravioli without the pasta casings, dripping in crispy sage butter. It doesn’t get better than that for me.
ON A NIGHT OFF: Honestly, if we were without the kids we would probably just go to a hotel and sleep! So, by that logic it would have to be Depot, or a cheerful spot like Satya where we can just hide in a corner and drink too much wine.
LOCAL MARKET MUST-HAVES: We love the Catalina Bay Farmers Market and use a lot of the producers’ and vendors’ products at home and in the restaurant. A trip for me includes picking up a loaf of sourdough from Gourmet Gannet, then over to see Darren at Salty River Farm for the freshest produce, so much of which they grow themselves. Their lettuces are impossibly perfect. And always in our pantry is a jar of Earthbound Raw Manuka Honey, it is gorgeous and Terry and Carlene are such amazing humans too. You can taste and feel the love in their products. I think the market’s best-kept secret is buying a hot tray of freshly grilled haloumi from Whitestone cheese — irresistible.
NEW OPENINGS: Checking out new openings is addictive for hospitality workers, and it’s never in the competitive way that someone might expect. There is an unspoken bond that people in our industry share, and when you go in and see the brilliant things your peers are doing despite all odds, it is so inspiring. The one spot that keeps cropping up on my social media but that I haven’t had the chance to visit is Bar Celeste — that’s number one on my list to visit next!
WEEKEND TREAT: Yolanda and Wolf, they make the deadliest doughnuts.
A MUST-VISIT: Luke’s family reside in Wanaka so no trip to the South Island is complete without a visit to Amisfield. It’s just so picturesque and you feel transported. And Cay’s Crays — I’ve only been here once but the memory is so vivid. Every New Zealander must go there. I feel like I understand better what it means to be a Kiwi from having had visited.