What The Viva Team Are Eating Now

These are the restaurant dishes currently dazzling us around Auckland

Amano's mozzarella with tomato, garlic and basil. Photo / Supplied

Mozzarella with Tomatoes at Amano
66-68, Tyler St, Britomart Place

Call me a curd nerd, but if there’s burrata, mozzarella or stracciatella on the menu — you bet I’ll order it. The burrata at Amano remains a firm favourite, and oozes out a gooey combination of cream and stracciatella when sliced open. Failing that, the mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and basil is also a cheesy delight.
— Ashleigh Cometti, beauty editor

Homeland's battered paneer tortillas with sweet chilli, avocado and coleslaw. Photo / Supplied

Eggplant Tempura at Omni
359 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden

I love the caramelly texture of the eggplant tempura at Omni. It’s a comforting and fragrant smell, and the perfect combination of sweet and sour. I like to eat mine with a crisp glass of orange wine to cut through the richness. 
— Dan Ahwa, creative and fashion director

Kingi's new smoked kahawai with a wakame rosti. Photo / Supplied

Scotch Egg at Hotel Ponsonby
1 Saint Marys Bay Rd, Ponsonby

If you can find a table on the bistro side of this very nice looking bar, you can order Sunday lunch from the comfort of a cushy velvet booth. Hotel Ponsonby’s Scotch egg is just the kind of pub food that appeals to me in winter, with a perfectly cooked egg encased in sausage, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried until crispy. It comes with hot English mustard and juicy pickles on the side. Pair it with some rosemary fries and throw down a couple of Hotel Ponsonby’s Pale Pacific Ales before the night-time crowds arrive. 
— Johanna Thornton, deputy editor

The chicken wings at Moxie. Photo / Supplied

Smoked Kahawai and Wakame Rosti at Kingi
29 Galway St, Britomart

Kingi is beautiful and, not insignificantly, its food is beautiful too. But there’s also an unfussiness to it that, from something as early as breakfast, has real appeal — especially when it’s smoked kahawai topped with a poached egg and served with a crispy, umami-rich wakame rosti and a bunch of pickles.
— Julia Gessler, digital/production journalist

Banh Mi at Luna Cafe and Eatery
30 Chancery St, Auckland CBD

Tucked away behind Chancery Square in the middle of town, this spot is warm and welcoming. We walk down there on a Saturday and I always order the banh mi (it’s exceptional, with plenty of fillings and flavour) and a Vietnamese coffee made with Kokako beans and condensed milk. The pho and vermicelli salad are good too, and you should grab a sweet treat like a hand-rolled croissant while you’re there. Also sweet is that the cafe is named after owner Malisa Nguyen’s mother, Luna. 
— Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Omni's eggplant tempura. Photo / Supplied

Chicken Wings at Moxie
82 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead

If you get a chance to dine at this convivial neighbourhood restaurant, do — it’s set in a beautiful, renovated villa with blush-pink decor and a delectable menu. Each Thursday, they do a casual “Wingapocalypse” night, where you get eight chicken wings for $10 in a revolving assortment of vibrant flavours. Think crispy Thai red curry with kaffir lime and coconut; sticky cola and garlic; or funky Korean with mayo and peanuts. 
— Rebecca Barry Hill, writer

The scotch egg at Hotel Ponsonby. Photo / Supplied

Tortillas at Homeland
Pier 21, 11 Westhaven Drive

If you’re heading out with a big group let me recommend Homeland. The menu is so delicious you will want to order everything and, if there are lots of you, you can — and then sample it all. The portions are wonderfully generous as well, which is a plus. The seasonal selection is always changing, but top of my starter list are the tortillas with beer battered paneer, sweet chilli, avocado and coleslaw — a delicious mix of flavour and texture. From there, you can work your way through the menu, including the melt-in-your mouth hangi pork belly, the elegant hot-smoked Ora King salmon, and the roast kumara with the yummiest of kawakawa pesto ... 
— Amanda Linnell, editor

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