What The Viva Team Are Eating Now
These are the restaurant dishes currently dazzling us around Auckland
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
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
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
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
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
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