Your Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat In South & East Auckland

Support your local or try somewhere new – like one of these five fantastic eateries

Ampersand. Photo / Supplied

Our diverse, finely tuned hospitality industry makes Tāmaki Makaurau a vibrant, exciting place to be ⁠— helping us connect with our community and loved ones, while enjoying delicious food and great service. To inspire Aucklanders to get out and support their local, or venture further afield for the best eats in the city, Viva has picked some of our favourite eateries from each corner of Tāmaki Makaurau – north and west, south and east, and the central city.

Ethereal Artisan Kitchen, Karaka
In the lush green surrounds of Karaka in South Auckland sits Ethereal Artisan Kitchen, housed in the newly opened Hilton by DoubleTree hotel. This chic and elegant restaurant is helmed by renowned chef Mark Southon (ex-French Cafe, O’Connell Street Bistro) whose paddock to plate ethos sees him favour hyper local produce sourced a stone’s throw from the hotel. Having trained in Michelin starred restaurants in the UK and Europe, Mark reinvents French classics for a menu of refined brasserie-style dishes, and produce-led plates. A dessert trolley is a charming addition to the offering, created by head pastry chef Whitney, filled with eclairs, macarons and seasonal fruit tarts.
8 Hinau Road, Karaka, Auckland. Phone (09) 296 2002

Ethereal Artisan Kitchen. Photo / Supplied

Ajimi, Onehunga
Ajimi’s sashimi platters are a thing to behold, with the Ajimi special impeccably presented on a wooden board with tiered steps presenting a different selection of seafood, artfully placed on saucers and shells. This traditional Japanese izakaya is also famed for its sushi and sake - don’t miss the Aburi salmon sushi roll topped with teriyaki sauce and mayo and lightly fired with a blowtorch at the table. The interior is fun and casual, with pillow-topped crates for seating, shared tables and low hanging lanterns. Lovers of sashimi can also check out Ajimi's sister restaurant Sashimi of Japan on Dominion Road, where its signature sashimi dish is so special, it needs to be ordered a day in advance.
Unit 2, 258 Onehunga mall, Onehunga.

Try It Out. Photo / Supplied

Try it Out, Otahuhu
Famed Vietnamese restaurant Try It Out has two branches in south Auckland, in Otahuhu and East Tamaki, where steaming bowls of noodles piled high with fresh herbs, cucumber, bean threads and chilli are a huge drawcard. Try it Out is a family-run operation, led by the daughters of its original founders Xuan Ha and Duyen Vo, who hail from Vietnam. The interior and fit-out here are basic, and the location semi-industrial, but the food and flavours are anything but. You’ll find lots of restorative pho on the menu, spring and summer rolls, banh mi, fried rice and noodles cooked every which way. Don’t miss a ca phe sua da (iced coffee) sweetened with condensed milk.
79 Atkinson Ave, Otahuhu.

Bracu, Bombay
Make a day of it and head to the rolling green hills of Bombay, where Bracu sits among 70 hectares of olive trees. An oasis 40 minutes from central Auckland, Bracu is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant serving contemporary seasonal fare and locally sourced produce. After all, Bombay has some of the most verdant soil in the Auckland region. The style is “relaxed fine dining” with a five-course degustation option, with matching wines available, with dishes like citrus-cured salmon, line caught fish of the day and a cheesecake to finish. It’s open Thursday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday lunch.
49 Main Road, Bombay.

Ampersand. Photo / Supplied

Ampersand, Orakei
Open all day, Ampersand is the ideal drop-in point for a leisurely breakfast, a post-walk lunch or a pre-movie dinner. It’s located in the boutique shopping mecca of Orakei Bay Village with views over Hobson Bay, and minutes from Orakei Basin, making it the ideal spot to while away an hour or two. Inside the expansive space there’s a crisp yet warm aesthetic thanks to plywood shelves, festive string lights and lush greenery, and the determined bustle of swift uniformed staff. Chef and owner Mikey Newlands has curated a cracking menu of modern European-style dishes. Highlights include pressed lamb shoulder with eggplant caviar, yoghurt and balsamic sauce, or goat’s cheese tortellini with spinach, butternut, amaretti and sage. It has fresh, bold flavours with something to suit everyone.
228 Orakei Road, Orakei.

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