What is Auckland’s dining scene like?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Nicky Park

Auckland dining scene is friendly and thriving. New Zealand can sometimes be seen to be a bit slow on the uptake, but I think it’s evolving very quickly. There are new eateries popping up all the time (my favourite at the moment is the Blue Breeze Inn). However, it’s the café culture that is something this city should be very proud of. The Kiwi approach is relaxed, which suits perfectly for a casual day time meal or a hip evening feed.

Don’t get me wrong, there are fine dining establishments doing it very well, like one of the best restaurants in the country, The French Café. But even the Englishman behind that stunning success, Simon Wright, admits it’s been hard encouraging Kiwis to embrace white tablecloths. Instead, he believes that the Kiwiana injection in to international cuisine has bred an outstanding café culture that is among the best in the world.

Here's what Simon had to say recently when we I spoke to him about this:

"It was very difficult for me to come here and recreate fine dining food because there was no fine dining market at the level I had been working at. New Zealand, without me criticising it too much, was about 10 or 15 years behind. But that’s what’s so amazing about New Zealand. New Zealand is no doubt one of the most progressive countries you can be in.
“It is turning in to an amazing city. I think the food here is as good as anywhere in the world, across the board
."

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