Welcome to the Metro Valentine’s Day special, wherein we do our thing and recommend the best places to grab a romantic bite on the Feast of Saint Valentine. You’re cutting it a little bit fine, to be honest, but as long as you land that booking, who’s to know?
Where to eat on Valentine's Day
Auckland’s best (and, technically, only) French neo-bistro presents ‘Des fruit de mer’, meaning fruits of the sea in French, which starts with sourdough and consists almost entirely of seafood. Oysters two ways, some Cloudy Bay clams, banana prawns (imo some of the best ones), langoustine and whole flounder for $80pp – Jesus H. Christ, that’s a good deal. Plus, French is, like, romantic, so double points for that. Bookings at email@example.com.
Baduzzi is hosting a special ‘Love is Blind’ menu on Valentine’s, where $25 from each $110 ticket will go towards Red Cross’ bush-fire relief efforts in Australia, plus proceeds from the night’s silent auction. You’ll be served four courses from an unknown menu, which will cater for dietaries if pre-warned.
Feeling fancy? It’s hard to get fancier than Sid at the French Café, which has a special Valentine’s Day menu on the night. It’ll set you back $210pp for a 7-course tasting menu plus bubbles on arrival – probably worth it, knowing what we do about Sid’s food. Ooh, la, la, indeed.
Culprit’s Valentine’s Day menu runs a tad on the wild side – very on brand, of course, and just the way we like it – getting experimental with the humble toastie, stuffing tacos with duck-leg confit and serving octopus carpaccio with pepperoni. (If it’s worth anything to you, I think Culprit’s dining room is pretty romantic, in that loft-chic, exposed-brick kind of way.) $150pp.
If you’re after a specially plant-based menu, the team at Kind have cooked up a four-course vegan menu for only $55pp, or $95 when paired with vegan wines. There are a lot of plants (both on and off the plate), and there’s nice outdoor seating if you’re eating early, with a water bowl for the pup.
Actually leaving Auckland’s immediate suburbs for a bit of destination dining – hey, is this a wild romantic gesture? Maybe, and for $125 you can enjoy a five-course tasting menu with a glass of champagne on arrival, in the exotic surroundings of Matakana.
For something a little different, Buko (led by chef Will Mordido) is back with their third Valentine’s Day celebration, with four desserts matched by tea, and a glass of rose on arrival. 10% of profits will go to Women’s Refuge.
What it says on the tin. Only $55 for food, activities, a drink and maybe a new Valentine, all within a lush winery out of the way.