Hilton Auckland, Princes Wharf, 147 Quay St, Viaduct. Ph 978-2020, fishrestaurant.co.nz.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner 7 days. $$$
Fish, operated by Simon Gault, takes our unofficial award for best place in Auckland to eat seafood. Resident chef Shane Yardley really knows what he’s doing with frutti di mare, treating each fillet, fish or clam according to its particular needs so that everything is exquisitely tender, moist and seasoned just enough to make its natural flavour sing. Service by staff such as Hope Papali’i (pictured) is great, and everybody works hard to make Fish feel like more than just a big room in a hotel. Tables on the deck give you some of the best restaurant views in Auckland, and even from inside you can see the harbour bridge and plenty of the Waitemata. A new antipasti bar works very well — you can go up and see what you like the look of — while several à la carte dishes are finished/finessed in front of you, which further makes Fish feel less like an alternative to room service and more like a fine restaurant.
A favourite dish: Seafood stew with mussels, clams, prawns, scallops, fresh fish and spicy saffron rouille.
Fixed-price meals / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Takes large groups