Jun 25, 2013 Restaurants
Several restaurants have their own vegetable and herb gardens, there’s a growing commitment to artisan producers and free-range foods — especially pork — and craft beer is catching on too.
But the news is not all good. Auckland has too many restaurants, and that’s led to closure for some and hardship for many more. There are 13 changes from our 2012 Top 50 list, including six that have closed — and two of those (Roxy and District Dining) were new only last year. The others in that 13 have simply drifted off the pace.
Surprisingly, given all the action, only four of the restaurants to take their place are new. The rest are older eateries with a renewed commitment to standards, and we welcome them to the list.
We regret there is only one hotel restaurant, and it’s a boutique one at that (DeBretts Kitchen). It’s a hospitality scandal that Auckland’s major hotel chains, with all their experience running restaurants around the world, cannot rustle up a top eatery here.
We also regret all the copycatting. It’s great that so many restaurants have learned from Depot that Aucklanders like oyster bars, sliders and white-tiled kitchen walls. But Depot offers a much bigger lesson — which happens to be the same one espoused by Coco’s Cantina, Moochowchow and Sunday Painters before them, and Prego, SPQR and Te Whau before them. To succeed, it’s not good enough to be good, you also have to be original and you have to make it fun. The restaurants in our Top 50 offer a special experience. By and large, that’s what separates them from another 20 or so which might have made the list but, in the end, didn’t.
So here it is: the Metro Emirates Top 50 Restaurants of the Year. We’ve found our favourites. We hope this list helps you find yours.
– Simon Wilson, editor.
Illustration by Nadeesha Godamunne.
The Top 50