21 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna. Ph 929-2791, thecommons.co.nz.
Lunch & dinner 7 days. $$
Our advice, if you’re dining at The Commons and you have the time, is to opt for the degustation menu. It’s a constant roll-out of ooh and ahhhh dishes, created by one of the cleverest chefs in the city: Nick Honeyman (he’s also responsible for the food at Everybody’s Izakaya). Honeyman concocts some wondrous dishes, sometimes marrying ingredients and flavours that sound dubious, but then slap you in the face with their brilliance. He always manages to do particularly great things with venison and salmon, and often to slip in deliciously umami Japanese-inspired flavours that make for rounded, memorable dishes. The upstairs dining room at The Commons is pleasantly industrial chic and tends to be far more hushed than the rowdy ground floor — but if you’re after a bit of a drink and a social, then the bar menu served downstairs is one of the best you could hope for.
A favourite dish: Chicken breast, ramen egg, corn and black quinoa.
Degustation / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Bar / Craft beer selection