Apr 13, 2016 Restaurants
Above: Saan, Ponsonby.
The trends that define Auckland restaurants in 2016.
Words by Simon Wilson, photography by Sarah Grace.
1. GOING EXOTIC
Cuisines from elsewhere, presented with great skill in a sophisticated urban context, now account for nearly half our list.
2. EATING ETHICALLY AND LOCALLY
For restaurants like Orphans Kitchen, the economic and environmental context of the food is vital.
3. BISTRO BISTRO BISTRO
More every year. Bistros, with high standards of food and service and an informal vibe, also account for more than half the list.
4. SKYCITY V THE INDEPENDENTS
In Federal St, SkyCity has created a great row of restaurants. But that’s also spurred many others to action. One big reason Ponsonby restaurants are better than ever is that they’ve decided to compete.
5. FOREIGN SERVERS
Good service is still hard to find, especially from locals. There’s a disproportionate number of visitors working the floor in our Top 50 restaurants. Good on them, but it’s a shame about the locals.
6. COCKTAILS AND CRAFT BEER
Cocktail lists are longer and stronger. Cheers to that. Craft beer appears on most lists, but there still isn’t nearly enough of it. Much more choice, please.
7. BRISKET AND MORE BRISKET
The food du jour is smoked and spicy beef, cooked for 14 hours so you can cut it with a spoon.
8. GOURMET SUPPLIERS
Top-of-the-line grass-fed beef and lamb, all those oyster varieties, gourmet vegetables… the quality and range of local ingredients are both rising fast.
9. TRUST THE CHEF
Some call it degustation, others simply say, place yourself in our hands. Telling the chef you want to eat what they want to cook is a great recipe for a long lunch or a really good night out.
10. HAIL THE NEXT GENERATION
Chefs and restaurateurs in their 20s and 30s are rising up. The edible city is in good hands.