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Metro Eats! — Friday 17 February

WIN! + What's Good and What's Happening in Auckland eating.

Metro Eats! — Friday 17 February

Feb 17, 2023 Metro Eats


Happy Friday! I’ve had a very good 24 hours of eating. The team and I went to check out Dominion Rd’s newest addition, a Xi’An restaurant called Ju Chang An for lunch yesterday (read more about it on our Instagram, here); then I had one fresh oyster with a tasty mignonette at Alta along with a glass of Selection Massale’s orange; then the octopus ragu special at Pici which might just be the tastiest thing I’ve ever had there. 

Short intro today, sorry but there are plenty of things happening in Auckland this weekend, which you can see if you choose to scroll down. And plenty of good things to eat, too!

– Jean


WIN! Metro x Tuatara

Would you like to win a dinner at one of our Metro Top 50 under $25 restaurants for yourself and three of your friends (value at $100), plus some very fetching Tuatara merch? Visit our Instagram page and comment on the latest Metro Eats post telling us who you’d take with you. You must be following both the Metro and Tuatara Instagram accounts.


Metro x Aotearoa Art Fair


Aotearoa  Art Fair, New Zealand’s premier showcase for contemporary art, returns on Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 March 2023 at The Cloud on Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s Queens Wharf.  

Discover art by more than 180+ artists, exhibited by 40 of the best galleries of the wider Pacific Rim region. Whether you’re interested in painting, photography, sculpture, moving image, ceramics, drawing or performance, the  Aotearoa  Art Fair has something for everyone. 

The Aotearoa Art Fair is offering a special discount code for our audiences, use the code METRO20 at checkout for 20% off all ticket types. Buy tickets at


What’s Happening


If this Metro Eats gets to you on time (fingers crossed, but no promises), Flight Coffee are giving away free affogatos at Florets in Grey Lynn from 11.30am-2.30pm today. Florets will also be making some other coffee-focused treats available for sale on the side, like a spiced honey and rye coffee cake. 

Book yourself a table at Will Lyons-Bowman’s (Vita Wines and The Next Meal) pop-up at Roses Dining Room, which is a la carte, with a menu containing dishes meant to share. He’ll be cooking over two nights, tonight February 17 and tomorrow, Saturday 18.

Chef Alfie Ingham (previous head chef of Hugo’s Bistro) is overseeing a pop-up in collaboration with Satya Chai Lounge , at Satya Chai Lounge, called XO Mangal (Mangal is the name of a Middle Eastern barbeque). It’s open from Thursday – Sunday and the menu changes weekly.

Passa Passa is popping up at Ragtag on the 18-19 of February (so, this weekend), with things like scotch fillet spiedini and bruschetta ricotta, pea and mint on the menu. Dessert by Fundraiser.

The Strawberry Pig (aka Carlo Bernardo) is cooking on the coals at Annabel’s Wine Bar on Sunday afternoon this 19th, with modern skewers and natural wines. 4pm till late.

Baby G is at Garage Project on Sunday from 12pm-sellout, serving up “The Sloppy Joey”, an American-style chilli cheeseburger.

Cantina OK! are coming to Clipper , a bar in Ponsonby, on Tuesday 28 Feb. It’s taking over the bar for one night only, book here. When I visited Sydney last year I could not escape Cantina OK!’s canned margarita seltzers, even though I never actually made it to Cantina itself – which is a World’s 50 Best bar which champions Mezcal.

And to the finer things in life, French caviar producer Guy de Saint Laurent (yes, that is his name) is in New Zealand for a five-course caviar dinner at Sidart , showcasing Sturia Vintage Caviar. Tickets start at $250pp.


What’s Good


We went to Pōni for lunch the other day, a restaurant in which I am always taken by how much of a consistent crowd-pleaser it is: bold, zingy flavours; umami-packed sauces. You have to be careful to try and order something with a bit of freshness though (which we forgot). Those lamb skewers slathered in mojo verde with a smear of chardonnay miso (strong) on the side were great.

I think I sound like a broken record at this point but I truly believe that the Sashimi bukkake udon at Udon Works , with the original soy sauce dressing, is one of my favourite dishes in Auckland. Fresh sashimi. Fresh udon (which is chewier and with a better bite than if it was submerged in the broth). What more could you want?

We had lamb on flatbread at Cheeky Fala, a pop-up, and it was sincerely very delicious. We all wished it would have offered just a little bowl of the falafel with some sauce and hummus on the menu, because we very much wanted it after having a couple of them amongst the lamb. 

Recipe recommendation: When we had that one freezing cylonic night in Tāmaki, my flatmate cooked me Bo Kho (Vietnamese Braised Beef Stew). There are all these fragrant cinnamon-star anise-gingery flavours going on amongst the tomato base. It’s sunny now, but good to bookmark this one for a rainy day.

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In the Autumn 2024 issue of Metro we celebrate the best of Tāmaki Makaurau — 100 great things about life in Auckland, including our favourite florist, furniture store, cocktail, basketball court, tree, make-out spot, influencer, and psychic. The issue also includes the Metro Wine Awards, the battle over music technology company Serato, the end of The Pantograph Punch, the Billy Apple archives, a visit to Armenia, viral indie musician Lontalius, the state of fine dining, and the time we bombed West Auckland to kill a moth. Plus restaurants, movies, politics, astrology, and more.

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