With the Metro, Cuisine and Lewisham awards all announced in the last couple months, you’d have to be living under a food free rock not to have heard the buzz about the best of the best restaurants in this city of ours. Dining at the best of the best however, can cost a small fortune. If you are looking for the cheapest ways to eat at some of Auckland’s top fine dining establishments, check out the list below.
Sidart – 283 Ponsonby Road
Typical meal will cost you: 5 courses $95, 9 courses $140
When to go: Tuesday Test Kitchen (They have extended their test kitchen to Wednesdays until the 31st of July as well) 8 courses for $80. The chefs try out new concepts, dishes and flavours so be open and adventurous. Wine matching additional $80.
Friday Lunches 5 courses for $50 (Wine pairing additional $50)
Sample Menu Kale , Chevre , Cashew , Horseradish Tuna , Prawn , Artichoke , Lemon Carrot , Coffee , Leek , Buckwheat Hapuka , Sorrel , Chorizo , Almond Quail , Duck ham , Onions , Soy Venison , Parsnip , Raspberry , Date Beef Fillet , Mushroom , Beetroot , Tapioca Feijoa , Hazelnut , Chocolate , Thyme Brown sugar , Apple , Marsala , Dill
Merediths – 365 Dominion Road
http://www.merediths.co.nz Typical Meal will cost you: 5 courses for $80, 8 courses for $120 or on Saturdays only, 9 courses for $140. Wine matching available.
When to go: Tuesdays Merediths offers a “Dine by Donation” menu. It is a four course degustation and the cost is by donations (beverages additional). All the proceeds from donations go to Starship’s National Air Ambulance Service (at time of publishing – this changes weekly). Click here for more information or to donate. (You rock, Michael Meredith).
Friday Lunches Champagne Lunch – four course degustation lunch and a glass of Taittinger for $65.
Sample Menu Greenlip mussel, shiitake, cucumber King Salmon, heirloom tomatoes, fennel pollen Red deer, horseradish, chlorophyll, short finned eel Scampi, bacon, kale & succulents Sweet corn, hen’s egg, caramel Hapuka, parsnip, onion & mustard, oxtail Lamb neck, rewena & Honey Melons & Citrus Valrhona chocolate, salted caramel, macademia
(Meredith’s will also cater to all vegetarian and vegan diets.)
The Grove – St Patrick’s Square, Wyndham Street
http://www.thegroverestaurant.co.nz Typical meal will cost you: 3 courses $79 (Entrée, main, dessert), 5 course $79 (degustation), 9 courses $145 (degustation), Wine matching $10 per glass.
When to go: Mondays Mini Degustation Mondays – $55 for a five course menu, which you customize yourself from a huge selection of gorgeous dishes. The best bit of this? If you are a more savoury than sweet person, you can create a dessert free degustation. Or I suppose, a dessert only degustation!
Sample Menu Game fish wrapped in shiso, salad of octopus, coconut and coriander House cured soft bresaola w quail’s egg, Montgomery cheddar & wasabi sorbet Roasted sweetbreads & tails w celtuce, butternut & brown butter peanuts Tarte fine of grilled baby leeks w activated almonds, white onion & oyster mushroom Pheasant & duck ballotine cranberry & watercress, salad of BBQ corn & crispy leg Fricassé of rabbit, crayfish & champagne w farmed French caviar Rib of Rose veal w parsley pomme purée & hazelnut mustard, shaved deli pickles Grade 10 Kagoshima wagyu w courgette flowers, basil & broccolini Lasagna of mango, mandarin & sweet potato, Mamaku blueberries & buffalo yoghurt Poached Marlborough figs w honey, fig leaf fromage frais, blackberry & white peach
Bookings are definitely needed, but all of the above do easy online reservations. Photos courtesy of: The Grove Restaurant, Sidart and Merediths.