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Published on : Sunday, May 1, 2016
When it comes to discerning palates, Auckland offers a huge choice with four downtown food precincts offering an eclectic range of restaurants within strolling distance, a great night out can easily stretch to several establishments.
A tour of Auckland’s dining precincts reveals a tempting menu of culinary discoveries from entrée to main and dessert – complete with a late-night boogie to burn it all off afterwards.
Auckland lies on the shores of twin harbours and between two oceans with an abundance of marine life, so ocean fresh sea food is a definitive local experience.
Sea food lovers usually head down to the Viaduct Harbour precinct to taste their catch of the day in style.
New kid on the block ‘Oyster and Chop’ opened in October 2015 and specialises in premiums steaks, and as the name suggests, oysters. Sourcing the best and freshest from around the country, Oyster and Chop’s oyster bar serves the delicacy up raw, cooked in shots, chowder and even a po’ boy (traditional submarine sandwich).
For mains, ‘The Culpeper’ is the perfect spot focusing on seafood and the trending ‘low n slow’ style of BBQ. Their signature BBQ beef brisket is expertly done at ‘The Culpeper’ with modern twists. Twelve-hour smoked Hawke’s Bay lamb shoulder, smoked Boston pork butt, and smoky lamb ribs all feature but if you can’t decide, the Culpeper tasting board makes sure you get to taste all of celebrity chef Gareth Stewart’s creations.
To cap it all off Soul’s seaside garden does fruity dessert treats, and guests who want to linger can stay on when Soul switches to party mode as Viaduct Harbour’s daytime restaurants transform into clubs by night.
For an urban Auckland experience, the downtown Britomart Precinct offers contemporary dining in a unique industrial setting where restored 19th century warehouses have become chic establishments.
Café Hanoi’s flavourful Vietnamese tapas are a good starting point at Britomart. Ostro is a New Zealand take on an international-style brasserie with Michelin-starred New Zealand chef Josh Emett at the helm. Ortolana showcases fresh produce grown on their farm in Kumeu, 30 minutes north of downtown Auckland.
Orleans is a Southern American-inspired ‘music and liquor kitchen’ serving up traditional Creole cuisine with a modern twist. Just across the road on Fort St is dessert restaurant Miann, opened in 2015 this establishment has quickly become known as must-do for delectable desserts.
A variety of cocktails can be sampled, as can Britomart’s vibrant bar scene at nearby Fukuko, Northern Steamship Co, Racket, and Britomart Country Club.