Discovery: Café Abyssinia
In October, we heard murmurings of an Ethiopian restaurant in deepest Mt Roskill. After a bit of hunting, we tracked it down – and it was extraordinary. Light, flavourful stews and curries, all served with enjera. There is friendly service and brightly painted walls. It blew us away, and we went back the following week.
Best trend: Chinese Burgers
Nowhere is the diversity of Chinese restaurants in this city seen better than in the plethora of northern Chinese restaurants – food influenced by the muslim minorities of China. Most of them do “burgers” – unleavened bread, between which there is pork or lamb or beef, spicy with cumin and chilli. They are superb. Find them at Xi’an Food Bar and Shaolin Kung Fu Noodles.
Still good: The Grove
There have been dozens of new openings in Auckland in the past 18 months, and still The Grove impresses us. The food is thoughtful, deft and yet still nourishing; Michael Dearth’s enthusiasm is unmatched. Go soon.
The Best Dish We Ate This Year
The service has some issues, but we’re completely in love with the Nick Honeyman’s cooking at The Commons. In October we ate an onsen egg – an egg cooked at 60ºC for 60 minutes, then served with a salad of baby vegetables. It was inspired, and divine.
Favourite Cuisine: Malaysian
We often get asked about Thai food in Auckland, and our response is always: eat Malaysian instead. This year, we went to Selera, and to Bunga Raya and to Santhiya’s, and countless other places including Laksa House in Newmarket which we’ll review soon. It’s a unique food, the blending of Chinese, Malay and Nyonya flavours – and it’s something Auckland does particularly well.
Favourite Food: Oysters
You may have noticed we here at Eat Here Now are a mite obsessed with oysters. The season is finished now, and so it is that we while away the long summer, waiting until the water turns cold in May and we get to eat bivalves again. Our favourites are from Mahurangi Oysters; in the meantime, you can get Tio Points at Depot.