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Category Archives: Smart Casual

MASU

Photographs: David Straight Masu has serious pedigree. Chef Nik Watt is a master of the grill has cooked in robata all over the world. SkyCity spent many millions on the fitout. Nick Achison, formerly of The French Cafe, is the maître d. It bills itself as a robata – a Japanese grill – only it’s […]

FEDERAL DELICATESSEN

Photographs: David Straight It could have gone so horribly wrong. “The Fed” is a homage to a classic New York delicatessen with diner touches: formica, waitresses in mint green 1950s dresses, bottomless filter coffee. In the hands of Al Brown, though, it works brilliantly – it’s an extension of his bagel-meets-oyster empire (The Fed is […]

BLUE BREEZE INN

[Photographs: David Straight] Auckland has needed a Chinese restaurant that doesn’t have fluorescent lighting for a long time – so when the Blue Breeze Inn opened, we were hopeful. The fitout is fabulous, China by way of a tropical resort, lots of dark timber and colourful prints and mad lighting and bold tiling in the […]

THE COMMONS

[Photographs: David Straight]  You’ll find The Commons in a stripped-out 1950s department store, all brick and concrete and metal and wood. It’s owned by Pack & Company, self-described “Social Architects” and a company that owns a lot of restaurants around Auckland. Usually, they’re beautiful and they often have a good chef, but they’re not perfect, […]

DISTRICT DINING

[Pictures: David Straight] We’re getting mixed messages. District Dining is a self-described combination of sophisticated food with a bistro buzz and price tag. But while the food is good – by God is it good – we didn’t really feel much of that promised energy: District Dining is just ever so slightly off, slightly too […]