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Category Archives: Smart Casual


Photographs: David Straight Phil’s Kitchen opened a couple of months ago in the space that was once Bouchon, a cheesily French restaurant that somehow changed dining in the city, mainly because it was loud and not very expensive and did a good coq au vin and crepes. On some levels, its replacement is brilliant. A simple, even […]


Photographs: David Straight  You might be familiar with the Matterhorn in Wellington: a restaurant that took a strange little coffee lounge and turned it into a legend. It feels like a bar where anything could happen and that might be kind of dangerous. Auckland’s version opened a couple of months back in a big beautiful bricky […]


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


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 […]


[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 […]