What and where to eat in Auckland this October

by Kate Richards / 09 October, 2018

Chimera's Carly Black and Conor Mertens.

Four food events to get you out of the house.


It’s going to be a busy month for Conor Mertens (ex-Orphans Kitchen) and Carly Black who run Chimera (ky-meer-a), a sporadic pop-up dinner series focusing on community, seasonal shared food and natural wine. They have three events happening in October, and you should get in quick if you want to score one of the very limited tickets on offer. First up, at Cazador (854 Dominion Rd) on 15 Oct, is a collab with Alex Davies of Christchurch’s most plant-forward restaurant, Gatherings. This vegetable-focused long lunch, $75pp, includes wine matches by Wine Diamonds. On 27 Oct, Mertens cooks a menu matched with wines from Wellington’s Cult Wine who support innovation and diversity in winemaking by championing artisan growers, and natural and minimal intervention drops. Venue TBC, $95pp. The last Chimera event on 28 Oct is a bit spesh – a champagne-matched dinner featuring foie gras, caviar and truffle-laced dishes – so grab a ticket and treat bae, or just yourself. This nod to all things French costs $110pp, and comes brought to you in collaboration with Cave du Cochon. Venue TBC.

15, 27, and 28 Oct. Contact Mertens or Black for tickets and further details via Instagram @restaurant_chimera

The Cult Project at Culprit

The endearingly earnest vision for Carlo Buenaventura’s pop-up at Culprit later this month, is to showcase what it’s like to be a Filipino immigrant cooking in New Zealand by sharing some of his late father and grandmother’s approach to food. Buenaventura will present a fresh take on a traditional South Philippines cooking style called SuTuKil – offering a three-course sharing menu of snacks and larger dishes. A range of wines from Martinborough's Cambridge Road vineyards will be available by the glass or bottle on the night, with winemaker Lance Redgwell releasing one of his first 2018 vintages on the evening too. Tickets are $65pp for food only, or $100 with wine matching. Book at culprit.co.nz. 

29 & 30 Oct, Culprit, Level 1, 12 Wyndham St, central city

A plant-based dish by Orphans Kitchen chef Tom Hishon.

Little Bird Vegetarian Month

It’s World Vegetarian Month, and Little Bird Unbakery are celebrating with a second instalment of their Plant-Based Challenge running between 8 Oct – 4 Nov. The fully vegetarian cafe has challenged four prominent Auckland chefs (Al Brown, Ben Bayly, Emma Galloway and Tom Hishon) to create a plant-based dish to be served on the menu at Little Bird throughout October. Each chef’s dish will have a limited run of one week: Brown’s tempura seed and cumin broccoli features from 8 – 14 Oct; Galloway’s sweet and sour lemongrass tempeh is on from 15 – 21 Oct; try Hishon’s shiitake, celery and kumara cassoulet between 22 – 28 Oct; and the month rounds out with Bayly’s flatbread with watercress pistou and aubergine caviar from 29 Oct – 4 Nov.

Little Bird are also challenging the public to create a plant-based dish and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #plantbasedchallengenz for the chance to win $5000 worth of prizes. The winner will receive return flights to Auckland from anywhere in New Zealand, two nights at The Boatshed and a Hyundai electric car filled with Little Bird treats to use for the weekend. The best part of the month though, is that for every special dish sold, Little Bird will donate $1 to social enterprise Garden to Table – an in-school programme teaching kids about growing and cooking vegetables. So dig deep.

1 Summer St, Ponsonby (also at 14 Customs St East, central city)

Food for Thought at Gemmayze St

Exacerbated by the suicide of high profile chef and TV presenter Anthony Bourdain in June, frank conversations about the state of mental health in hospitality have been thrust further into the limelight this year. As part of an ongoing call to action, Australian-based campaign Food For Thought is teaming up with local restaurants Gemmayze St, Cazador, Culprit, Nanam Republic and The Cult Project for an evening of food and hard truths. This is the first time Food For Thought – a non-profit dinner series run by ex-chef Mal Meiers – has organised an international event. Tickets for the degustation dinner with wine match are $157pp with all proceeds going to Mental Health New Zealand. Book at eventbrite.com.au.

21 Oct, Shop 16, St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Rd, K’ Rd Precinct.


Ditch the intergenerational housing blame game, and focus on some home truths
99836 2018-12-10 00:00:00Z Social issues

Ditch the intergenerational housing blame game, an…

by Virginia Larson

What we don’t need is sloppy statistics kindling an intergenerational stoush that does no one any good.

Read more
Sally Lewis: The modern-day monk teaching meditation to prisoners
100143 2018-12-10 00:00:00Z Profiles

Sally Lewis: The modern-day monk teaching meditati…

by Clare de Lore

Could an ancient form of meditation change the lives of prisoners for better? Sally Lewis says it can.

Read more
What's inside North & South's January 2019 issue?
99815 2018-12-10 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

What's inside North & South's January 2019 issue?

by North & South

We look at the riskiest places in NZ to live, what it'll take to fix the Family Court and review 2018's weirdest and wackiest things.

Read more
The Brexit deal is the perfect Prisoner's Dilemma
100059 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z World

The Brexit deal is the perfect Prisoner's Dilemma

by Andrew Anthony

In the Prisoner's Dilemma, going after what you want – freedom – might get you the very worst outcome. It's Brexit, in other words.

Read more
How Britain's MI6 gave the world modern spycraft
100061 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Television

How Britain's MI6 gave the world modern spycraft

by Fiona Rae

Espionage nerd David Jason takes us inside the world of secret agents, including the inaugural MI6 boss’ car.

Read more
Louis Theroux grapples with his own failure in new Jimmy Savile doco
100072 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Television

Louis Theroux grapples with his own failure in new…

by Diana Wichtel

A chastened Louis Theroux tries to shed light on a celebrity sex fiend's brazen cunning in a new documentary.

Read more
The extraordinary story of how New Zealand entered the space race
100028 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Business

The extraordinary story of how New Zealand entered…

by Sally Blundell

Half a century after the first manned spacecraft orbited the moon, the space race is back on and New Zealand is in the game. But are we ready?

Read more
Quiet, please! The commodification of silence
97964 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Travel

Quiet, please! The commodification of silence

by Margo White

The commodification of quiet – how silence became a top trend in wellness tourism.

Read more