Metro's best dishes of the year

by Metro Magazine / 21 January, 2014

Rye gnocchi at Orphan's Kitchen, Auckland

Rye gnocchi at Orphans Kitchen.

Delaney Mes' top 5 dishes of 2013

1. Vegetarian rye gnocchi at Orphans Kitchen
This place keeps luring me back, and I’ve eaten this dish every time: served with a runny egg and hazelnuts and changing, seasonal accompaniments. There have been beets, and Jerusalem artichoke, but the memory that still colours my dreams was when they briefly served it with giant shavings of truffle. 118 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby.

2. Cheeseburger at Big J’s Takeaways
Yes, I mean it. If it’s time for a cheeseburger, go to Mt Wellington. Envy those who are already there. As comforting as any hug, and possibly more so. 1 Melton Rd, Mt Wellington.

3. Crayfish meatballs at Baduzzi
Crayfish in meatball form: mind, blown. Intense tomato flavours combined with plump delicious meatballs make this one of Baduzzi’s many standout dishes. Cnr Jellicoe St & Fish Lane, North Wharf.

4. Pork ribs at the Deep Creek Brewing Company
Craft beer is what they're famous for, but the ribs are a killer too. Slow-cooked under pork fat (confit), then barbecued and finished with a secret sauce that contains a lot of Jack Daniels. 111 Clyde Rd, Browns Bay.

5. Vanilla hard shake at Late Night Diner
Thick shakes with alcohol. Like being grown up and not all at the same time. Like life, really. 152 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby.

Delaney Mes blogs at

Bone marrow dish at Depot, Auckland

Bone marrow at Depot.

Simon Wilson's top 5 dishes of 2013

1.  Bone marrow at Depot
It almost seems like cheating to choose a favourite at Depot — it’s not like I’ve gone off oysters, and recently I had a simple bowl of ice cream and strawberries there that had no right to be so good. But I do have a favourite: it’s the bone marrow. Big bones, stickily thick marrow, with a flavour both meaty and sweet: shudderingly good. 86 Federal St, CBD.

2.  Goan fish curry at iVillage
Chunks of tender fish in a gravy that’s richly but not blindingly spicy: a star dish at the best Indian restaurant in town. Victoria Park Market, Freemans Bay.

3.  Butter-poached crayfish at The French Café
For those moments when you’re overwhelmed by the desire to eat the very epitome of fine-dining excellence, chef Simon Wright has created this dish. Everything about it is perfect. 210 Symonds St, Newton.

4.  Goats’ cheese soufflé at The Engine Room
How to leave this twice-baked piece of culinary fame off the list? The Engine Room serves hundreds every week, and there’s a reason. 115 Queen St, Northcote Pt.

5.  Boscaiola pizza from Totó
Totó’s pizza by the metre is our favourite pizza and was the reader favourite this year too, and this mushroom version, featuring baby spinach and truffle oil, is the best of the best. 53 Nelson St, CBD.

Simon Wilson is the editor of Metro.


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