Where to eat according to these Auckland food connoisseurs

by Paperboy / 17 May, 2017

Auckland chefs and restaurateurs recommend their favourite places to eat with family and friends.

Read more: Auckland's best restaurants 2018 | Auckland's best cafes 2018 | Best Cheap Eats in Auckland 2018.

Ed Verner, the chef at Metro Top 50 restaurant Pasture recommends Nanam.

“Nanam is a creative Filipino restaurant owned by Jess Granada and Andrew Soriano, who also cook in the kitchen. As well as being delicious, their food is personal and expressive. You can trust them to choose for you – it’s the best way to experience their multifaceted cuisine and genuine hospitality. Expect dishes like tender hˉapuka with banana hearts (from Kelmarna Gardens), and ‘siopao’ – steamed beetroot buns you fill with sticky pork, homemade pickles and peanuts.”   178 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna

 

Gino Buonocore, the owner of Italian restaurant Spacca in Remuera loves Parnell’s Woodpecker Hill

“As Spacca is closed on Sundays, it’s our family day and Woodpecker Hill is our favourite dinner destination. Our go-tos are the soft-shell crab, stir-fried with turmeric, chilli, tamarind, and crispy shallots, followed up with the crispy eggplant and tasting meat platter, and all swirled down with a Fentimans rose lemonade. It’s ridiculously good and we can never get enough.” 196 Parnell Rd, Parnell

 

Sergio Maglione, the restaurateur behind Farina and Toto Pizza loves Il Forno Bakery and Cafe

“One of my favourite places to go for breakfast and coffee is traditional Italian bakery, Il Forno. They serve croissants, bomboloni and crostoni with a variety of fillings, and an extensive range of traditional Italian pastries. They also supply beautiful handmade cakes and fresh bread, which they’re known for. The service is always top notch as Andrew [Kleine, the owner] and his staff look after myself and the other patrons exceedingly well. It’s always a pleasure to stop by.” 55 Mackelvie St, Ponsonby

 

Adam Crickett, the co-owner of Bearded Clam loves Settebello Pizza

“Settebello is unpretentious and has an authentic family restaurant vibe while turning out (in my opinion) the best Neapolitan-style pizza in the city. I always get the Marinara, which has tomatoes, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. But it’s the 20-hour slow-proved dough that’s the real draw. Baked for less than two minutes in a mˉanuka-fired wood oven, it’s light, puffy, crispy and slightly blistered. My wife summed it up perfectly when she said: ‘This tastes so legit bro’.” 3/1 Rata St, New Lynn

 

Gareth Stewart, the executive chef of Euro loves the flavours at Paradise Indian Food

“My last meal will be an Indian curry. At Paradise, I often go for the made-to-order curries, favouring the lamb balti or lamb pasanda. The flavours take me back to London, when I lived a stone’s throw away from the famous Brick Lane in Shoreditch – home of authentic Indian and Bangladeshi curries. I once asked Sid Sahrawat where he would go out for a curry if it wasn’t his own restaurant, Cassia, and he said ‘Paradise for sure’, so it must be true. Best curry in town, hands down.” 591 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham

 

Wichian Trirattanavatin, the head chef at Ponsonby’s Saan loves SKYCITY favourite, Masu.

“I would love to recommend Masu Japanese restaurant. They have really good cocktails and an excellent saké menu. My favourite dishes are miso black cod with saikyo yuzu miso, Alaskan king crab leg with smoked wasabi butter, and the sashimi – it’s the freshest in town. They have an awesome dessert platter and really good service every time.” 90 Federal St, central city

 

Esther Lamb, the co-owner of Grey Lynn’s Siostra enjoys Ralph’s

“I like Ralph’s – the one-dollar-reserve decor, the server who looks like a dress-up doll. Last week, she was wearing powder-pink dungaree shorts with a My Little Pony patch, socks pulled up to her knees and pink blusher to match. I feel camaraderie with the owners who are always there in the trenches. There is nothing like schmooching your face into their cheeseburger and washing it down with a breakfast beer on a Saturday morning.” 225B Dominion Rd, Mt Eden

 

Ricky Lee, the co-owner and maitre d’ at Metro Top 50 restaurant Cocoro loves Ken Yakitori

“Ken Yakitori is a cheerful and casual Japanese restaurant specialising in skewers of tasty things grilled over charcoal. They have sashimi and even ramen as well. The best thing about it, especially for us hospitality workers, is that they are open pretty late, with last orders at midnight. This means if I’m lucky enough to get off work at 11pm, I can still go down there for a beer and have a few of my favourite yakitori.” 55 Anzac Ave, central city

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