Cin Cin on Quay, a fixture on Auckland’s waterfront for over twenty years, has closed. In March its premises were relaunched as Botswana Butchery, the first north island branch of the celebrated mini-chain of steakhouses in Queenstown and Wanaka. Executive chef Stuart Rogan promises “premium fun dining.”
Auckland’s latest Japanese restaurant is Kazuya, situated in Symonds Street. It takes its name from owner-chef Kazuya Yamauchi, who was previously head chef at Rice.
The old post office building in Auckland’s trendy Grey Lynn has been retro-fitted as a both a coffee roastery and café by Kokako Coffee. A point of difference in their brunch and lunch menus is a vegetarian slant, aimed at Grey Lynn’s many greenies.
Ever heard of a whoopie pie? It’s a small cake with a creamy filling, and it gives its name to Whoopie, also recently opened in Grey Lynn.
You’ve heard of cafes in bookshops, and Wanaka even has one in a fashion boutique. But York St Mechanics, a new café in Auckland’s Newmarket, puts a fresh spin on things by opening a coffee shop inside a motorcycle dealership and workshop. Breakfast, lunch and evening drinks are on offer.
Set to open in Napier in May is Mister D, the latest venture from Vinnies co-founder David Griffiths. The cuisine will be influenced by Italy and Spain, served in a laid-back atmosphere with a strong list of wines by the glass.
Confirming the trend to pan-Asian style restaurants is Dragonfly, the fourth such restaurant to open in Wellington. Designed by architect Allistar Cox, Wellington’s local hero (of Mojo and Matterhorn fame) it’s a maze of small spaces, including a bar and rear courtyard, covered over to protect customers from Wellington’s unpredictable weather. The Courtenay Place site was formerly the long-standing Chinese restaurant, Uncle Chang’s. Cuisine from all over Asia is offered by head chef Le Minh, formerly of Soi in Evans Bay.
The Bolton Hotel, a boutique hotel situated on Bolton Street just off the Terrace in Wellington, has closed its Bisque restaurant and re-launched it as Artisan. At the helm is Sahil Hussein, formerly head chef at the Copthorne Wellington’s fine dining restaurant 180 Degrees. He is offering modern American steakhouse fare, where customers custom-build their own meal by choosing their own sauces, potato style and vegetables or salad.
In the premises of the longstanding Munchener Burger in Cuba Street, Wellington, work proceeds on El Matador, Wellington’s first Argentinian “asado” restaurant. Whole sides of lamb and large cuts of beef will be tied to large metal crucifixes and leaned over live charcoal embers. Owner Mike Marsland made the move after earthquake-strengthening issues affected his highly successful Cuba Street café, Ernesto’s. This café has now closed and is now a temporary pop-up op shop.
The grand old building opposite Logan Brown restaurant in Wellington has been many restaurants over the years, most famously as Orsini’s, Wellington’s very first licensed restaurant, which opened in 1958.
Lately it has been Kayu Manis, a Malaysian restaurant, but as of December last year it is Kinara Indian Restaurant, owned by chef Joseph Miranda, formerly right-hand man to Monty Patel, who owns the Tulsi Indian restaurant chain.
Replacing the Argentinian Tango Bistro in Cuba Street is Phong Vu Vietnamese restaurant, situated at the end of the Left Bank arcade.
In the Wellington suburb of Northland, there’s plenty of choice for takeways but only one place to sit down and dine. Formerly Huckleberry Café, in February these premises were relaunched as Northland Café and Bistro. The café’s new owners decided to settle here after leaving recession-hit Canada. Pascal Filliol, until recently the Food and Beverage Manager at Welington’s InterContinental, looks after the front-of-house, while his wife Jenny, descended from a long line of chefs and restaurateurs, does the cooking.
Set in a dramatic modern stone building and long a top-rated Marlborough eatery for lunch, Wither Hills Winery Restaurant is now open for dinner.
Bouterey’s, one of Nelson’s leading fine-dining restaurants (located in suburban Richmond) has been sold.