Sometimes a single lit candle added to the table in a dim room can add the finishing touch to your dining experience. The flickering flame does more than just provide light…it gives an element of mystery and romance in a soft and subtle way…love is coming your way!
And so, we thought it our duty to help nurture your love with a list of Auckland’s best candlelit dinners. Go forth and enjoy, you romantic thing, you!
The Garden Shed
With an outdoor courtyard space decked out in the most gorgeous flowers and greenery, The Garden Shed uses burning flames to light up their beautiful outside area. Not to mention, the food found at this eatery is all made up of the freshest produce, staying true to the garden factor of their name. If the single candle placed on the table isn’t enough, finish your dinner off with a dessert that only The Garden Shed offers. DIY s’mores is a thing where they provide ultimate campfire vibes by supplying you with some graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows and of course, an open flame.
Durham St East
Located on the second floor of a vintage building, the constantly busy and dimly-lit Mezze Bar gives somewhat rooftop vibes of a big city. Serving up Mediterranean-inspired goodness, the eclectic furniture, vibrant colours enhances the warmth this place has. The tables are a little more cluttered than other eateries, but in a good way as it gets you intimate with your date, making the most out of the magic that candle is doing. Order one their infamous parmesan polenta chips and pair it with a glass of wine to start off the perfect candlelit evening.
St. Patrick’s Square
When you imagine a candlelit dinner, you picture a posh environment with lush seating and beautifully presented dishes coming one after the other. Well, The Grove does just that. It offers a luxury dining experience with their degustation menu using only the best ingredients in the market. To ensure the freshness of their produce, The Grove is constantly changing their menu depending on the seasonal availability. Treat yourself with the premium nine-course dinner in the ambience of tranquillity.
Candlelit dinners are one thing, but a candlelit dessert makes the experience so much more indulgent and somehow adds even more sweetness to the treats! Circus Circus café has a cheerful concept of a fun and funky carnival while the candles add sophistication. Open till late, Circus Circus has become the go-to joint for Aucklanders to get their late night sugar fix as these guys serve the most epic slices of cake. The banoffee pie at Circus Circus is like no other as they don’t go lightly on any element from the cream, banana to the rich toffee. Sit back, relax and let your endorphins fly around the candle lit gem in Mt. Eden.
Kushi Japanese Kitchen & Bar
Durham St West
As soon as you walk in to Kushi, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a sanctuary of absolute Zen. The Japanese restaurant is dark, quaint and peaceful and each table is lit by a tall single candle to add to the mystique. The restaurant is decked out with traditional Japanese art and other décor and creates an ambience of true authenticity. Kushi take their food as seriously as their vibe, with everything that comes out of their kitchen is out of this world. Our favourite would have to be their starter—the butterfly prawns with their homemade Japanese mayo. They do fine cuts of sashimi, stir fry dishes and skewers as well. Get amongst!
Devon on the Wharf
Not only do Devon on the Wharf provide a dinner with a candle but also with a scenic view of the waterfront located bang smack on the Devonport wharf. Right next to the ocean, Devon on the Wharf has a menu that features delicious seafood creations and curated wine to put the cherry on top. Munch on the tasty food Devon on the Wharf have to offer while hearing the sounds of the ocean waves while staying cosy in a dim room of candles…can an evening sound more perfect than that?!
Cotto on K’Road is on its way to becoming the local social hub with their stylish and chic ambience, fair prices and amazing food. The kumara gnocchi gets us every. Single. Damn. Time. And, so does their fritti starter. Cotto celebrates all sorts of people, with a vibe to suit everyone. Whether you’re a couple wanting a romantic evening, a family looking for some quality time or a group of friends that just want to chat over some tasty eats, candlelit Cotto is a restaurant for everyone and anyone!
Victoria Street East
A cosy, warm and inviting eatery that resembles a cottage situated in a small village, Scarecrow on Victoria Street East is truly a one of a kind. With a mini market of organic produce and a little flower shop to add some extra cuteness, Scarecrow will draw you in the moment you walk past. The lighting inside has strong undertones of golden yellow and is enhanced with the candles scattered around the restaurant. The cabinet is filled with sweet treats and tasty salads and the menu features dishes that make you feel like you’re having a Sunday roast in the comfort of your own home.
With a collection of modern furniture and a chic interior design, Saan adds the finishing touches to the look of their eatery by embracing the dark and lighting up the restaurant with some flaming candles. Saan comes from the team who has blessed us with legendary and iconic eats such as Xuxu Dumpling Bar and Café Hanoi. The Northen-Thai inspired menu is a creative mix that prioritises texture, flavour and presentation to show us that Thai food is more than just chicken pad Thai and green curry!
Porch Bar & Eatery
Food is lit, drinks are lit and most importantly, candle lit. Porch Bar & Eatery has a menu with so many different options that overwhelm you with choice. To make things a little easier for you, some of our favourites would be their beef cheek dumplings, snapper sliders and pork tacos. Porch obviously knows how to cook up a feast judging by their menu and their candles add an air of romance to the dining experience. To make this dinner even more romantic, don’t think Porch was named that for no reason. They actually have a candlelit porch with an amazing view of the sea and Rangitoto, making
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Image credit: Aaron Parker at The Garden Shed