While we love Auckland and its incredible restaurants, there’s a cuisine that has—unfortunately—been overlooked: Greek food.
However, things are changing for the better with the arrival of Gerome. Located in the old Iguacu building in Parnell, the Greek-inspired restaurant is an up-and-coming Auckland fave.
No shortcuts were made decking out the spectacular space. Gerome has a Hollywood cocktail bar ambiance with teal velvet furnishing, brass fittings and dark woods. There are seating options for every occasion: cozy booths, bar stools, private dining, an outdoor deck and—our fave—an upstairs mezzanine. The loft-like dining space exudes tree-house vibes with a hint of romance—table for two, anyone?
At the helm of Gerome, you’ll find restauranteur Ramiz Malik and head chef James Kenny. Ramiz explains “this is home”—you are not a customer; you are a guest. And while the fit-out is oh-so-glamorous, it’s far from being pretentious—you’ll immediately feel at ease here.
When visiting Gerome, we suggest embracing Mediterranean dining with open arms. We’re talking a long, leisurely lunch (or dinner), shared with your nearest and dearest. Order a range of seasonal dishes (and drinks!) and brace yourself for a feast to remember!
From the raw bar, you’ll discovered freshly shucked oysters and not-to-be-missed lakerda. The latter is a Middle Eastern version of ceviche with market fish, chilli, coriander and house-made avocado sorbet. The innovative sorbet is the star of the dish—you could eat the creamy deliciousness by the scoop!
The “smaller dishes” section of the menu leaves you spoilt for choice. You’ll find the likes of harissa-rubbed lamb ribs, roasted cauliflower and, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are even lamb brains!
Start with their signature buttermilk flatbreads served with taramasalata (Greek dip made with fish roe) and carrot tzatziki (because cucumber tzatziki is sooo last year). If you’re a fan of all things cheese, don’t go past their seared kefalogravier. Made from sheep’s milk, the Greek cheese is served charred and oozy—much like halloumi. It’s topped with figs and drizzled with honey, creating a divine balance of sweet and savoury.
The deliciousness continues across the “larger dishes” menu with beef short rib, spit-roasted pig and burnt eggplant. A real hero is the irresistible lamb shoulder with tahini yoghurt, watermelon and pine nuts. Slow-cooked to perfection, the tender meat will melt in your mouth. While the watermelon is an unexpected addition, it cuts through the rich meat perfectly.
Be sure to stick around for dessert because loukoumades are on the menu! Loukou what? Loukoumades are Greece’s take on the doughnut. Think sweet balls of dough, deep fried until golden and soaked in honey syrup—amazing, right? Gerome serves the piping hot morsels with a dollop of coffee ice-cream, Nutella and hazelnuts. And yes, it’s every bit as amazing as it sounds.
Don’t fork out on a trip to the Mediterranean—head to Parnell instead! Gerome is giving Aucklanders a much-needed taste of Greece…and the result is delicious. We’ll see you there.
Image credit: Warren Nicholson