All too often chefs are out of sight and out of mind slaving away in the kitchen and working their culinary magic in private. To this we say “no more!”. Chefs are, indeed, some of the best artists around and art should be shared and enjoyed. Forget the Captain's Table, it's now all about the Chef's Table. This dining experiences allows you to get up close and personal with some of Auckland’s finest chefs—you might even learn some tricks and tips along the way!
Here’s where to dine kitchen-side in Auckland.
If you really want to impress bae, book a spot at Sidart’s chef’s table. Here you can gawk into the kitchen and watch the chefs do their thang. You’ll be served the seven-course discovery menu that showcases culinary techniques and seasonal produce. The chef’s table is available for an intimate dinner for two or up to six guests.
Clooney offers arguably the most romantic dining experience in town. Their Belle Époque private dining room is the definition of luxury. The space features an open-plan kitchen taking pride and of place where chef Des Harris works his magic to create personalised meals. The private room also boosts an outdoor courtyard. It could be a special place for a special question…if you know what we mean.
Gusto At The Grand
Gusto At The Grand has a chef’s table in the heart of all the action. As the best seat in the house, you can witness Sean Connolly and his creative team cook up a storm. The chefs will check your dietary requirements and any likes or dislikes before bringing out dish after dish of delicious Italian fare. You might even convince the chef to let you know the secret behind their house-made ricotta! You’ll need a minimum of four people to book this pozzy.
The Blue Breeze Inn
For a more causal kitchen-side experience, perch alongside The Blue Breeze Inn’s open kitchen bar. Watch the dumpling chefs as they expertly fold, stuff and pinch the tasty morsels. We’re also fans of toasting a drink every time a fireball goes up from one of the kitchen’s flaming woks.
All-day eatery Oaken also boasts a chef’s table. This seating area wraps around the kitchen and features stools to pop your toosh on. Visit in the morn to get amongst one of their six (yes, six!) egg dishes, lunch is all about fresh sammies and dinner is for shared plates washed down with a vino or two.
It’s not hard to see why Goode Brothers is the go-to for Kiwitalian (yup, that’s a thing) in Auckland. Feast your eyes on all the fresh pizza and pasta you can handle while the chefs over at the Botany gastrobar cook up a storm in the open plan kitchen. Even join in on the fun during one of the homemade pasta masterclass nights where you can learn how to make dough and enjoy a sit down pasta and a glass or two.
Celeb chef Nic Watt is the mastermind behind the fabulous Japanese bar and restaurant MASU. The entire restaurant is set out around a huge robata station where you can see all the grilling action live. The menu is full of all the most delicious Japanese cuisine. Our pick? Definitely don’t pass on the miso roasted chicken!
Euro Bar and Restaurant
Dine alongside the chef’s kitchen as well as the waterfront at Euro Bar and Restaurant in the Viaduct. Become mesmerised by the talented chefs over at Euro as they prepare the most delicate of dishes like freshly opened oysters, or peking duck in full view of your table. We just can’t imagine it getting any better than that.
Oyster And Chop
That’s right, our favourite oyster bar offers a chefs table for you and group of up to twelve friends to experience the magic up close and personal. Bookings are available for an interactive and exclusive session with exec chef Mark Southon where he will teach you all his top-secret cooking tricks, finishing the day with a four course meal. Yes please!
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Image credit: Andrew Wilson at Meat Fish Wine