Ask your friends who makes the best roast in Auckland and the answer is invariably “my mum”. Naomi Watts even famously rejected dinner with Tom Cruise for her mum’s lamb roast (which may have been a good choice in retrospect).
One of the most adaptable meals around, the Sunday roast has had quite a makeover in recent years—giving Mum a run for her money. Different cuts of meats are being explored and sides such as duck-fat potatoes and broc gratin making appearances. The best part? (Some) roasts are no longer reserved solely for Sundays.
Without further ado, here are our picks of the second best places (after mum’s) to grab a roast in Auckland.
Leading the pack when it comes to Sunday roasts is Ostro. Visit the much-loved Britomart restaurant on a Sunday and you’ll be welcomed with a menu starring prime steer scotch, pork belly, roast half chicken (complete with stuffing, of course) and the ultimate roast: the beef Wellington. This bad boy is so spectacular that it has to be pre-ordered 48-hours in advance to perfect the flavour and puff-pastry layering. All roasts come with the classic trimmings: Yorkshire pudding, seasonal greens, roasted root veges and homemade gravy.
Bird On A Wire
Ponsonby & Takapuna
When it comes to all things chicken, no one does things better than Bird on a Wire. It’s no surprise then that they have roast chicken mastered. First things first, it’s important to note their chicken is corn-fed and free-range—and a happy bird makes for a tasty bird! If you’re riding solo, get amongst their chicken feed for one that includes a quarter chook, your choice of salad and warm bread. If you’re feeding the whanau, you can grab a whole chook served with two salads.
The Oyster Inn
If you thought Waiheke Island was only good for wine, think again! The Oyster Inn is the ultimate Sunday roast destination this winter. Here you’ll find a roast (duh), live music AND wine. The roast offering changes weekly (as does the musician), but you can expect to find something along the lines of roast pork belly with butternut pumpkin, braised cabbage, duck-fat potatoes, apple sauce and crackling. What are you waiting for? Get on dat ferry ASAP.
Half Moon Bay
The award for the most-creative Sunday roast offering goes to Grangers. Over winter, this waterfront restaurant dishes up a delicious—and innovative—feast of a roast. The meat changes weekly but some of their creations have included lamb shoulder with Brussel sprouts and smoked pancetta, corn-fed chicken with offal stuffing, as well as garlic, olive and anchovy-studded lamb shoulder. Their roasts come served with all the trimmings. Think minted labneh, broccoli gratin and truffle mash potato. Check on their Facebook page for each week’s roast.
While we know you love your mum’s roast, you know who else makes a superb Sunday roast? Sean Connolly! Head to his Federal Street restaurant, The Grill, to get amongst a succulent slow-roast rib of Wakanui beef off the bone. It comes served with herbed béarnaise sauce, red wine jus and a fluffy Yorkshire pudding. Watch your back, mum. Sean is coming for ya!
Boy & Bird
Whipping up a mean roast chook is Ponsonby’s Boy & Bird. Specialising in chicken errything, you can nab a whole, half or quarter chicken served with potato chunks and gravy. It’s a pretty involved process to get the free-range chook to your plates—it’s citrus brined, poached and house rubbed before being cooked in a rotisserie. We suggest finishing your meal off with their signature Dutch apple doughnut with salted caramel—talk about comfort food!
Jervois Steak House
We all know and love Jervois Steak House for a damn good steak, but they also have a strong Sunday roast game. With two meat options available each week, the cosy brick restaurant will fool you into thinking you’re back home at Mama’s. The oh-so succulent meat is served with a combination of mashed carrot and swede, Yorkshire pudding, duck-fat roasted tatties, maple-roasted yams, steamed silverbeet and gravy—you won’t leave hungry! This spot is poplar with Sunday roast-goers so book in advance to secure a table.
Fancy a comforting winter pudding while you’re at it? Check out Auckland’s Best Winter Desserts.
Image credit: Keep It Simple, Keep It Fresh