Tearing open gifts, eating all the treats you can get your hands on and merriment every direction you look. Naturally, we’re talking about Christmas. But Christmas spirit aside, the holidays can prove to be a tad stressful. Get a low-key anxiety attack when you glance at the inside of a cookbook? You’re not alone.
For those of us who are seriously lacking in cooking abilities, consider dining at one of Auckland’s best restaurants this Christmas. Here are seven top-notch places who are kindly opening their doors this 25th.
Pro-tip: Be kind to your server. They are giving up their jolly day and they deserve a tip.
The Sugar Club
It’s Christmas, so obviously, we’re all for treating yourself as much as humanly possible. Ditch the cookbook and feast at Auckland’s one-and-only Sky Tower. The Sugar Club is the epitome of elegance and style, with head chef Josh Barlow creating an innovative four-course set menu for the day. The dishes focus on showcasing New Zealand’s freshest and finest produce and will serve up both lunch and dinner on Christmas Day.
Hotel Grand Windsor
This newly opened luxury hotel gives Aucklanders an absolute treat this festive season. Hotel Grand Windsor offers an exclusive Christmas menu at their very own Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar, with options of a Christmas Day High Tea, Champagne Christmas Breakfast or a traditional Christmas Day Lunch. The latter features a five-course menu filled with traditional festive food like turkey and gingerbread ice cream with wine pairings.
On Christmas Day, you don’t just eat, you feast. And, there is no other place to push your limits other than Eight Restaurant located at Cordis. Eight is well-known for their buffet because of its wide variety of different cultures and cuisines and they are going all out for Christmas. From a ginormous leg of ham to endless amounts of sweet treats, Eight is open all throughout the holiday season with special prices to make it even better.
Recurring nightmares from last year’s burnt turkey incident? We hear you, and there’s no need to fret. Steer away from the turkey and try something a little different like Huami’s fruit wood-roasted Peking duck. The duck is tender with a crispy, flavourful and salty skin and is arguably better than turkey. Ask for a side of plum sauce to replace traditional cranberry sauce and you have yourself an elevated Christmas meal like no other.
Craving a sumptuous gourmet Christmas meal? Consider heading to DeBrett's Kitchen. Chomp your way through an incredible four-course meal, while sipping on a Christmas-inspired cocktail, naturally. The menu offers a lavish line-up of treats—from insalata caprese, cranberry glazed roast turkey to traditional Christmas steamed pudding with brandy butter, we’re totally in awe and it probably beats the BBQ you were planning.
The Grill By Sean Connolly
The Grill By Sean Connolly—otherwise referred to as a carnivores' kingdom—is feeding us good this Christmas with a special menu available for lunch and dinner. The duck liver pate and seafood platter are just the beginning. Remember to pace yourself with starters as the magic is in the mains. They’re serving their infamous Beef Wellington, a juicy piece of meat wrapped with a buttery pie pastry, you really can’t get more festive than that. Salmon also features on their main menu, along with duck fat chips and finished off with the most Kiwi Christmas dessert of all, pavlova.
Grand Mercure Auckland
Grand Mercure is serving up an absolutely delish Christmas spread this year. The menu is designed by Chef Daniel Na and showcases the traditional Christmas eats but with a modern twist. The raw bar is filled with freshly shucked oysters, cured salmon and fresh sushi and the cooked meals are a game changer. Grand Mercure’s turkey is not just any old roast turkey—it’s stuffed with sweet Medjool dates and pistachio. A big leg of honey glazed ham is most definitely making an appearance, too.
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Image Credit: Jaiden Bhaga