We don’t know about you, but nowadays our bucket list is less to do with where to travel and more to do with where to fill our face and taking the top spot is Ada—a new Italian-inspired restaurant that's nestled in Auckland’s most unique boutique hotel, The Convent.
And unique indeed—taking over the historic building that used to be a nunnery back in 1922, The Convent is now a lush 22 room, six suite hotel located on Great North Road, that is home to everything from stunning decor to tantalising Italian fare.
Just like the Hotel, The space at Ada is equally as impressive as the original architecture has been preserved, leaving exposed brick, rustic walls and a glass-roof atrium above the dining area that’ll look great on your Gram.
The raw beauty isn’t just presented on the walls, but the menu too, as each dish is a delicious work of art. Think melt-in-your mouth beef short rib, flavoursome pasta plates, crispy pizza fritta and a dessert that’ll leave you gasping for more.
With much lauded chefs Hayden Phiskie (ex Cotto) and Johnny Price (ex Rita, Wellington) at the helm, you know you’re in for a true culinary experience.
So, where to begin? If you like a little spice then you should definitely opt for the beef short rib, coated in nduja—a tangy spreadable sausage—served on smooth walnut puree to take the edge off.
For all you pizza lovers out there, sink your teeth into pizza fritta—now this isn’t your ordinary pizza, no sirree! It’s actually an old school pizza that was a staple amongst the streets of Naples. It's basically a fried pizza, need we say more?
With two options to choose from, why not get them both. Our fave has to be the ricotta, lemon and anchovies as it’s devilishly moreish.
Pasta fiends unite! No Italian food is complete without a token pasta dish and we have found a winner. The ricotta cavatelli served in a brown butter sauce is to die for—don’t be fooled, it may look like gnocchi but it’s made from pasta dough instead of potato and coated in buttery goodness mixed with a hint of ricotta and parmesan which will not only leave you pining for more, but also for some bread to mop it up with.
If that hasn’t got your taste buds tingling, then get your slurp on with the tagliatelle alla puttanesca or wrap your chops around the fazzoletti, white pork ragu.
Now onto our fave course—dessert! The dessert heavens have opened and welcomed us with a chocolate cremeux tart with mascarpone and pistachios, which can only be described as simply magnifico!
To wash down all that yummy goodness, you’re going to need a tipple or two. So order up some natural wines on tap, or take a stroll down the corridor to the house bar for a little after-dinner drink on the balcony.
Don’t worry you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel (although we would highly recommend a little staycation here) to dine at Ada, bookings are recommended but walk-ins are also welcome.
So, if you’re after culinary masterpiece after masterpiece, then head to Grey Lynn and become acquainted with Ada, with the principle of sharing great pasta and wine, she will easily become your new best friend.
Image credit: Wono Kim, Ada