As we slowly emerge from lockdown our thoughts turn towards places we can gather with 9 friends and whanau to party like it's some time in the glorious past. Enter the private dining room. Now here at The Urban List we are alllll over a venue that offers private dining. Because why host your own shindig when you can have someone else cook for you (and clean up after)?
Whether you're planning a big function, a get together with a few friends or an intimate dinner for your significant other, booking a private dining room is the perfect way to level up your next event. With options like your very own chef, on-site catering and more, throwing a party has never been easier (or more impressive).
Plus, this is a guaranteed way to stay safe when dining out at Alert Level 2—just remember to follow the most up-to-date rules around group gatherings.
So without further ado, here are some of the best spots for private dining in Auckland.
Viaduct Yacht Club
Let's kick things off with a shout-out to our friends at Viaduct Yacht Club, who right now are offering you the chance to hire their ENTIRE venue (now that's what we call private dining). Yes, for a limited time you can have sole use of this swish seaside bar and eatery, which has become Auckland's first restaurant to offer "bubble only" bookings throughout Alert Level 2. Re-connect with your crew over fine food and drink for breakfast, lunch or dinner, all in a gorgeous, Hamptons-like setting. Rest assured an event here is one you won't soon forget.
Like the idea of escaping to an island for your next event? Tantalus Estate is here to help. Hands-down one of our fave wineries on Waiheke, this architectural gem is beautiful inside and out and offers fresh, seasonal fare paired with some damn fine local wine. We're also compelled to mention their service (warm, friendly, and memorably good, which is saying something when you've visited as many wineries as us). Book yourself into their dedicated private dining room, where you and 21 of your guests can enjoy a lavish three or four course set menu, or check out a second “secret” space downstairs, which offers a sneak peek into the speakeasy-style Alibi Brewer's Lounge. Finish your day off with a stroll through the vines, macadamia trees and olive groves, and you're absolutely living your best life.
Gusto at The Grand
Boasting one of Auckland’s largest private dining rooms, Gusto at The Grand is the go-to for end of year and larger functions that don’t compromise on taste. The menu features Italian fare that’s designed to be shared, family style. All you need now is 23 other carb-loving mates and you’ve got yourself one heck of a party.
The Private Room at The Governor
The Governor eatery serves up a delicious menu filled with simple, fresh and seasonal dishes. One spot to enjoy these is The Private Room, which can seat up to 20 people (if you’re wanting one long table you’ll need to cut this number, or get creative). It's an intimate venue for dinners, baby showers or sporting events any time of the day. The calming vibe, accessible meals and TV create a functional yet relaxed atmosphere.
The Obi Room at Masu
Decorated in vintage kimonos, The Obi Room is a private dining room partitioned by bubble glass from Masu’s main restaurant. Home to a five and a half metre long suar wood table, this private space seats 18 and has an elegant, exclusive vibe while still embracing the action of the restaurant.
Renowned for providing Aucklanders with some of the tastiest Russian eats, little did you know that Vodka Room has a private ballroom, closed off to the public. The dimly lit area has the capacity to hold 70 people and you and your guests get to enjoy canapés, cocktails and a three-course dining experience. This highly exclusive and luxurious ballroom is one of Auckland's best-kept secrets and is only available upon request.
From the creators of XuXu Dumpling Bar and Café Hanoi is an eatery that serves up authentic Thai cuisine called Saan. Think outside the norms of pad Thai and think grilled fish on perilla leaf instead. Saan is a dimly lit restaurant that has a romantic and cosy ambience. They have a private dining area that seats up to 22 people and is a popular spot for Auckland foodies.
The Sugar Club
Located on the 53rd floor of the Sky Tower is The Sugar Club—the renowned restaurant from Peter Gordon, known for its drool-worthy food and jaw-dropping views. The private dining room is separated from the main dining area but is only partly partitioned, so you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the restaurant without being amongst it. The room seats 12, with menus changing seasonally.
The Opium Den, Ms M's and The Mekong Room at Mekong Baby
The super trendy Mekong Baby makes dining out super fun with its delicious selection of sharing plates. Not fussed on sorting through the vast menu yourself? Not a problem! Just say “let’s eat” and they’ll serve you up a selection of their favourite dishes, with gluten-free, vegetarian and seafood-free options. And if you’re feeling like something a little bit more intimate, then they have three exclusive private dining rooms for hire. Choose between The Opium Den, which seats 8 people in booths, Ms. M’s, which seats 10-12 people with a roaring fireplace to warm you during the winter months, and The Mekong Room, which seats 35 people for those bigger parties.
The Holi Room and Private Dining Room at Cassia
Tucked away on Fort Lane is Cassia, the contemporary Indian restaurant from seasoned restaurateur Sid Sahrawat. Since opening in 2014, Cassia has won the hearts of Auckland diners and offers both a 14-seater semi-private dining room (A.K.A The Holi Room, after the colourful Indian spring festival), as well as a fully private dining room which seats up to 24 people. The sleek interiors complement the modern menu to create a lively experience that suits both corporate and personal functions.
The French Kitchen and Our Cellar at Sid At The French Café
Located in Eden Terrace is one of the top fine dining institutions in Auckland where there's a constantly changing menu to ensure freshness in produce and best quality. The degustation meals at Sid At The French Café have so many different elements and are best enjoyed in their private dining area—The French Kitchen. Catering for anywhere from 12-32 people, this is where you and the chef can have an intimate table experience and each element and flavour can be explained so you find a new level of appreciation for their plates of beauty. The restaurant also offers a second private dining space, Our Cellar, which can accommodate up to 12 people.
The Parlour at Café Hanoi
If you’ve ever been to Café Hanoi you’d be surprised to hear they have a private room tucked away that seats up to 20 people—but that’s what’s so great about it. Located downstairs from the restaurant, guests can escape the Britomart bustle and experience The Parlour, a lovely space with exposed brickwork, wooden beams and a private bar. It's well suited to both cocktail parties and food-based events, with your choice of a unique banquet menu or yummy canapés.
Private dining areas don't always have to be upscale and fancy to be an enjoyable and special experience. Orphans Kitchen in Ponosnby has a private area that is available on request and it has a vibe of warmth and intimacy like no other. The rustic wooden floors, plain white walls and lighting with strong yellow hues makes you feel welcomed. Orphans also have a menu that utilises the best of the best ingredients and they put love and care into every element of the dish, making it a favourite for many Aucklanders.
The private dining room at The Grill is an elegant hideaway that’s hosted the likes of Justin Bieber and Pink Floyd. Located upstairs from the restaurant, the space seats 22 and is the perfect spot for devouring succulent meats in privacy (but don’t get all caveman on it, table manners are still a must). The room is fully equipped with all kinds of tech gear to support business meetings, and if you can work out a way to expense the experience, you’re winning at life.
Cibo is one of Auckland’s best-kept secrets, serving those "in the know" for over two decades. During that time, this award-winning restaurant has hosted many fabulous functions within its beautiful courtyard (complete with tranquil fishpond) which can accommodate up to 80 guests, as well as within its 120-seater indoor area—making it the perfect venue for an intimate wedding reception.
Start your night off right with a visit to one of Auckland's best cocktail bars.
Image credit: Tantalus Estate, Gusto At The Grand, Vodka Room, Mekong Baby, Cafe Hanoi