Take us back to the 90's when the only way of celebrating was with a buffet dinner. We’re talking countless pieces of pizza, OD'ing on jellybeans and soft-serve ice-cream on tap—all washed down with a traffic light mocktail, of course. Ahh, those were the days. While buffets don’t quite exist like they used to, the City of Sails still has a decent crack at things, and some have redefined what we thought we knew about buffet restaurants. We’ve tracked down Auckland's best all-you-can-eat restaurants for when à la carte just doesn’t cut it. Stretchy pants are advised.
There's a reason Paradise is chocka on any given night. With delicious spices and aromas of Northern Indian cuisine flooding your senses as soon as you step in, this is a buffet of epic proportions. We suggest you come hungry, with endless bowls of beef vindaloo, chicken korma, and dhal to be scooped up for your 60 minute sitting. There's six vegetarian dishes, six meat dishes, four condiments, fresh naan and desserts on a rotating basis, so you know any night you rock up is going to be a good one. Monday-Wednesday $22 per person, Thursday-Sunday & public holidays $24 per person.
Eight is a buffet restaurant with class. Located in the luxury Cordis, the restaurant serves dishes from not one, not two, but eight (EIGHT!) kitchens all offering unique dining experiences. Their Auckland all-you-can-eat menu will take you on an international culinary adventure through breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert (or all of the above). Feast on everything from Indian curries and sushi to seafood and dim sum, and then go nuts on dessert - there's even a chocolate fountain - enough said.
Located in Skycity, you can buffet your way through breakfast, lunch, AND dinner at Fortuna. Perfect for a food-fuelled celebration or just to treat yo'self, you can gorge on all the classic buffet fixings and then some. Expect fresh rotisserie chicken, glazed champagne ham, live carvery, and an Asian specialty station. If that's not enough to get you booking, how about a salad bar... to balance out the dessert selection and ice cream station? Have your cake and eat it, too.
Wildfire is an Auckland institution that’s celebrated by meat lovers and Paleo folk alike for being New Zealand's first all-you-can-eat churrascaria (read: Brazilian BBQ). This is no ordinary steakhouse, chow down to your heart's content on lamb legs, Angus sirloin, pork roast, calamari and so much more. Arrive hungry.
Expect to unbutton your jeans after a trip to Tombo. The perfect combination of Korean BBQ and hot pot, there's a vast selection of meat to cook on the hot grill or poach in the hot pot at your table, bringing the best of both worlds under one roof. While your meat cooks away, you can fill your plate with sushi, a salad bar, dumplings, soup, fried chicken and more. It doesn't stop at that—make room for their mouth-watering dessert table with cakes and fresh fruit galore. $33 per person.
McHugh's of Cheltenham
You'll get food and a view at McHugh's of Chetlenham with a hearty buffet lunch across the week and a classic Sunday roast. Warm yourself from the inside out with soup and homemade breads, move onto hot roast dishes like crusted sirloin or get stuck into their extensive selection of roast veg and salads. It's not unlike Sunday at your grandma's... all without the washing up.
At Gengis Khan you take control of your dinner. Select your meat and veggies from the raw buffet, add your sauces and make your way to the chefs. These BBQ masters will then cook your creation on one hella big Mongolian hot plate. They also have a salad buffet bar so there's no excuse not to get your 5+ a day. Make for a magical ending by asking for Mickey Mouse pancakes, and don't forget the chocolate sauce.
The first Monday of the month is Firecracker Chicken Club at Monsoon Poon. $35 gets you all you can eat of the signature dish of wok fried chicken rubbed in the restaurant’s Malay chilli paste plus a glass of milk or Tiger Beer. One for the spice-lovers.
Bottomless dumplings are real, this is not a drill! Get your mitts on them every Thursday from 5pm at The Lula Inn. The deal is $47.50 per person and includes bottomless beer and bubbles. Yep, you read correctly. Dumplings include meat and vegan options.
And if brunch is more your thing, we've found the best bottomless brunches in Auckland for you, too.
Image credit: Lydia Arnold, Eight Restaurant