Take us back to the '90s 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. Loose clothing is advised.
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.
Eight is a buffet restaurant with class. Located in the luxury hotel 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 speciality 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 though, chow down to your heart's content on lamb legs, Angus sirloin, pork roast, calamari and so much more. Arrive hungry.
Epsom, New Lynn, Henderson, Burswood & Manukau
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.
McHugh's Of Cheltenham
You'll get food and a view at McHugh's Of Cheltenham with a hearty buffet lunch across the week and a classic Sunday roast. Warm yourself from the inside out with soup and homemade bread, move on to 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.
Bottomless dumplings are real, this is not a drill! Get your mitts on them every Thursday from 5pm at The Lula Inn. The deal includes bottomless beer and bubbles. Yep, you read correctly. Dumplings include meat and vegan options.
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.
Stuffed? Wash it all down with a trip to one of Auckland's best bars.
Image credit: Cordis Hotel