Fire Up The Group Chat, 6 Local Lunch Spots To Book Right Now

By Emily St John
4th Oct 2018

With all the brunch fandom nowadays, we hope you haven’t forgotten about that delish midday meal. You know, the one with so many mouth-watering options available across our city, from cafe fare to fine dining. Yes, we’re talking about lunch and you best be firing up your group chats because the legends at SKYCITY have brought back their droolworthy Federal Street Lunch Club.

Because if you’re long lunching, work lunching, birthday lunching or straight up hungry, these curated menus at six diverse hotspots in the heart of Auckland are the perfect answer to the dreaded question, ‘But where should we eat?’

We should probably mention you’ll only need to fork out just $49 or $59 per venue and the offer is only around for a limited time so booking quickly—like now—is advised. Oh, and if you fancy stretching out lunch into Happy Hour, or returning another day - why wouldn't you!? - we've also included a bunch of Happy Hour Hot Tips to well and truly wet your whistle. You’re welcome.

Check out the epic deals below...

The Sugar Club

How does a three-course lunch with snacks to start and an indulgent dessert to finish sound? Now imagine said lunch 53 stories high with spectacular views over the City of Sails. Enter: The Sugar Club. Carefully crafted by the ‘godfather’ of fusion cuisine, Peter Gordon, this menu heroes local produce with international influences.

Warm up your stomach on malted beer bread and brown butter and get ready for course numero uno. You'll receive a choice but our pick would have to be the Wagyu beef bavette served with wild garlic, charred baby gem and smoked bone marrow. It is as juicy and flavoursome as it sounds and better yet with a vino. 

We promised you dessert though, didn’t we? Sip on French brandy (Arnagnac to be exact) and spoon into Kaikoura fromage blanc (read: cheese) served seville orange gel, burnt white chocolate and condensed milk sorbet

Cost: $59
When: Wednesday to Sunday 12-2:30pm
Happy Hour Hot Tip: Add on an apple and mint lillet cocktail or lemon and raspberry spritz.
For more info and to book, head here


Two words for you: Dim sum. No wait, make that four: deep fried. You’ll get both in spades at Federal Street’s traditional Chinese restaurant with a modern twist, Huami. Known for heroing regional provinces like Canton and Sichuan, you’ll need to loosen your belts for this three-course lunch offer.

Graze between a dim sum basket of steamed prawn, chicken and saffron dumplings and a deep fried plate of crunchy prawns, crispy taro puffs with black pepper sauce and the OG, vegetable spring rolls. We hope you’re not full already, because a fruit wood-roasted half Peking duck is about to be served with quick-fried string beans. Deep breaths.

Cost: $49
When: Monday to Friday, 12-2:30pm
Happy Hour Hot Tip: $10 gins or a 'Lady Gatsby Daiquiri'
For more info and to book, head here

The Grill by Sean Connolly

Meat-lovers, rejoice! Chef Sean Connolly is all about simple, honest, delicious dishes made from only the best produce and we’re 100% here for it.

Clear your palate for the cuts to come with a blood orange Kingfish ceviche or spiced honey haloumi starter. We hope you’re a good decision maker because next you’ll have to choose between a Savannah eye fillet or a Japanese Export sirloin—both served with ‘Grandmas carrots’. Of course you can forgo the choice and spoon into smoked pumpkin risotto with fried sage. We’re not here to judge, but save room for a selection Sean’s sweet treats to finish.  

Cost: $59
When: Wednesday to Sunday, 12-2:30pm
Happy Hour Hot Tip: Burgers and martinis
For more info and to book, head here

Gusto at the Grand

'Sharing is caring,' our mum always said and you’ll want to just to avoid the food envy at Gusto. Serving rustic Italian fare by none other than Sean Connolly (so many restaurants, so little time), get ready for a smorgasbord.

Stretch your stomachs with garlic and rosemary pizzetta, housemade ricotta topped with honey and pine nuts as well as pea, mint and ricotta bruschetta, followed by pappardelle with duck and pea ragú. For main, the sharing continues with snapper acqua pazza served with tomato and fennel as well as a generous portion of beef cheeks dusted with gremolata and a side of rocket, pear and parmesan salad.

Cost: $49
When: Daily, 12-2:30pm
Happy Hour Hot Tip: Bruschetta, olives and Peronis
For more info and to book, head here

MASU by Nic Watt

Crazy for crayfish? You better be, because Chef Nic Watt is dishing up a $49 lunch platter heroed by succulent crayfish.

Pick your lunch partner carefully, because you’ll need to evenly split up Omakase maki rolls, crayfish tempura, toasted brioche hotdog buns and cabbage slaw. Add tartar dressing and tsukemono (picked vegetables) to taste. TBH, can it all be for one?

Cost: $49
When: Monday to Saturday, 12-2:30pm
Happy Hour Hot Tip: $10 Asahis and robata-grilled goodness
For more info and to book, head here

Spice Alley

Get ready for a bargain from hawker-style restaurant, Spice Alley. Headed up by Chef Pan Sae Sue, we’re talking South East Asian fare at its finest.

For $49, two people will feast on Som Tom prawns, Nasi Goreng, chicken satay and a must-try dessert of coconut friend bananas with condensed milk caramel and vanilla ice cream. Our mouths just filled up with saliva typing that.

Cost: $49 for two people
When: Daily, 12-2:30pm
Happy Hour Hot Tip: $12.50 Blushing Dragon (vodka, lemon juice, strawberries, raspberries, mango and blueberries!)
For more info and to book, head here

R18 for the service of alcohol. Host Responsibility limits apply.

Images: Jaiden Bhaga

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by SKYCITY and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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