Auckland, meet schnitzel. Schnitzel, meet Auckland. You two are going to be very good friends.
Originally from Austria (although some believe it was Northern Italy), schnitzel has won hearts over with its tenderised crunchiness and has built up a solid worldwide fan base since the Middle Ages. It’s been paired with everything from sauerkraut and creamy ‘tato salad, to a lemon wedge and French fries.
How this crumbed and fried meat hasn’t made a bigger impact on Auckland’s food scene, we will never know, but the time has come for schnitz to take to spotlight.
Whether you’re a schnitz loyalist or yet to try it, here’s a line-up of the best schnitzel in Auckland. Mahlzeit!
Schnitzel newbies, a trip to The Fed is in order. They use tender-as-can-be milk-fed veal and covered in a golden coating for the ultimate schnitz experience. Served with crispy sage and lemon (and preferably a side of poutine), this inner-city restaurant knows their schnitzel.
The Spotted Pig
Be warned that the old chicken or beef dilemma applies to schnitzel. If you can’t decide, have both at The Spotted Pig. Every Thursday from 6.30pm this Eden Terrace gastro pub dishes out $12 schnitzels (what a steal!). The crumbed beef comes with rocket, parma ham, parmesan and apple salad, or if you’re on team chook, you’ll be treated to cos lettuce, bacon croutons and Caesar dressing. Thursdays made better with schnitzel.
Work got you down? Stay in the city and wander over to The Occidental where you can dive into a humongous schnitzel and Belgian beer. Hammered out thin, the end result is bigger than you thought a breast (chicken, that is) could ever be, meaning more surface area for that tasty crumb. It’s plated with homemade ratatouille and sage crisps for a sensational schnitzel experience.
The Engine Room
The Engine Room’s schnitzel is legen—wait for it—dary. Their veal schnitzel has been on the menu for yonks, so you know it’s gotta be one of the best in Auckland. The potato rosti and coleslaw are welcome additions, and caper butter might just be our new favourite meat companion. Nicely done, Engine Room, nicely done.
For an authentic schnitzel experience, you’ll need to take yourself and your hungry belly to Der Metz in Kohimarama. This German restaurant has an emphasis on all things naughty and delicious, and they don’t scrimp on portion sizes. Tackle a zwiebelrostbraten—a beef schnitzel in a dark onion sauce, served with your choice of chips, mashed potatoes or dumplings (the German kind, not the Asian kind… that would be odd). If this doesn’t convert you to Team Schnitzel, we don’t know what will.
Frankie’s knows what’s up when it comes to a solid schnitz. In fact, their menu contains not one, but FIVE different versions. Opt for the Neapolitan, a beef schnitzel with artisan tomato salsa, ham, cheese and a fresh provenzal tomato, or take the American route with a chicken schnitzel topped with caramelised onion jam, cheese and a bacon fried egg. Other delicious options include the Czech with brie, bacon and apple, and the Maryland complete with grilled banana, roasted ref pepper and spicy sweet corn salsa. Pair with a side of bacon and cheese chips and you’ve got yourself one epic schnitzel fest.
Image credit: Skinny Dog Hotel