When it comes to Auckland’s hospo scene, there are new restaurants opening left, right and centre. Not that we’re complaining or anything—we’re suckers for new openings!
It’s no easy feat being the new kid on the block. However, the goodwuns will rise to the top. And with such fine talent, it would be rude not to give them a pat on the back. That’s where the Lewisham Foundation Awards come in. The hospitality industry awards celebrate all things good in Auckland’s dining scene.
One category that we’re particularly excited about is the award for outstanding new venue. To be in the running for this award, the eatery must have been open less than two years. It will stand out from the crowd for its top-notch atmosphere, service and style. The prestigious award has previously been won by Woodpecker Hill, The Blue Breeze Inn and Depot Eatery.
The 2016 nominees are in and we’re pretty stoked to some of our new faves in the running. Here’s why we love these four venues.
Shaking up the Middle Eastern scene is newcomer Beirut. The contemporary restaurant features all our Middle Eastern faves such as za’atar, fattoush, kibbeh and flatbread. Don’t leave without dessert because their pashmak candy floss offering is ah-may-zing. The dessert has three components: saffron-flavoured floss, thick clotted cream and apricot tea. It’s the best threesome you’ll ever have. Look up Beirut in our directory.
Situated in the heart of Epsom, you’ll find newbie Little Jimmy. The bustling restaurant-cum-bar is all about support the little guy with their entire menu showcasing Kiwi produce and bevvies. Our top three dishes? Their signature sourdough pizza, Angus beef sliders, and the trevally ceviche with flavours of coconut, lime and chilli. For more deets, check out their directory listing here.
The team who brought us Café Hanoi and Xuxu are at it again with Saan—Ponsonby’s newest Northern Thai restaurant. Your taste buds are in for a wild adventure here with flavours such as chilli, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime, coconut and tamarind. We have a soft spot for their spicy green papaya salad with pickled crab. Make sure you order a side of homemade pork crackling—it’s not to be missed. Click here for more info on Saan.
White + Wong’s
The final nominee is Quay Street’s White + Wong’s. East meets west at this newly opened Asian fusion restaurant. We can’t go past their prawn and coriander ha gao dumplings and their roast pork belly gua bao bun is quickly earning a reputation around town (the good kind). Oh, and their massaman lamb curry is also worthy of a mention—it’s divine! Wash your meal down with a “woktail” or two. Find out more here.
Love Auckland’s dining scene? Check out The Best Established Restaurants In Auckland to see who’s up for this category.
Image credit: Sarah Grace via Saan Facebook