11 June 2012
the express lunch
There’s no need to forgo a decent lunch in favour of a desk bound experience with these six Auckland restaurants promising to satisfy your gastronomic cravings within the precious hour.
Workday lunches can often conjure up images of messy desk bound eating with the feverish consumption of takeaways into depraved mouths. In order to ensure that whenever possible you step out from behind your cubicle to indulge in the city’s fine gastronomic landscape, we’ve put together a list of six restaurants that are delivering delicious offerings to the time poor and eager to consume workers among us.
One of the first to initiate the express lunch concept in Auckland, the SPQR express lunch menu has been a constant on the menu for nigh on five years. The $35 lunch includes two courses of either an entrée and main, or a main and dessert matched with one sneaky glass of wine that will leave you sober enough to successfully undertake the remainder of the afternoon’s work commitments.
With a menu that is updated regularly the current incarnation includes a choice of sautéed scallops, caprese salad or prosciutto and melon to start; followed by Angus Pure sirloin with truffle paste, free range Harmony pork belly confit, or vitello alla Milanese with crumbed Parmesan and parsley; served with a glass of Astrolabe Marlborough (sauvignon, pinot gris or pinot noir).
SPQR, 150 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland
Serving their take on a Japanese bento box, Kitchen at Hotel DeBrett serves a selection of European cuisine artfully presented on bento style dishes. The 3-course power lunch is all served within the hour. For a mere $30, ‘The Square Meal’ includes a glass of pinot noir, sauvignon blanc or Pelorus NV from the award-winning Cloudy Bay vineyard.
Take your pick from a choice of pan seared snapper, slow cooked Angus beef or corn fed chicken Ballotine, served alongside an entrée of house cured Marlborough salmon and a dessert featuring a delicious take on the Italian tiramisu.
Kitchen Restaurant, Hotel DeBrett, 2 High Street, Auckland CBD
Arguably affording one of the most picturesque positions on the waterfront, Fish restaurant at Auckland’s Hilton Hotel, is a beautiful spot to take in the view. Their express lunch includes four dishes; poached prawns served with green couscous; a Wagyu meatloaf slider; pan roasted Akaroa salmon served on an almond skordilla; and a house-made pavlova and passionfruit couli for dessert all for $29. The lunch is served with a cocktail favoured by the Italians for its low alcoholic nature – a Summer Aperol.
Fish, 147 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
Sean Connolly’s steak house on Federal Street is garnering a major cult following with its outstanding express lunch. Connolly has expertly introduced the type of lunchtime dining you’d expect in Europe; deliciously simple and well prepared food. Expect European brasserie classics like yellow belly flounder, baby chicken spatchcock with confit mushrooms, ‘60 seconds’ steak with Dianne sauce, or the stand out for us – the expertly assembled Wagyu beef burger.
Their two or three course meals (priced at $35 and $45 respectively) allows dinners the choice of an entrée and main and/ or a dessert.
The Grill, Skycity Grand Hotel, 90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
The popular Sydney restaurant that made its Auckland debut last year is firmly established as a downtown bistro. Head chef Warren Turnbull’s Express Lunch includes a main course and dessert for only $30, and if your feeling like a lunch time tipple, they’ll throw in a glass of wine for a mere $5. Choose from pan-fried snapper, couscous stew with root vegetables, duck confit, or spiced twelve-hour lamb shoulder followed by espresso crème brulée or Fourme D’Ambert cheese for dessert.
District Dining, 50 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD
Tyler Street Garage
Offering an extensive range of options Tyler St’s express lunch promises to get you out within the hour. For $35 you can enjoy an entrée selected from their small plates selection such as pulled pork sliders with mayo and barbecue sauce and follow it with a dish from the large plates selection like prime steer sirloin served with homemade potato skins, and washed down with a cheeky drink of either The Ned sauvignon blanc, Russian Jack pinot noir or Tyler St. lager, you’ll be more than satiated for the afternoon ahead.
Tyler Street Garage, 120 Quay Street, Auckland CBD.