With April’s arrival and the packed calendar of holidays that come with it, there seems to be no end to the delicious, enticing happenings taking place on our local dining scene. And while you may be making the most of Easter and school holidays to head out of town (we’ve got you covered there, too), our April dining guide showcases just how tasty Auckland is looking for anyone sticking around. From restaurant takeovers to vegan extravaganzas and intimate, bespoke dinners, we’ve got the intel on exactly what to book for the month ahead.
In Fashion at Bivacco with Superette
Attention lovers of fashion and fine food, Bivacco is set to host its first ‘In Fashion’ event (tipped to be an ongoing series for the lauded Viaduct Harbour destination) in collaboration with Superette later this month, and we’re excited. Set to take place from 12pm until 4pm on Thursday the 27th of April, with support from Winger Maserati, this ticketed event will see Bivacco put on a delicious three-course shared lunch complemented by flutes of Moët & Chandon Champagne and a Malfy Gin cocktail, all of which guests can enjoy while Superette showcases its new arrivals via a sleek runway show — shoppable on the day. Tickets are $150 per person (available here) with a goodie bag included, and the lunch and show will be followed by a rousing DJ set from the Sweet Mix Kids. An afternoon not to be missed.
Flora & Fizz at Rooftop at QT
The Rooftop at QT has unveiled its latest pop-up, Flora & Fizz, showcasing Perrier-Jouët Champagne throughout the month of April. The design-led hotel has transformed its signature rooftop into an enchanted garden of whimsical elegance, with a delicate touch of flora and fauna adorning the venue, evocative of Perrier-Jouët’s iconic bottle design. A tableside Champagne tasting flight is available, and the event’s canapé menu, creatively fashioned by Sean Connolly (the hotel’s Creative Director of Food & Beverage) will be expertly paired with each Champagne drop. During the six-week event, Rooftop at QT will offer specials on the full range of Perrier-Jouët Champagnes and three effervescent cocktails curated by the Rooftop at QT’s mixologists. The Sunday Club in April features DJ Venetia Clark on the decks, two-dollar natural Oysters, and special pricing on Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, making it an unmissable occasion that is sure to draw us all down to Viaduct Harbour.
Bar Non Solo’s New Lunch Menu
Despite it’s relatively uncomplicated offering (read: good food and good alcohol), Bar Non Solo has quickly become an inner-city favourite in its arguably short tenure. This season has seen the launch of a new lunch menu at the establishment, which pleads the case for a slightly more indulgent ‘power lunch’. Here, for a mere $25, you can choose from a selection of handmade pasta and seasonal pizzas, alongside one of their delicious beverages that includes the befitting Aperol Spritz. Running from Tuesday through until Friday, midday until 3pm, there’s never been a better case for skipping the takeaways.
Harvest Deli at Wynyard Pavillion
Napier’s beloved Harvest Deli can this week (April 18 — 21) be found at Wynyard Pavillion, operating from 11:30am until 4pm (and potentially later should the anticipated demand arise). The menu consists entirely of Italian-style sandwiches made on focaccia bread, with all sandwiches made to order and cured meats freshly sliced. All fairly priced at $20, they include feature fillings such as Egg & Cheese Omelette, Prosciutto di Parma, Pistachio Mortadella, Naples Salame and Roasted Vegetables. The pop-up will also offer a selection of fried foods, including Italian loaded fries, and a combo mix of fried mozzarella and tuna olives. Additionally, they will serve coffee and salentina, a cold almond coffee from Sicily.
The Cocktail Kitchen at Origine
Conceived by Ahi chef Josh Phillips and mixologist Egor Petrov of Origine’s Le Bar and Bayside Rum Co., this degustation series is limited to ten individuals per dinner and aptly titled The Cocktail Kitchen by Josh & Egor. For the first iteration of the series, diners feasted on a series of food and cocktail pairings that highlight locally sourced ingredients from around Aotearoa (including Ahi’s bountiful garden) and delight in intricate flavours enhanced through methods of fermentation, preservation and carbonation — and we’ve got it on good authority that guests can expect a similar level of excellence for this month’s iteration. You can find more details and book your spot once the dates are confirmed here.
Ruby Loves To Cook at No. 7
Come late April, one of our favourite effortlessly cool cafe-cum-bars will invite Ruby Harris (also known as @rubylovestocook) to take over the kitchen for a special two-night pop-up affair. The three-course dinner at Pitt Street’s No. 7 includes a drink on arrival, with the menu yet to be unveiled but promising the same deliciously homecooked-style fare. We’ve heard talks that this will be Harris’ last dinner of the likes before heading over to London, and for that reason alone, we think it necessary in your month’s dining agenda.
One Last Balmoral Street Food Market
With the organisers heading overseas to greener pastures (there’s really a theme here), we thought it fitting to include the final Balmoral Street Food Market to grace our culinary scene, on Friday the 21st of April. This market is a convergence of food, arts and music, the former of the three being the most important here. Home to all of our up-and-coming favourites on the street food scene, like WoodSpirit, Cheeky Fala and Gran Sasso Pizza, it might be the last time for some time they all unite under one banner.
Andiamo’s Vavasour Experience
The offering of a special autumn lunch experience throughout April by Andiamo and Vavasour wines presents an opportunity for diners to indulge in a curated menu featuring dishes such as burrata with scorched carrot and red wine risotto with salt baked smoked beetroot. The menu is complemented by a selection of Vavasour wines, carefully chosen from Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. The two-course menu comes at a reasonable price of $50 per person with the option to add sides and dessert for an additional cost. Bookings can be made via their website, and the experience is available from Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm to 3pm at the stalwart’s beloved Jervois Road outlook.
Great NZ Toastie Takeover
The annual Great Toastie Takeover will again take hold in mid-April, leading the search for the country’s most superior toasted sandwich. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the beloved competition, which has grown increasingly popular year after year. Cafes and bistros, bars and food trucks nationwide will all participate. Each contender’s toasted creation will feature on their menu from the 14th of April until the end of May — and the finalists will even be available until late June. And most importantly, the People’s Choice Award will return this year, allowing Kiwis to vote for their favourite eatery and toastie. Last year’s event saw guests savour an impressive turnout of 180 entries and more than 140,000 toasties. You can find all the details, as they emerge, here.
Good From Scratch Cookery School Cyclone Relief Dinner
The severity of Cyclone Gabrielle may have died down, but its impact continues to reverberate through the Muriwai community. In a display of neighbourly solidarity, Kiwi chef Michael Van de Elzen has thrown open the doors of his Good From Scratch Cookery School, hosting a fundraising dinner and charity auction to raise funds for those affected by the storm. On Saturday, the 22nd of April, guests will savour an eight-course Degustation Dinner, a culinary ode to the bounty of the region, lovingly crafted by a constellation of top local chefs. But the fare on offer is not the only temptation — attendees will have the chance to participate in a live charity auction, where proceeds will be directed to the Muriwai Community Recovery Charitable Trust, providing much-needed support to those grappling with the aftermath of the storm. Wine, beer, and cider, sourced from local vineyards and breweries, will be available for purchase, as will non-alcoholic beverages. For those eager to contribute to the cause, tickets are available for $240 per head, though bookings here are essential.