Left to right: Victoria Beckham, Valentino, Chanel & Christian Dior (all Spring 2024 Ready-To-Wear)

Monochrome is having a moment: Use tones of white and cream to create the ultimate summer looks by shopping our edit here

Head-to-toe, monochrome tones of white and cream will not only create crisp, confident looks but will lighten up your style in time for summer. Here, our editors have rounded up a curation of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories that will have you mastering this season’s modern monochrome.

Shop the Edit


Chloe, Spring 2024 Ready-To-Wear
Liberowe Signature Shirt from Muse
Loewe Toy Pumps from Faradays
Rose de Noël Earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels
Cowl Back Dress from Saint Laurent
Compact Knit Cardigan from Louis Vuitton
Lee Mathews Drill Short from Muse
Alaïa Butterfly Sunglasses from Faradays
Rebe Strapless Top from Muse
Toteme Bucket Tote from Net-A-Porter
Campbell Vest from Dadelszen
Day Scott Pant from Muse
Monogram Jacquard Swimsuit from Louis Vuitton
Matteau Straight-leg Pants from Net-A-Porter
Divas’ Dream Earrings from Bulgari
Balenciaga Oversize Sunglasses from Net-A-Porter
Loewe Pleated Shirt Dress from Faradays
Alaïa Hooded Bodysuit from Faradays
Bottega Veneta ‘The Pouch’ Clutch from Net-A-Porter
Helena Jacket from Dadelszen
Sophia Ballerinas from Repetto

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Coveted

An iconic brand for over 40 years, Pomellato should be in everyone’s jewellery collections — here, we talk to Sarah Hutchings of Orsini about why
Fresh off the runways of Milan Fashion Week — our favourite ready-to-wear looks from Fall 2024
Fresh from London Fashion Week — the best looks from the Fall 2024 runways so far

Denizen’s guide to the best private dining rooms in town

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dedicated spaces for a more intimate gastronomic experience in Auckland. No matter the occasion, there’s sure to be a private dining room that suits your needs, so next time you need to book somewhere for a group, we’ve got you covered with our extensive guide to the best private dining rooms in town.


The Chef’s Library at The Hotel Britomart

Nestled in the heart of Hotel Britomart is The Libraries, a space that assumes literary comforts and leisure. Here there is an air of unpretentious exclusivity, where even in the middle of the city you couldn’t feel more removed from the world if you tried. The Libraries are not open to the general public to walk-in (they do not operate as a restaurant) however they are available for private events and functions, with tailor-made solutions to cater to any need. The crown jewel The Chefs Library (table), which is available for private dinners for up to eight people, making it perfect for an intimate and memorable affair.

Location: 29 Galway Street, Britomart
Suitable For: 8 guests for degustation or family-style dining, 6 guests for cabaret

Click here to book now

Metita Private Dining Space

Metita

Recently opened within the SkyCity precinct, Metita occupies the space formerly home to beloved Gusto at The Grand, and it’s fair to say that the newcomer is already living up to the iconic nature of its address. Here, the offering is a new take on South Pacific cuisine, elevating traditional dishes with modern culinary techniques, inspiring a deeper reverence for our own heartland and connection to Meredith’s native Samoa. The concise, considered and experimental menu brings together a plethora of textures, flavours and techniques, calling on a unique ingredients list to deliver something truly groundbreaking, from paua served with ulu, paneer and burnt orange to fire-roasted Tua Tua served with okra and harissa. When a special occasion is on the horizon, those looking for an intimate dining space to bring people together should look no further than Metita’s exceptionally well-appointed private dining room. The space seats up to 26, but can just as easily cater to small numbers, and brings the very best of Metita’s food offering and interiors into focus to create a seriously memorable affair.

Location: SkyCity, 90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: seats up to 26 guests

Click here to book now

Tantalus

Tantalus Estate has a sophisticated and striking private dining space, the Decanter Room, that opens out to an exclusive courtyard garden that overlooks the vibrant green hills of Onetangi. The dining room offers both privacy and prestige, perfect for an intimate celebration.

Location: 70/72 Onetangi Road, Onetangi, Waiheke Island
Suitable For: The Dining Room — up to 20 seated guests or 30 standing guests

Click here to book now

Barcita

Located at the back of K’Road’s Candela restaurant, Barcita is a private dining room complete with an outdoor balcony. Able to accommodate up to 40 guests with curated food and drinks that honour the best of Spanish-style dining, spanning shared menus for seated events to grazing boards and canapés for standing events. The private dining room is available to hire Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Candela’s entire restaurant including the main dining room and private dining room can also be booked exclusively for events.

Location: 155 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: up to 40 guests

Click here to book now

Oyster Inn

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Waiheke Island’s much-loved institution, The Oyster Inn for all your end of year gatherings. With a private dining room that’s tucked away from the main restaurant complete with its own private terrace with picturesque views overlooking Oneroa Bay. 

Whether it’s a corporate event, birthday, wedding, or reunion, enjoy an island-style celebration to remember. The Oyster Inn’s central location in the heart of Oneroa and ferry accessibility adds to the convenience.

Location: 124 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island
Suitable For: up to 30 seated guests or 45 standing guests for cocktails and canapés

Click here to book now

Beachside Private Dining at Azabu Mission Bay

Azabu Mission Bay

The perfect beachside location for an end-of-year get-together, Azabu Mission Bay offers completely private dining in its adjacent Stonehouse or semi-private events in its open courtyard. From formal, sit-down dinners to casual drinks, this versatile venue offers a space for any kind of occasion.

Location: 44 Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay
Suitable For: Stonehouse — 40 (seated) to 60 (standing) guests, The Courtyard — up to 60 guests (standing), Venue Exclusive — up to 200 guests

Click here to book now

Private Dining at Le Bar, Origine at Commercial Bay

Le Mezzanine at Origine

Tucked above the grand dining room of Commercial Bay’s elevated French restaurant Origine, is a space perfect for an intimate gathering. La Mezzanine’s after-dark vibe, soft lighting and exceptional views over Downtown Auckland will set the perfect tone for a night with friends, one that will inevitably end in some convivial fun.

Location: Commercial Bay, Level 2/172 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: up to 50 guests

Click here to book now

Soul Bar & Bistro Private Dining

Soul Bar & Bistro

A long-time go-to for corporate lunches and long-overdue catch-ups alike, bigger parties can also enjoy a ‘private’ piece of Soul by closing the bi-fold doors to what is usually the cocktail lounge. It’s perfect for seated parties that can indulge in Executive Chef Gavin Doyle’s fine cuisine via a set menu. Larger parties, on the other hand, can use the same space while also spilling out onto the famous deck and bar area for standing events.

Location: Viaduct Harbour, Corner of Lower Hobson Street &, Customs Street West, Auckland City
Suitable For: up to 30 guests seated or 35 – 100 standing for cocktails and canapés

Click here to book now

Jervois Steak House Private Dining Room

Jervois Steak House

The private dining room at Jervois Steak House is located upstairs in the restaurant. The interior blends rustic elements from the building’s original heritage with modern warm tones & James Russ lighting. Relax into plush leather seating in a bespoke tan hue (called ‘Jervois Molasses’), and enjoy an authentic steakhouse experience for any special occasion.

Location: 70 Jervois Road, Ponsonby
Suitable For: up to 12 seated guests

Click here to book now or call (09) 376 2049

Kingi

Set just across from Kingi’s main dining room is the restaurant’s private dining and meeting space, designed to bring people together for a feast or to do business. A light-filled space anchored by a breathtaking raw-edge swamp kauri slab table underneath a shimmering fish-scale chandelier, the room gives diners a unique view into the Kingi kitchens as the chefs prepare seasonal dishes, creating an immersive dining experience. At the room’s north end, a wooden sideboard conceals a 65″ screen, which can be used to host board-style meetings, intimate product launches or special presentations. The space is equipped with high-speed internet connectivity and state-of-the-art AV facilities, making it an ideal location for productive business meetings. Whatever your requirements are, Kingi Private is the perfect, multi-faceted space.

Location: Tuawhiti Lane, 29 Galway Street, Britomart
Suitable For: 14 guests for degustation

Click here to book now

Masu Private Dining at SkyCity

Masu

The outstanding inner-city Japanese restaurant offers a couple of different options if you’d like to go for a slightly more intimate experience. The Obi Room is a striking, semi-private space anchored by a solid wood table crafted from two pieces of suar hardwood and earthen walls decorated with spectacular vintage Japanese obi kimono prints. The Obi Room is framed by bubble glass which creates the impression of privacy and seclusion without being completely separated from the main dining area.

Otherwise, opt for the Chef’s Kotastu Table, another semi-private area set at the back of the main dining room and backdropped by the restaurant’s single piece of art, a large Japanese Dragon created by calligraphy master artist Ushio Sekiguchi.

Location: SkyCity, 90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: The Obi Room — up to 18 guests, Chef’s Kotastu Table — 8 to 10 people

Click here to book now

Bar Magda

Bar Magda’s exclusive new private dining room, is a sanctuary of elegance. Thoughtfully and comfortably furnished, this secluded enclave is the perfect choice for corporate soirées or special celebrations like birthdays, where guests can enjoy Bar Magda’s impeccable service and indulge in the finest cuisine, knowing that every detail has been meticulously curated to meet expectations.

Location: 25b Cross Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: up to 25 seated guests or if extended into the bistro, 50-60 guests

Click here to book now

Huami Private Dining Rooms

Huami

Huami offers several different and equally appealing options for those wishing to dine in privacy. The Chinese restaurant, which boasts traditional cuisine with a modern twist, has three elegant private dining rooms. Rooms one and two seat 12 guests each and are adjoining, but can be divided. Room three caters up to six guests.

Location: SkyCity, 87 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: 6 to 12 guests seated

Click here to book now

Cassia Private Events and Dinners

Cassia

Cassia’s new home at SkyCity boasts several options for Private dining and events.

The main private dining area seats up to 20 people and is fully equipped for presentations. A large flat screen TV and connections enable the private dining space to be converted into a professional area to share ideas with business colleagues.

For larger groups of up to 40 guests, the mezzanine area is the perfect location for your next group booking. For all bookings for groups of 13 or more, Cassia offers a selection of set menus that can be tailored to suit your group’s requirements. 

Location: SkyCity, 90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: private celebrations & events of up to 20 people, & group dinners of up to 40 people

Click here to book now

Non Solo Pizza's Courtyard for Private Dining Events

Non Solo Pizza

With one of the city’s best courtyards, plus a private dining room to boot, Parnell institution NSP has all your bases covered for your next private event. The modern Italian menu is sure to impress, as are the carefully crafted cocktails.

Location: 1052/259 Parnell Road, Parnell
Suitable For: Courtyard — 100 standing or 50 seated, Private Dining Room — 40 standing or 30 seated

Click here to book now

Ebisu's Private Dining Room

Ebisu

Fans of Ebisu’s exceptional Japanese cuisine will be pleased to know the downtown favourite also offers private dining. Filled with natural light, the Nikko Courtyard features huge warehouse windows overlooking the Waitematā Harbour, a perfect space for a seated dinner or cocktail party.

Location: 116 – 118 Quay Street, Britomart
Suitable For: up to 30 guests

Click here to book now

Homeland Private Event Options

Homeland

Whether it’s a cocktail function, a fully seated dinner, a chef’s table, education, or getting people to think and act together by cooking, Homeland has a plethora of private event options to suit any kind of soiree or get-together.

Location: 11 Westhaven Drive, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: The Cooking School, Dining Room & marquee are all available for hire for groups of varying sizes

Click here to book now or call (09) 869 7555

Sìso

If it’s a cosy, intimate vibe you’re after, look no further than the private space at Remuera’s Mediterranean favourite. Sìso’s elevated take on the laid-back local has made it an instant hit with Auckland’s most discerning diners. A night here promises great food and an even better atmosphere.

Location: 311 Remuera Road, Remuera
Suitable For: parties of up to 10

Click here to book now

The Sugar Club

The Sugar Club’s private dining room has the best view in town, boasting the highest harbour views from within Auckland’s CBD. A seasonally changing menu is on offer, along with the option to include the stunning bar space for pre or post-dining drinks and snacks. For larger groups, you can hire a ‘section’ of the restaurant exclusively, offering a set menu, along with wine match options, and for standing events canapés packages are also available.

Location: SkyCity, Corner of Federal & Victoria Streets, Level 53, Sky Tower, Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: Private Dining Room — up to 12 guests, Main Dining Room — up to 32 guests

Click here to book now or call (09) 363 6365

Somm Cellar Door Semi-Private Area

Somm Cellar Door

Tucked away to the east of Somm Cellar Door is the venue’s lush & gorgeous semi-private area. This space is cleverly tucked behind the venue’s cellar, which displays an impressive array of library and large-format wines. The room is draped in heavy set ‘cabernet’ curtains which when drawn instantly transform the space into the cosiest of settings.

Location: Shed 22 Princes Wharf, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: up to 12 guests

Click here to book now

Esther

Catering to groups of all sizes Viaduct Harbour restaurant Esther (housed in the QT Hotel) boasts a number of private dining options for those looking for somewhere special. Its Limáni dining rooms provide warm, high-ceilinged spaces bathed in beautiful light, where diners will be treated to Esther’s signature, locally-grown European-style flavours via sharable feasts or tasting menus created by the restaurant’s Head Chef, Sean Connolly.

Location: 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: from 17 to 60 guests

Click here to book now

Onemata

The Park Hyatt Auckland’s new flagship restaurant isn’t just the place for an exceptional meal, it also plays host to discerning private groups, be it for business or pleasure. Choose from three menus to suit your group, each including a selection of small, large and dessert dishes.

Location: Park Hyatt, 99 Halsey Street, Auckland CBD
Suitable For: up to 12 guests

Click here to book now

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Michael Meredith’s Metita is open at last, bringing an inspired taste of the South Pacific to SkyCity

Michael Meredith’s impeccable new restaurant, Metita, has officially opened its doors, and the result is even more impressive than we imagined. Named for the Chef’s mother and inspired by his upbringing in Samoa, Metita is a comment on the richness of Polynesian culture, brought to life through Meredith’s incredibly elevated take on Pasifika cuisine — the first eatery of its kind in New Zealand.

Sitting pretty within the SkyCity precinct, Metita occupies the space formerly home to beloved Gusto at The Grand, and it’s fair to say that the newcomer is already living up to the iconic nature of its address. Here, the ethos is to offer an altogether new take on South Pacific cuisine, elevating traditional dishes with modern culinary techniques, inspiring a deeper reverence for our own heartland and connection to Meredith’s native Samoa, something he takes very seriously indeed.

Fire Roasted Tua Tua, Okra, Harissa

The space itself acts as a vessel for storytelling, taking its inhabitants on a journey through to the sights and sounds of the South Pacific — a vision cleverly realised by the team at CTRL Space. The brief was to honour the essence of Pacific culture with clever but subtle nods that speak to the significance of three fundamental aspects of daily life: connection to nature, a strong sense of community and storytelling. The lighting is a feature, subtly resembling fishing baskets and tropical flowers, while the palette reflects the ever-changing colours of the ocean and sky. A midnight blue ombre rendering on the walls draws the eye upwards, the colours becoming deeper on the ascension, leaving diners feeling as if they’re gazing at a resplendent night sky. Elsewhere, the link to the South Pacific continues with woven elements and lush verdant greenery.

Seating is a mix of cosy booths, flanked by a series of smaller tables, the layout giving the space a communal feel. This theme is continued elsewhere, too; in the kitchen, a bustling hive of activity where chefs are stationed around a large shared workstation, while at Metita’s entrance, a space it shares with SkyCity Grand, there are a number of tall tables where guests are encouraged to gather casually, be it for a quick bite or a knock-off drink with friends, in an in-between space that feels entirely part of the action. The culmination of all of these carefully considered elements is a restaurant that feels homely but elevated, striking a beautiful balance between modernity and informality — here, you can easily picture yourself enjoying a casual, solo weeknight bite or settling in with a group of friends to enjoy a convivial Saturday evening meal.

Pickled Pometia

When it comes to the food itself, as expected with Meredith’s resume in the mix, the results are exceptional. The concise, considered and experimental menu brings together a plethora of textures, flavours and techniques, calling on a unique ingredients list to deliver something truly groundbreaking. Anyone familiar with Pasifika cuisine will be delighted to discover that many traditional favourites take centre stage (pork hock, paua and taro all feature), but what truly makes these dishes stand out is Meredith’s inspired, modern reimagining of them.

Charcoal Margarita

Book in for the Toana’i Long Lunch and you’ll be met with a corned beef bun paired with lardo and caviar, or fried pork hock served alongside sapa sui (Samoa’s famed chop suey). Opt for the tasting menu and you’ll find the likes of paua served with ulu, paneer and burnt orange, fe’e (octopus), veal tongue with green papaya and panipopo (Samoan coconut buns) to finish. If you have the time, though, it’s the three-course sharing menu that we suggest. A gastronomical journey through the Pacific, the menu acts to highlight the very best of Metita’s offerings and is an experience that feels brand new. Here, everything is sublime, but the fire-roasted Tua Tua served with okra and harissa is a dish not to be missed.

Left: Pasifik Koko. Right: Clarified Piña Colada

Of course, the food is accompanied by an impressive list of cocktails, with a focus on the fragrant rums of the South Pacific, and an extensive list of New Zealand wines — much of which is on display in the deep mahogany shelving that lines the eatery. Metita’s signature clarified mai tai is a definite highlight, a treat for both the eyes and the palette, this lively libation is inspired by the vivid colours of the breathtaking To Sua Ocean Trench and as such, features a heady mix of light and dark rum, blue curacao, orgeat and lime. The clarified piña colada is another highlight, comprising five-year-old rum, pineapple rum, falernum, pineapple, toasted coconut and lime, and made to represent the bright yellow tones of the flag of Niue.

Elsewhere on the menu, the pickled pometia is the restaurant’s exceptional answer to a Gibson martini, replacing the drink’s typical pickled onion with pickled longan (an island lychee). And for anyone steering clear of the booze, we’d suggest turning your attention to the charcoal margarita.

Metita’s Private Dining Room

For those looking for a casual bite, Metita’s snack menu offers exactly that, featuring an inspired take on oysters (cooked in bone marrow), crisp lamb ribs, smoked eel with spiced banana, crab and puffed taro and king salmon housed in betel leaf, topped with pickled mango and roe. And for those seeking the opposite, when a special occasion is on the horizon and you’re looking for an intimate dining space to bring people together, look no further than Metita’s exceptionally well-appointed private dining room. The space seats up to 26, but can just as easily cater to small numbers, and brings the very best of Metita’s interiors into focus to create a space well worthy of your attention.

Adding to the cultural melting pot that is the SkyCity precinct, Metita gives Polynesian cuisine the stage it so deserves, bringing something entirely new to the Auckland dining scene that is a welcome addition indeed.

Opening hours
Dinner:
Monday to Sunday, 5pm until 9:30pm
Lunch:
Sunday, 11:30am until 3pm
Bar:
Monday to Friday, from 8am
Saturday & Sunday, from 11:30am

Metita

90 Federal Street,
SkyCity
Auckland

+64 9 363 7030

www.skycityauckland.co.nz/restaurants/metita

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop

End the working week on a high note with Bivacco’s Sundown Sessions — not to be missed

Upon opening its doors late last year, Bivacco quickly solidified itself as the place to be for after-work drinks and leisurely weekend lunches alike, offering up views that span the iconic Viaduct Harbour, exceptional fare, an extensive list of libations and consistently good vibes to match. Now, adding to the list of reasons to visit, the beloved dining institution is taking things up a notch, adding regular DJ sessions to its remit.

Bivacco’s Sundown Sessions — running from now until the end of March — promise the perfect setting for summer satiation, with an ever-rotating lineup of DJs every Friday and Saturday and seasonal drinks specials (including a series of summer punches, but we’ll get to those shortly), best enjoyed at one of their long tables and shared with friends. Here, as the sun goes down, the volume goes up.

The hospitality destination’s dedication to aperitivo hour will never change. In fact, if you’re looking to push the boat out (no judgment here), Friday evenings will see this elevated further, inspiring you to celebrate the end of the working week in style. Running from 4pm to 6pm (as it does Monday through Thursday), Bivacco welcomes punters to delight in an array of champagne, cocktail, Peroni (and now, punch) specials, accompanied by complimentary bites.

One of the best spots in the city to make the most of the longer, warmer nights, Bivacco’s extensive list of drinks has something for every taste and proclivity, and the addition of three new, summer-focused punches is a welcome one. The Frutta sees wild strawberries muddled with pineapple, orange, lemonade and a healthy splash of vodka, while the Tazza Di Whisky is Bivacco’s take on an elevated whisky & dry, pairing Glenmorangie, rose vermouth, lime, mint and ginger ale. The Passione Fragola came up trumps for us, though, as citrus, strawberry, grapefruit and passionfruit are blended with vodka to create the ultimate taste of the tropics. If punch isn’t your thing, the margs are a modest $15 and there’s four to choose from: coconut, chilli, passionfruit or original.

When it comes to the food, look no further than their beloved selection of flavourful pizzas. From classic Margherita to mushroom, to spicy salami and a delightful goats cheese iteration, the concise menu features something for everyone’s tastes.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better perch from which to watch the sun go down this summer season. With a stunning vista, an impressive host of drinks specials, fantastic fare, and now, the addition of rousing DJ sets every Friday and Saturday from 4pm – 6pm at Bivacco’s Sundown Sessions, there’s only one thing for it. Make your booking here.

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop
Orange Moon & Chicken and Duck Liver Parfait
Bar Magda
Kilaw of Swordfish and Scallop & Pistachio Sour

Keep the good times rolling at Bar Magda, where you can indulge in its new Nightcap menu

We’ve said it once but we’ll say it again, if you haven’t paid Bar Magda a visit yet, you’re seriously missing out. What Carlo Buenaventura has created at his cosy, Cross Street venue has made Bar Magda a local foodie favourite, beloved for its intriguing ‘new wave Filipino’ fare that marries traditional Filipino flavours with a contemporary New Zealand twist. And now, Bar Magda is giving us more opportunities than ever to sample some of its tantalising cocktails and dishes, having recently introduced a new Nightcap menu to its line-up.

Terrine of Spiced Ham & Lily Cruz

The idea here is to replace the traditional, early happy hour with a much later offering, where those seeking a satiating bite and a delicious drink (perhaps after a show or event, or an evening with friends) can find them at Bar Magda from 9:30pm until midnight, Thursday through Saturday.

Grapefruit Sour & Tartare of Wild Venison

On the exceptional cocktail menu, created by Bar Magda Co-Owner Matthew Venables, Nightcap specials include $10 house spirits, $16 Magdarita, Magdatini, Magda spritz and Negroni, as well as $18 house sours and stirred cocktails. On the food front, tasty little bites include parmesan custard with housemade garlic focaccia, chicken and duck liver parfait with Viennese brioche and smoked cherries, terrine of spiced ham with crab fat mayonnaise, pickled cucumber and toasts, kilaw of swordfish and scallop and tartare of wild venison. All dishes will be available until sold out.

Parmesan Custard & Rosehip and Peach Cup

So the next time you find yourself craving a late-night bite or a drink that hits the spot, head to Bar Magda for a satiating nightcap. The kind of elevated, cosmopolitan offering we’ve been missing in this city, this new menu is the perfect excuse to pay this exceptional dining destination a visit if you haven’t already.

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop
Cracker Bay

Meet Cracker Bay — Auckland’s exciting new waterfront precinct where hospitality, event spaces and a private club collide

We might be called the City of Sails, but for too long, Auckland has allowed parts of its downtown waterfront to languish in obscurity, woefully underused either because of poorly-planned industrial developments or well-intentioned hospitality precincts that just haven’t quite hit the mark. In fact, we would go so far as to say that there is a dire need for something that capitalises on Auckland’s unique proximity to the water, something that harnesses its expansive, natural beauty and allows this city’s residents to truly make the most of the waterfront that has become so intrinsically linked to Auckland’s identity. 

The Boathouse from the Promenade

So, we were thrilled when we learned that Winton, the developers responsible for Northbrook (a jaw dropping, luxury later living offering that is revolutionising life after retirement and is landing in Wynyard Quarter soon) were also developing the adjacent site to create a 1.7-hectare waterfront haven. 

Called Cracker Bay, this expansive offering is set on a spectacular piece of land between Beaumont Street, Westhaven Drive and a long stretch of waterfront, and will combine the vibrancy of a multifaceted hospitality precinct (complete with new restaurants, bars and casual eateries, open to the public) with the exclusivity of a private yacht club (of which all Northbrook residents will automatically be members) as well as a much-needed event space set up for a variety of functions and weddings. Importantly, Cracker Bay will also see the extension of our beloved promenade walkway that, at the moment, abruptly veers off the water by Westhaven Drive. When Cracker Bay is complete, Auckland’s cohort of walking enthusiasts will be able to stroll the whole way around, soaking in the beauty of our harbour and taking in all the action that is bound to fill Cracker Bay’s many venues. 

The Garden Bar Kiosk overlooking the Marina

The bustling hub of Cracker Bay will be its food and beverage destination, The Beaumont Street Bodega. Publicly accessible via walkways from Beaumont Street or up from the promenade, this area will comprise a sprawling dining room with elevated, covered outdoor tables on which people can enjoy the delicious offerings from vendors like a bakehouse and cafe, a casual pub and a garden bar kiosk. From its relaxed, local feel to its light-filled, connected spaces, to the way it promises to reimagine classic, waterfront venues with a more chic, elevated design, The Beaumont Street Bodega is destined to become a hive of hospitality and the perfect place to enjoy laid-back drinks or an easy meal with friends. 

That said, for something slightly more sophisticated, Cracker Bay’s The Boathouse will be set just a short walk away from The Bodega area, and is promising a beautiful, on-water restaurant that we’re predicting will be hugely popular when it opens. Serving fresh seafood like oysters and sashimi in a striking dining room finished in reclaimed timber and crisp alabaster tones, The Boathouse will be a spectacular setting for sundowners, maximising the waterfront views and offering a uncomplicated, coastal charm that will make you feel as though you have left the city altogether. 

Cracker Bay will also encompass a significant event venue, designed and purpose-built for weddings, private parties, fashion events, pop-up art exhibitions and more. Oozing simple but elegant sophistication with white-washed brickwork and maritime steel and timber, Cracker Bay’s event space will allow its striking setting to shine, where daytime affairs will be bathed in natural light and evening ones enhanced by views of the sunset over the sparkling Auckland harbour. 

The Events Venue

The pièce-de-résistance of Cracker Bay, however, is The Club, a private yacht club that will provide its members with an exclusive enclave in which to relax and unwind, right in the heart of this exciting new precinct. For residents of Northbrook, membership to The Club is automatic, which means that alongside the extensive facilities that are provided within Northbrook itself, The Club will become the perfect change of scenery, a space in which residents can truly soak in the beauty of their waterfront home.

Not only will members of The Club at Cracker Bay have access to a private garden, bar, swimming pool and sundeck right on the water (although slightly elevated to remain hidden from public view), they can also enjoy their own restaurant with outdoor dining, as well as a gym, spa, sauna, steam room and personal concierge service. It will be like a boutique resort, nestled in the midst of one of Auckland’s most stunning, sought-after and social settings.

Cracker Bay

A development that promises to unlock the value of our waterfront in a way that has never been done before, Cracker Bay is the perfect evolution of Winton’s groundbreaking and multifaceted vision. With Northbrook, for instance, Winton asked why life after retirement shouldn’t be grounded in luxurious, refined design, positioning retirement not as the end, but merely the beginning of something even more exciting and fulfilling than before. Cracker Bay is a huge part of this, and will be deeply connected to the later living offering to provide extra amenities and hospitality venues for residents, as well as a brand new marina to berth their yachts.

But beyond that, Cracker Bay will become a precinct that finally allows Aucklanders to make the most of the city we call home. A place where excellent hospitality meets a breathtaking, sun-soaked setting, Cracker Bay is exactly what the City of Sails has been missing and when it opens, will be the place to visit for delicious food, exquisite views and the kind of convivial, vibrant atmosphere that will elevate Auckland’s standing as a true world city. 

northbrook.co.nz

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Design

Pick up some late summer outdoor furniture deals in these epic designer sales
We take you inside Ponsonby’s exciting new architectural marvel — The Greenhouse
Don’t miss out on this discounted designer furniture pieces in ECC’s epic summer sale

From the team behind Duo comes Osteria Uno — a delicious new Italian spot to have on your radar

Adding to an impressive laundry list of achievements — including the recent success of their first joint venture, Duo — hospitality maestros (and husband and wife) Sarah and Jordan Macdonald are bringing an impressive new eatery, Osteria Uno, to Birkenhead.

Those residing on the North Shore can now add this delightful Italian spot to their regular dining rotation, as Osteria Uno opens its doors on Birkenhead’s main strip this coming Thursday. Here, the focus is on elevated but approachable Italian, and diners can expect to be met with simple, seasonal fare where fresh, handcrafted pasta is the star of the show. 

Left: Creste di Gallo. Right: Crayfish Maritozzi

The pair’s take on a traditional Italian osteria is inspired, which isn’t altogether surprising given their past endeavours. Jordan is who we have to thank for CBD haunts Culprit, Lowbrow and Little Culprit, while Sarah can count Chef at Woodpecker Hill, Culprit and Fed Deli and Masterchef contestant as strings in her bow. The pair opened Duo in March last year and have since solidified the neighbourhood spot as one of the city’s best for elevated brunch and dinner in a relaxed setting. 

Left: Rigatoni
Left: Arancino. Right: Strawberries with Yoghurt Mousse

Building on this, quite literally, the team have now taken over the space directly adjacent to Duo, transforming it into a modern Italian eatery. With a vision to create something paired-back but truly unique, Sarah and Jordan engaged Architect Kirsty Mitchell for the fit-out. Having already worked on Duo, Culprit and Lowbrow — she was the obvious choice. Her approach was simple: to marry the building’s existing heritage elements with contemporary touches and create something time-honoured, sophisticated and non-pretentious. She certainly met the brief. Mitchell opted to keep the somewhat scrappy original stained glass windows and brick tile walls (painstakingly stripped back over many attempts by Jordan), adding rich sanguine banquette seating, dark mahogany tables and a heavy marble bench to the space, resulting in a relaxed setting where you can easily imagine yourself spending a leisurely Saturday evening.

Left: Casarecce. Right: Tiramisu
Grilled Courgette

In Osteria Uno’s kitchen, distinguished Chef Gleber Chaparro (formerly Lilian, Amano, Depot and Sugar Club) is at the helm, having recently returned from a stint at Michelin-starred Disfrutar in Barcelona. Pasta making is an art Chaparro takes seriously (anyone who has visited Amano during his tenure will concur) and the quality here is unparalleled. Standout iterations include the casarecce with asparagus and cavalo nero pesto and the bucatini with mussels and fermented chilli butter. For those opting to skip the pasta in favour of a selection of smaller bites, there’s whipped fish roe with crisps, beef tartare pizza fritta with pecorino, or raw market fish crudo with Clevedon Buffalo curd and Sicilian olive. To finish on a high note, the macerated strawberries with buffalo yoghurt mousse is a must.

Left: Pizza Fritta, Fish Crudo & Burrata. Right: Spaghettini

Italian varietals fill Osteria Uno’s wine list, with a few New Zealand and French additions, and the Italian-inspired cocktails are a delight — the limoncello pomelo spritz is the ultimate summer satiation. For beer lovers, you’ll find ice-cold Peroni on tap.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Sunday, 4.30pm until late

osteriauno.co.nz

Osteria Uno

40 Hinemoa Street
Birkenhead
Auckland 0626

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop

Known for her sought-after shoes and accessories, local designer Rebe Burgess launches her debut womenswear collection today

Photos — Holly Burgess
Hair & Makeup — Rae Sacha
Model — Polly Bachelor at Unique Models

For almost a decade, Rebe Burgess has been immersed in luxury fashion, both as the former head buyer at Muse and as the designer of her own, eponymous shoe and accessory label. Her collections for Rebe have always been timeless, elegant and highly sought-after, built on the idea of a wardrobe that lasts beyond a single season alone. For that reason, they have garnered a legion of fans, many of whom have recently been waiting to see what the designer will do next. Now, Burgess is taking a significant step in her brand’s evolution by extending her offering to include a full womenswear line — and we couldn’t be more excited to get our hands on a piece.

“In a way, Rebe is an extension of my own wardrobe, which is made up of pieces that are striking and sophisticated but that I can still wear every day,” Burgess tells me. “I want the Rebe woman to be able to build her wardrobe in a similar way so that it is considered and curatorial but distinctly tailored to her individual taste, and destined to last a long time.” Indeed, Burgess’ new ready-to-wear offers an extension of the ideas she has long perpetuated in her shoe and accessory lines.

Here, fine fabrics collide with effortless silhouettes and sophisticated but subtle details that speak to Rebe’s uniquely timeless approach. It is a uniform — the pieces cleverly designed in such a way that they could be styled to either melt into the background or boldly stand out, depending on who is wearing them.

“I want my customers to feel like they can dress with purpose,” says Burgess. “It’s about transcending trends and being able to tell their own stories through the clothes.” From tailored blazers and pants to essential t-shirts and singlets, slinky dresses, figure-hugging corsetry, bodysuits and casual separates, Rebe’s Resort ’24 collection is a sprawling debut that sees the designer make a strong statement without deviating from the aesthetic codes for which she has long been known.

Beyond its elegant design, Rebe’s new womenswear has been made with quality in mind, too. The collection features ethically sourced fabrics and fibres made to deliver longevity, such as pure wool and wool blends and premium leather, sourced exclusively from suppliers who adhere to strict standards of animal welfare and environmentally friendly practices. The clothes have been designed in New Zealand and brought to life by innovative makers in China, who use some of the most advanced technology in the world, are certified BSCI, WRAP and BVNA and are renowned for their unwavering commitment to ethical standards and supporting worker safety and labour rights.

Officially launching today on the Rebe website, and available locally at Muse, this collection is set to take a central place in the wardrobes of women seeking clothes that are wearable and long-lasting, but that will also make an impact. Set to be a popular debut for the designer, we look forward to watching how the Rebe ready-to-wear offering evolves in the coming seasons.

Shop the Collection: rebe.co.nz

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Coveted

An iconic brand for over 40 years, Pomellato should be in everyone’s jewellery collections — here, we talk to Sarah Hutchings of Orsini about why
Fresh off the runways of Milan Fashion Week — our favourite ready-to-wear looks from Fall 2024
Fresh from London Fashion Week — the best looks from the Fall 2024 runways so far
Left: Bar Non Solo. Right: Andiamo

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best lunch spots in the city for a quick bite

Despite best intentions, it’s not every day that we have the time to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch. Fortunately, for occasions when quick and easy is the only option, some of our favourite spots in the city have tailored offerings for those in a time crunch. From express menus to lunch deals served in haste, we’ve rounded up where to find the very best quick yet satisfying midday fare that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Jervois Steakhouse

Jervois Steakhouse

This Ponsonby institution has long been a great choice for a casual but delicious workday lunch, and recently, the addition of a ‘Power Lunch’ (available on Thursdays & Fridays) has made weekday dining simpler than ever. Here, you’ll find an entree, main and a glass of house wine for $55, and the options are plentiful. As you’d expect, steak takes centre stage with four cuts to choose from, served alongside market fish, grilled chicken, or vegetarian gnocchi and cult-status sides such as the truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, duck fat roasted rosemary potatoes, an unforgettable signature creamed spinach, roasted beets with goats cheese and more. Bookings are encouraged — secure your spot here.

Faraday’s Bar

Faraday’s Bar

Intimate in its nature, at Faraday’s Bar, impeccable service is always guaranteed. The weekday menu is refined, making for a perfect, quick lunch sure to delight. Seasonally driven and always changing so as to incorporate the freshest ingredients, the menu delivers on all fronts — we are currently loving the grilled octopus with fennel, blood orange and ajo blanco, but must admit that the ‘Edddie Special’ — a tomato bouillabaisse brimming with market fish and shellfish is also utter perfection. If you’re feeling a tad fancy, add a bump of Sturia vintage caviar to finish on a high note. We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again, Faradays is one of the best places to dine in Auckland, as perfect for a quick weekday meal as it is for a drink with friends or a leisurely weekend lunch.

Federal Delicatessen

Federal Delicatessen

From Al Brown, this CBD stalwart is Auckland’s answer to the classic New York deli. Here, food is simple, flavourful and utterly indulgent, and guarantees to offer a satiating meal at every sitting. For those seeking a quick and altogether satisfying lunch, we suggest opting for one of the sandwiches or salads (the chicken salad sandwich with chicken skin crackling, iceberg and dipping gravy is a staple) although a side of Montreal poutine never goes amiss.

The Blue Breeze Inn

It’s a known fact that rain or shine, Ponsonby Central’s Blue Breeze Inn is always bursting with a lively atmosphere. The consistently good food — the pork bao is arguably the best in town — the inventive cocktails served in coconut shells and the presence of the always enigmatic Mark Wallbank, combine to make this spot a no-brainer for a quick lunch that packs a punch.

Sìso

Sìso

This Remuera favourite specialising in soul-warming Mediterranean fare offers one of the most delightful lunches on the block. From Wednesday until Sunday, you can make like the locals and devour some of Sìso’s most beloved dishes. Begin with the Big Glory Bay salmon, served with whipped pea and asparagus (topped with chicken skin crackling) before indulging in a divine take on chicken Milanese drizzled with anchovy butter and a side of fried golden potatoes with buttermilk and chilli dukkah. Of course, like all good lunches, Sìso’s should be paired with a glass of wine from their extensive list.

Ebisu

Ebisu

Here, in the heart of Downtown Auckland, this Britomart stalwart offers an Express Menu for those needing a good meal in the midst of a busy day. Choose from a considered list of Ebisu’s most beloved, contemporary Japanese dishes, including the chef’s selection of fresh market sashimi or an umami miso glazed eggplant to begin, one of three hero mains to follow (the teriyaki chicken with truffle oil is our preference), and a delightful fresh sorbet to finish. A consistently failsafe crowdpleaser, we can’t look past Ebisu for a fantastic lunch in the city — express or otherwise.

Somm

Somm Cellar Door & Bar

In celebration of Somm’s Guest in Residence series, the Princess Wharf newcomer has released a special set menu created with Te Kairanga winery in mind. The menu sees a glass of Te Kairanga’s exceptional sauvignon blanc or rosé paired with a seasonal dish of your choosing — each decidedly delicious. Embrace the warmer days and opt for the fresh market fish crudo with citrus, fennel and verjuice, or indulge in the Parisian gnocchi — a seasonal take featuring asparagus, fresh peas, mint and stracciatella. The Guest in Residence set menu is $40pp and is available for a limited time only. Book a spot here.

SPQR

SPQR

We’ve all spent an afternoon or two situated outside SPQR’s ivory-adored Ponsonby outpost, and now, the institution is adding to our list of reasons to visit with their tailored ‘Working Lunch’ offering. Running seven days a week from 12.30-2pm, the eatery offers either a two or three-course menu featuring a selection of the Italian favourites we all know and love. From a delectable eye fillet carpaccio to prawn and scallop spaghetti, to an elevated rendition of a classic Caesar salad, there’s no shortage of sensational fare to fill a lunch break — no matter how brief.

Andiamo

Andiamo

While often topping our list of leisurely long lunch spots, Andiamo is equally as equipped to turn out a fantastic, quick midday meal sure to satisfy. Luckily for Herne Bay locals, there’s still one more week remaining to make the most of the special set lunch menu running with Perrier-Jouët. Available Wednesday through Sunday, from 12pm until 3pm until the end of October, for $69 per person, guests will be greeted with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, and invited to indulge in a delicious, two-course feast including their choice of entrée and main. ‘Tis the season.

Hello Beasty

Hello Beasty

With its contemporary, Asian-fusion menu, Hello Beasty is the ideal spot for a light and delicious lunch. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot for a quick bite with a side of sunshine, best enjoyed in the eatery’s courtyard — the perfect vantage point to take in the sights of Viaduct Harbour. When it comes to the top dishes, anything goes, but for a quick and satisfying option, we’d suggest the katsu chicken sando, fantastic when paired with Hello Beasty’s very own KFC (Korean fried cauliflower) and a bokbunjaju bramble. Sensational.

Bar Non Solo

If it’s speedy but satisfying fare you’re after, look no further than Britomart’s Bar Non Solo. This impeccable Italian spot offers up a lunch special Tuesday through Friday that’s hard to beat. For a modest $25, you can choose from a selection of Bar Non Solo’s delightful seasonal pizzas or handmade pasta dishes, paired with either an ice-cold Peroni, Aperol Spritz, a glass of Idle Hands wine or a signature mocktail. For us, Aperol is the obvious choice of libation (given the setting), perfect when paired with the wagyu and pork bolognese or a mushroom, truffle, gorgonzola and walnut pizza.

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop

Enjoy a night of extravagant entertainment at Q Theatre’s uproarious party cabaret, Briefs — Dirty Laundry

After a decade of taking the world’s most prestigious festivals by storm, the enigmatic Briefs boys are bringing a breathtaking ‘boy-lesque’ spectacle to the stage as they air out their ‘Dirty Laundry’ at Q Theatre.

For those who aren’t already in the know, Briefs is a cabaret extravaganza that has been captivating audiences around the globe for over a decade by defying convention and offering a range of daring, dazzling performance art. It is an outrageous blend of intoxicating physicality, gob-smacking comedy, unapologetic truths and mind-blowing showmanship — all set against a backdrop of shimmering glamour. Now, the boys are coming back to the Auckland stage at Q Theatre, where, from the 16th of November until the 9th of December, the indomitable Fez Faanana (also known as Shivannah) will lead his crew of marvellous misfits, including both classic Briefs boys and exciting newcomers. This sizzling show is more than just a party, it’s a celebration of creativity and of individuality and will make for an unforgettable night of entertainment.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the performance. For anyone looking to make the most of their evening out, Q Theatre offers a variety of options to make a good night truly spectacular. Whether you’re planning an intimate evening with friends or are looking for a larger group extravaganza, Q Theatre has you covered with food and drink options to set the scene perfectly.

So, gather your gang and immerse yourself in the glitz, glamour and sensational showmanship that awaits you at Briefs — Dirty Laundry. Secure your tickets now for what is set to be an unmissable cabaret experience and an unforgettable way to kick off the end-of-year madness.

Dates: 16 November – 9 December 2023

Purchase Tickets: qtheatre.co.nz

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Culture

We’re on the hunt for an experienced full-time writer
Voices of Hope’s new audio-visual exhibition is an illuminating exploration of mental health in New Zealand
With new owners and a new venue, the highly-anticipated Aotearoa Art Fair is back & better than ever for 2024