As we find ourselves turning to the same habitual haunts, time and time again, for a dinner out, it was only right to round up the best new openings of the year so far. Behold, a worthy medley of new dining destinations you really should have tried by now.
When we heard the man who helped create the punchy flavours behind various cult, Thai-inspired eateries around town was going out on his own, we could only sit up and take notice. Chef Panawat Chotamungsa’s new Sandringham eatery, Hot Hot, started out with a hiss and a colourful roar and is continuing in the same fashion almost five months later. Expect tasty servings of pad thai, bahn mi, and the sensationally delicious Hot Hot buns.
Taking up residence the history-steeped premises of what was once MooChowChow and, before that, Rocco, Teddy’s is the brainchild of Oliver Scutts (co-owner of wine bar Annabel’s) and Rob Hill (who helped launch Britomart bar 1885). What we love about it is its tasteful uncomplicatedness, furthered by the fact that it is open for business seven days a week. Be sure to stop in for a Limoncello Spritz and the signature chicken schnitzel.
While our love for a good pizzeria knows no bounds, few of them are known to really ‘make waves’ like Kingsland’s new resident, Umu. Specialising in the Neapolitan sourdough style — wood-fired, of course — the epic little address serves up the Margherita variety, amongst many others, in delicious form from its while tiled pizza oven and with a dose of cool to boot.
Bridging the oriental gap between Japanese and Chinese fare, Xoong is yet another addition to Mount Eden’s burgeoning food scene. Taking the place of former resident Molten Restaurant and Wine Bar, it is the brainchild of the team behind Takapuna’s ever-popular Tok Tok. The expansive, design-led space gives way to intriguing new dishes such as cold cut chicken breast and smoked congee that will expand your horizons.
Vic Road Kitchen
Housed within a heritage building on the eponymous Devonport avenue, this homely eatery is taking things up a notch in the North Shore seaside borough. Serving seasonal European cuisine (pastas et al.) with a twist and a heavy focus on good wine to go with it, you won’t walk away unaffected by the heart and soul that has gone into this familial location. A word of advice: opt for the buffalo curd and beef carpaccio when ordering.
Go Go Daddy
With the closing of Mark Wallbank’s MooChowChow across the road came an opportunity to hero the eatery’s most famous dishes in a new location — Ponsonby Central’s Go Go Daddy. Honing in on Thai street food, Wallbank and Barrington have put their irresistible spin on an array of new-style Asiatic eats alongside long-extolled dishes such as their caramelised pork hock and soft shell crab.