Dining with international guests? Our Editor-in-chief rounds up the best places in Auckland to impress visitors

Choosing just the right restaurant to flaunt Auckland’s culinary prowess to a group when dining with international guests whose palates have been toiled with and tantalised by some of the finest chefs in the world (I deal in the luxury realm after all), could seem to some, an extremely daunting task. However, I am a woman of great determination and also of great belief in our own impressive and diverse culinary scene. Showcasing our city and country’s gastronomic soul, particularly when the stakes are high and the discerning palates are technically educated in the finer nuances of cuisine, makes the process all the more exciting. And if the truth be known, the greatest experience we can offer visiting guests is an insight into our own symphony of gastronomic talent, that’s less about amuse bouches and more about amusing tales and rousing nights out.

Auckland’s dining landscape offers choices that are as diverse as the city itself, providing a tapestry of tastes and experiences. From the avant-garde kitchens at the likes of Ben Bayly’s Ahi, where chefs wield their passion for expressing New Zealand on a plate, to the timeless, effortless classics and world-class location of Soul Bar & Bistro, to Metita where every dish tells a story of Michael Meredith’s life, it’s a culinary journey that promises both delight and daring. Choosing an experience that not only satisfies the senses but also uncovers the very essence of New Zealand’s identity can be more than just a meal. Dining with international guests at Somm Cellar Door and Bar, for example, offers a passport into the heart of our winemaking regions, showcasing our most acclaimed wines and globally renowned viticulture, all from its stunning waterfront location. So rest assured, wherever you choose, every bite tells a story, and every plate is a chapter in the evolution of New Zealand’s burgeoning and impressive food culture.

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