This new, relaxed all-day eatery is drawing us down to the Viaduct.
Everybody knows Simon Gault. Whether it be from his stint on MasterChef NZ, cookbooks or the myriad of products that sport his approving smile in our supermarkets, the celebrity chef has been everywhere these past few years — except the kitchen. Having taken two years off to spend time with his family, Gault is stepping back behind the pass in his new Viaduct Harbour restaurant, Giraffe.
Even with a brief hiatus, Gault’s mind never strayed from food. Spending time experimenting and reflecting, his entire cooking philosophy underwent a shift in his time away, moving towards simpler fare that highlights exceptional produce. A philosophy that is only as good as the ingredients it uses, you can be sure that those sourced for Giraffe are among the world’s finest.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a menu for those between times, Giraffe’s cuisine is simple, but completely considered. Even the bread could be labelled as a standout. A deep grey charcoal loaf (not dissimilar in texture to ciabatta) it comes served with a creamy smoked kahawai butter. A menu that artfully covers off every palate from steak tartare to a sour plum-topped trevally crudo, Waikanae crab to fried butternut pasta, it is evident that Gault has no intention of resting on his celebrity status here. Everything has a purpose on the plate, a point that is perhaps best displayed in ‘Simon’s Chocolate Pudding’, a rich dessert with a molten filling made from a specially formulated chocolate that has been infused with Dilmah tea, rose and fragrant vanilla that Gault created in collaboration with the revered Hogarth Chocolates.
The restaurant itself is a relaxed, intimate space, designed in collaboration with Paul Izzard. Welcoming guests in with comfortable leather banquette seating, soft lighting, honeycomb tiles and a generous use of light woods and brass, the inclusion of a kitchen bar is a particularly inspired decision. An all-day eatery Gault hopes people will visit “any time for any occasion”, the new Viaduct restaurant is well worth a visit.
7am-12am, seven days
85–87 Customs Street West
(09) 358 1093