Everything you need to know about Auckland’s dining scene for the month of March

With March just around the corner, an enticing array of different food events, pop-up restaurants, new openings and menu revamps are on their welcome way to us. As days cool and we transition into autumn, Auckland’s eateries mimic the falling leaves and shake off the old, by presenting new creations to tantalise and tempt us. Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about the local dining scene in the month of March. 

Pop-ups and events
Kelmarna Gardens x Ozone Coffee Roasters
One of Grey Lynn’s favourite local cafes, Ozone, is collaborating with Kelmarna Gardens on the 4th of March, for a pop-up dinner to showcase the best of the local produce that is quite literally around the corner from the eatery. Led by Ozone’s executive head chef, Joe O’Connell, the numbers are limited to an intimately small 40 patrons, who are guaranteed to enjoy an evening of pure deliciousness.

Euro Chardonnay Fling
On Thursday, 12th of March, the waterfront stalwart will join forces with Classic Gisborne Chardonnays to bring us an elaborate five-course lunch designed by the renowned executive chef, Gareth Stewart. Wine enthusiast Mermaid Mary will be hosting the afternoon and will evocatively explain the reasoning behind each pairing. For any Chardonnay connoisseur, this is an event not to be missed. 

Auckland Vegan Food Festival
Whatever your food preference, vegan or not, Auckland Vegan Food Festival is always a good idea. Proving the huge versatility of vegan cuisine, and a range that reaches far beyond just fruit and vegetables, this event attracts the best vegan-friendly food trucks in town with their delicacies and delights.  So on March 8th, at Corban Arts Estate Centre, you can try out vegan fried chicken and vegan variations on the burger, not to mention sweet and sustainable treats. 

Pasifika Festival
Mark your calendars for the 14th of March. Pasifika Festival returns this year at Western Springs, with a paradise parade of Pacific offerings on show. Experience the full array of Pasifika creativity and flavours with soulful, wholesome island cuisine, and eat it to the robust and joyful sounds of celebratory music from our neighbouring islands.

Celebration of Shellfish
On Friday the 13th of March, former co-owner of Judge Bao and executive chef of Everybody Eats (Onehunga) Jamie Robert Johnston is teaching a class dedicated to a celebration of the truffle of the ocean — the oyster. Learn how to shuck, prepare and serve oysters in three delicious ways, including Kilpatrick oysters, a shallot and pepper mignonette pairing, and a three-cheese oyster gratin.

New dishes/menus
New menu at Soul Bar & Bistro
Ringing in the new season, the menu refresh at Soul Bar & Bistro has taken us by surprise: just when we thought this iconic bistro’s offerings couldn’t get any better, we’re proven wrong. The description of the crispy skin pork belly served with apple, chilli, steamed corn and szechuan is creating quite the buzz, and we’re expecting serious tastebud titillation from this original, exciting combination.

New menu at Williams Eatery
Former owner of Five Boroughs Burgers, Elie Assaf has officially taken the position of Williams Eatery’s executive chef and has launched an enticing, innovative menu. With superb Hawkes Bay-grown meat, the lamb burger is the hotly-anticipated creation on everyone’s radar. Imagine a juicy lamb patty, shredded lettuce, pickles, creamy dill mayo, all deliciously united in the softest and freshest of buns.

New menu at Postal Service
Previously known as Kokako Cafe, Grey Lynn’s Postal Service has recently upgraded its menu with what we view as the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. The sweet tooths are deliciously dealt to by the buckwheat and chia pancakes with coconut yoghurt, macerated strawberries and lavender syrup. If you’re all about the savoury, opt for the chopped avocado on sourdough with pickled cucumber, pickled radish, coffee and raspberry vinegar, and a hefty crumble of goat cheese. 

Crayfish rolls from Céleste
Renowned for its alluring late-night offerings, particularly the filet o’ market fish burger, Céleste has just added a new precision-dish to its clean-cut menu. In some quarters, it’s being hailed as even better than the fish burger itself. Introducing the Cray Roll, with its soft bun generously slathered with espelette aioli and garlic butter to further enhance the flavourful delights of the chives-infused crayfish. Available from 10 pm, Thursday through to Saturday. 

Hot cross buns from Ima Cuisine
It’s that time of year again. Buns are hot. And they are crossed. Ima Cuisine’s iconic hot cross buns are returning this Friday and if the previous years are anything to go by, it’s going to be absolute madness. People line up for these custard-crossed buns just to experience the tastiest and most decadent hot cross bun in Auckland. Well worth the wait, although we suggest you get there sooner rather than later to beat the crowds. 

New openings
Daily Bread X Citta at Newmarket
Recently, Daily Bread opened an outpost in Ponsonby and the bakery is not looking to slow down any time soon, given its latest collaboration with Citta Design in Newmarket. Located on 8 Morrow St, Daily Bread is now serving an array of its delicious pastries, including a new caramelised croissant, the kouign amann. It’s buttery, flakey texture and perfect balance of sweetness make it a must-have from this imaginative bakery.

Enak Malaysia
Auckland is quite lucky when it comes to Malaysian restaurants as most suburbs seem to have at least one go-to eatery for an authentic beef rendang and roti canai. Mt Eden has welcomed a newcomer to Dominion Road and the positively spreading rumours are ranking it as one of Auckland’s best. Enak Malaysia has a large menu so you’ll be spoiled for choice. Especially popular is the sweet and salty marmite chicken on rice. Highly recommended. 

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