Metita's Fried Crispy Skin Pork Hock

Michael Meredith shares insight into the inspiration behind Metita’s new & most-loved dishes

Metita is Michael Meredith’s homage to his homeland, and the culmination of his decades-long career in cooking, and as such, brings something entirely unique to Auckland’s diverse dining scene. Opening last October to rave reviews, Meredith has since been refining Metita’s offering, discovering what people connect with, and building on the menu based on the dishes, drinks and ingredients that both resonate with diners and hold meaning for the chef himself.

Unsurprisingly, both those within and outside of the Pasifika community have been relishing the richness of Polynesian culture brought to life by Meredith’s incredibly elevated take at Metita. And as the restaurant launches a series of inventive, delicious new dishes, and gives new life to existing menu items, we chat with Meredith about his connection to the ingredients and where he seeks inspiration for such novel but accessible fare.


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“The inspiration for this menu largely came from the ingredients themselves — paying homage to the origin of the traditional dishes at the heart of our menu. The challenge for me is then to reimagine the familiar, adding value and diversity — giving customers a taste of the Pacific and an entirely new experience,” Meredith tells me, “And while I wouldn’t be able to choose a favourite, these are three dishes that I think really bring the essence of our South Pacific cuisine to life.”

Seared Tuna

Seared Tuna with ifi and green papaya salsa

“You’ll see on the Metita menu that we use a lot of seafood, as the islands are surrounded by the ocean. Tuna is widely used in Pacific cooking, so we simply see it as a sustainable protein for this region. We have used ifi, which is a Pacific chestnut, to make the sauce on this dish, with spices that are commonly used in Fiji to give it a bit of a lift. The tuna is then balanced off with a paw paw salad on top.”

Geoduck Clam

Geoduck Clam with oka and finger lime

“I really wanted to highlight Oka (raw fish) from Samoa, but instead of using fish I opted to use Geoduck clam that is harvested from Golden Bay – it provides a beautiful texture and flavour that works well raw, and pairs beautifully with fresh grated coconut and finger lime. The chilli gives it a similar taste to traditional oka dishes, but with an intriguing twist.”

Fried Crispy Skin Pork Hock

Fried Crispy Skin Pork Hock with pineapple vinegar glaze, sapa sui, and chilli peanuts

“This pork dish was inspired by Sapa Sui (Samoan chop suey), which is widely known in the Pacific. Sapa Sui was brought about during the German occupancy of Samoa when Chinese labourers introduced dishes native to their homeland, and has since become a staple in South Pacific cuisine. Here, I’ve kept close to the traditional style but added a bit more acid and chilli, with a pineapple vinegar glaze to give the dish a lot of lift. I’ve kept the Sapa Sui itself simple, with glass noodles, soya sauce and vegetables, with added peanuts for texture.”

Metita’s Toana’i Sunday Long Lunch

If you’re looking for a way to experience a true taste of what Meredith is setting out to do with Metita, book in for the Toana’i Long Lunch. A celebration of the Pacific through both food and hospitality, Meredith’s Toona’i is Metita’s version of a traditional Sunday lunch in the islands — which is often the first meal of the day after church, and as such, a relaxing way to end the week and connect with community. At Metita, you’ll find a convivial shared lunch with snacks to start, dishes to share for the table, and a sweet treat to finish — hopefully, then followed by a delightful nap back at home (as is tradition in the islands). The menu combines a plethora of textures, flavours, and techniques, calling on a bespoke ingredients list to deliver something truly unique — and utterly delicious.

A quick guide
Metita’s Ingredients’ Pacific Connection

Seafood

Given the Pacific Islands are surrounded by the ocean, seafood plays a central role in Metita’s menu. Fish, shellfish, and other seafood are often grilled, steamed, or cooked in coconut milk-based sauces and sit as the hero ingredient in some of the eatery’s most-loved dishes.

Coconut

Coconut is a staple ingredient in many Pacific Island dishes. Coconut milk and cream is made fresh at Metita, and fresh grated coconut also appears across the men to stunning effect.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables like taro, carrot, and cassava are commonly used in Pacific Island cooking and served in interesting, unique ways on Metita’s menu.

Tropical Fruits

Metia showcases the bounty of fruits in the Pacific through mains, salads, desserts and cocktails, with the likes of pineapple, mango, papaya, tamarind, and passionfruit all featuring across the menu.

skycityauckland.co.nz/restaurants/metita

Metita

90 Federal Street
Auckland CBD

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