As far as inner-city haunts go, there is always an appetite for new, all-day options that are as perfect to pop into for breakfast as they are for dinner. Enter Mozzarella & Co. — part of the new wave of inspired hotel dining that makes us want to book a staycation in the city’s centre.
Found in the lobby of the newly-opened Voco Auckland City Centre Hotel (a space that offers contemporary comfort and easy luxury), this trattoria and bar has been designed to cater as much to locals as to those simply passing through.
High ceilings and expansive windows looking out to Wyndham Street lend a decidedly urban air to Mozzarella & Co.’s Mediterranean take on cuisine, while the bar seating boasts power sockets to offer a space from which to work, or host your next lunch meeting.
Of course, the food is where Mozzarella & Co. leaves a lasting impression. Executive Chef Dhawal Modi offers a fresh take on traditional Italian cuisine — one that doesn’t feel too indulgent or out of character for the weekday dining this part of the city calls for. Keeping the idea of a traditional trattoria at the forefront of the experience, the chef explains that his vision is to offer a space that is easy and rustic but offers good flavours and showcases New Zealand producers. We’re talking about fresh fish from Kiwifish and burrata from local cheesemaker Il Casaro — all divine offerings that make for a menu that feels elevated but still accessible for everyday punters.
Highlights include the gnocchi al gorgonzola, with caramelised walnuts, leeks and prosecco cream, the bread and butter pudding with brandy anglaise and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, and of course, the burrata served with truss tomato, basil, pine nuts, balsamic and cold-pressed olive oil.
The all-day eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and boats a considered bar offering for those just after a drink or two with satiating snacks. Think traditional aperitivo like crudo and bruschetta, or pizzas for anyone seeking something more substantial.
Marvellous things are expected for this space, especially with the whisperings of a rooftop bar opening on the 38th floor of the building later this year, offering sweeping views of the city and with the same talents in the kitchen as the outpost downstairs. Watch this space.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — there’s no longer an excuse for hotel dining to be drab. And thankfully, Mozzarella & Co. is anything but.
Mozzarella & Co.
Ground Floor, voco Auckland City Centre Hotel,
Corner of Albert Street & Wyndham Street,
Auckland CBD, Auckland