New waterfront restaurant, HeadQuarters, opens in the Viaduct

If you're after a sun-drenched spot on the water, this new Viaduct opening is it.

Call us demanding, but when venturing to the Viaduct, we find there are four vital factors needed to guarantee a good time: decent food, drinks, views and people watching. So, stopping in at new waterfront haunt, HeadQuarters, we had our checklist at the ready.

Popping up after just a six-week build, the waterfront eatery, perched right on the corner of the harbour, was quick to come to life, but even quicker to gain followers. Genuinely welcoming with a sofa-lined, sun-drenched deck, those who manage to snag one of the coveted outdoor tables can enjoy uninterrupted views of the boats and happenings below, while indoors, the open, airy building design means the sea breeze finds its way to each and every corner. With interiors taking a rustic, exotic slant, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the food acts to match.

Centring on tasty, honest meals done well, there’s nothing pretentious about HeadQuarters’ cuisine — mind you, the way they cook it is rather unique. Based on a solid fuel hotline, the chefs build up a roaring fire using manuka and tea tree wood before service each day, then, as it slowly burns down to charcoal, spread it under the grill to cook on. A ‘primal’ way of doing things the chefs tell us, it delivers a beautiful smokey tint to the meats — an essence the rotisserie chicken certainly benefits from. Soaked in orange juice then rubbed with an earthy dry spice mix before being popped on the spit, the succulent bird is bettered only by the creamy pile of mash it comes served with.

Whether it be for an after work wine with colleagues, a weekend sundowner or meal out with the family (kids’ menu and all), there’s something at HeadQuarters to suit every occasion. From the tender ceviche that arrives swimming in a lime and coconut water ‘tiger’s milk’, to the Cloudy Bay chowder, hearty wood-fired pizzas and oysters, the menu is all-encompassing. With a hefty portion of the dishes available all the way until closing too, those hankering for a steak sarnie at 2am have found their salvation.

So, getting back to that all-essential checklist. Is there decent food? Check. Good drinks? Check. Views and stellar people watching? You know it baby. Delivering on all fronts, we’ll be back.

Opening hours:
9am-late, seven days

HeadQuarters

115 Customs Street West
Auckland

(09) 394 7300

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