From shopping, to decorating the tree, to countless work-related events, Christmas is a busy time. And by the time the big day actually arrives, cooking a long lavish lunch for the whole family is likely the last thing you want to do. Thankfully, these restaurants around Auckland are keeping their doors open to save you from having to muster the energy to prepare a feast on your own. So book in for your Christmas Day lunch, and save yourself the dishes.
The Sugar Club
Renowned for its creative modern-Kiwi cuisine, The Sugar Club has created a special four-course menu for Christmas Lunch, including dishes like beetroot tartare and Hauraki Gulf fish. Available for lunch and dinner service, the experience is $195 per person and includes a celebratory glass of champagne of course. Kids (14 years old and under) can opt for a two-course version of the menu and a soft drink for $79.
Gusto at the Grand
Switch up the traditional roast turkey and ham for an Italian feast this Christmas at Gusto at the Grand. This authentic Italian restaurant is serving an epic Christmas-exclusive sharing-style menu at $130 per person, including dishes like buffalo mozzarella, spanner crab linguini, lamb cutlets and duck fat potatoes, to name a few. If it’s dinner that you’re after, Gusto’s à la carte menu commences from 5pm.
MASU by Nic Watt
You can never go wrong with MASU by Nic Watt. The food is always fresh, the service is seamless and it is, without a doubt, one of our favourite Japanese restaurants in town. On Christmas Day, MASU is hosting its ever-popular Nichiyo Brunch, where guests are invited to partake in a bottomless selection of sashimi, sushi, karaage chicken and more, before selecting a main and a divine dessert platter to finish. For dinner, MASU’s regular à la carte menu, Shomi menu and Shefu Tokusen menu will be available.
If you’re adamant on having poultry this Christmas, why not swap out the turkey for Huami’s iconic fruit wood-roasted duck? For $90 per person, patrons of Huami are welcomed with a dim sum basket, showcasing an assortment of handmade dumplings, followed by not only the duck but also manuka honey-glazed pork char siew pork, Sichuan style wok-fried prawns, Yangzhou fried rice and mango pudding for dessert.
Situated in the Hilton hotel, overlooking the sparkling waters of Auckland’s harbour, Fish Restaurant has it all — from delicious food to prolific views. The $189 Christmas lunch and dinner menu (including drinks) ensures that there’s something for everyone to enjoy as it features a variety of dishes. But whether you opt for the lamb or the hapuka, dessert is a universally-loved delight: choux pastry, filled with white chocolate and coconut mousse.
The Grill by Sean Connolly
Even if you were planning on cooking a Christmas feast, one look at The Grill’s Christmas lunch and dinner menu will have you throwing in the towel. For $150 per person, patrons will be treated to an enormous amount of food, including a seafood platter, duck liver parfait, Sean’s Beef Wellington and apple tart fin — and that’s not even half of it.
Cable Bay Vineyards
Take a day trip to Waiheke Island this Christmas and make your way over to Cable Bay Vineyards as its verandah and bistro are hosting a special lunch and dinner this year. Details of the menu are yet to be announced, but if any of our previous experiences of this majestic vineyard are anything to go by, it’s safe to say that this one would be a Christmas to remember.
For those seeking the quintessential Christmas food coma, there’s no better place to do it that at Fortuna Restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this buffet will exceed your normal expectations of a regular buffet. Offering roast meats, sushi, seafood, pastries and an endless range of desserts, we recommend showing up in loose clothing and perhaps, stretchy pants.