Salmon, potato bread, roe & pickles

Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef

Tushar Grover cut his teeth as a chef in New Zealand by working in some of the most respected kitchens in the country, including Huka Lodge (under the tutelage of Paul Froggatt) and Pasture — one of Auckland’s most distinguished fine-dining institutions until it sadly closed last year. There, the Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef was not only serving as sous in the main restaurant, but he ran Pasture’s bar, Boxer and its bakery, Alpha, for two years, churning out some of the tastiest fare to be found in this city. And, after Pasture, Boxer and Alpha closed, Grover was called on to help set up another elevated spot on K’ Road, Flor (with Dan Gillet from Wine Diamonds) which since opening, has seen an incredible response from local diners.

Now, the clever chef has returned to an old stomping ground to open his own venture, Rhu, which has quickly established itself as a place that should been on everyone’s radar. Set in the Parnell space that once housed Alpha, Rhu is a new all-day eatery serving impeccably-crafted but refreshingly uncomplicated fare that reimagines classic dishes with finesse and flavour.


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Left: French omelette with goat cheese. Right: Fried chicken sandwich

For Grover, despite his fine-dining training, the goal at Rhu is to offer food that is as technically complex as it is simple and delicious, food that marries fine dining principles with minimalist presentation in a way that gives fine culinary concepts a more accessible spin. Telling me he often passed by the site of Alpha after it shut down, Grover explains how the seeds for Rhu were planted. “I had always envisioned a space that would not only cater to the community but become an integral part of it.” And eventually, with an investor on board and after countless hours of research and development, concept and design meetings, Rhu has come to life in exactly the way that Grover had dreamed.

“At Rhu I want to offer simple, well-executed food and flavours, from rustic bread to vibrant salads and grab-and-go bites,” Grover tells me, “alongside tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, and expertly-made coffee. When we open our evening service, we’ll have a number of curated wines and cocktails, too.”

Right: Steamed egg with sourdough

Having just opened this week, Rhu is currently offering a delicious breakfast and lunch service from 8am until 2pm, Wednesday through Sunday. On the menu, find dishes like steamed egg with housemade sourdough, a meticulously-made French omelette with goat cheese, toast with charred avocado and kimchi and a perfectly-sweet honey toast, served with vanilla yoghurt and peach. For those seeking something more substantial, the salmon rillette on toast with salmon roe, the epic fried chicken sandwich or one of the two salads (one with cos, one with quinoa and both able to have chicken added) promise to satisfy any craving.

There is also a line-up of sweet treats and freshly-baked delights at Rhu, perfect for enjoying with a cup of its tasty Havana coffee (which I have been told on very good authority, is made on the crème de la crème of coffee machines — a Slayer). From satiating sourdough to impossibly soft milk buns, berry tarts and indulgent cookies, the offering here truly ticks all the boxes, whether you’re searching for an impeccable weekend brunch, or an easy, daily drop-in.

Rhu’s daily baked sourdough

For now and over the next two weeks, Rhu will be sticking with breakfast and lunch service only, until it finds its feet, before extending the offering to an all-day one, and remaining open late into the night. “Rhu will launch its wine bar offering soon,” Grover reveals, “where the wine list will be curated with the help of Dan Gillett and Pierre Bernardu — my restaurant manager — and the cocktails conceptualised by Phil Spector, who has worked in the best bars in the world and is a magician with the rotary evaporator.”

From its sun-drenched spot to its carefully-curated menu of exceptional dishes and simple bites, Rhu is a new opening you should add to your dining agenda immediately.

rhuakl.com

Opening Hours:
Wednesday to Sunday, 7am to 3pm

Rhu

235 Parnell Road
Auckland 1052

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