Masu.
Azabu Mission Bay.
MoVida.

Make the most of the summer by booking your group functions at these delicious spots now

With summer days well and truly upon us, we’re finding any excuse to indulge in some late summer lunching. If you have plans to get together with a group of friends, family or colleagues to while away the rest of the languid summer days, we suggest booking one of the below recommendations right away.

Bivacco Bar & Grill
Few openings have been as anticipated as this latest Viaduct Harbour destination. Taking up residence where Headquarters once lived, Bivacco feels exactly like the kind of vibe we hope to retain this summer. Here, long lunching finds itself delightfully entangled with aperitivo hour fare, amid an atmosphere that emulates Totti’s in Sydney. Although the venue has a capacity for 300, we recommend booking ASAP — tables here are already a hot commodity. Reservations are available here. Bookings of 14 or more should call 09 801 6505 to confirm.

Sìso
Centring on a contemporary Mediterranean menu, Sìso’s intimate yet roomy interior and tempting sharing dishes are more than enough to entice you to the heart of Remuera. Able to accomodate larger parties too, Sìso’s elevated take on the laid-back local has made it an instant hit with Auckland’s most discerning diners. A night here promises great food and an even better atmosphere. Click here to book now, or email [email protected] for reservations of 12 or more.

Kol.

Kol
Since opening its iconic Ponsonby hospitality address a few weeks ago, Kol — the latest destination from Sid and Chand Sahrawat of Cassia fame serves flavourful, contemporary Indian fare — with a smoky twist. If you haven’t had a chance to visit for a cocktail, snack, or more substantial feast, festive occasions are the perfect excuse. Kol’s upstairs private dining room upstairs is a chic, modern space that seats 20. Enquire here.

Origine
Commercial Bay’s latest darling, the French-inspired bistro Origine, feels like the most fitting destination for celebratory summer affairs. Groups of up to 46 people can be entertained in Le Bar upstairs, the perfect place to send out the year on a delicious note. Parties of up to eight can book here, or email [email protected] for larger group reservations.

The Shed at Te Motu
Find yourself in need of a celebratory destination on Waiheke Island? We’ll gladly suggest The Shed at Te Motu — a restaurant that grounds itself in understated deliciousness. With the vineyard famed for its premium flagship Te Motu blend, the food offering here is the perfect complement. And on the Island’s sunnier days, there are few places we’d rather find ourselves. For bookings larger than eight, call 09 372 6884 or email [email protected].

From left: Saint Alice; Soul Bar & Bistro.

Saint Alice
For sun-soaked sea views and a delicious seafood-centric menu, look nowhere else than Saint Alice. Currently taking group bookings for the restaurant or private hide-away spot Little Alice, don’t miss your chance to be among the buzz of this Viaduct Harbour beauty this festive season. Enquire here for bookings over 10 people, or make a reservation here.

Soul Bar & Bistro
Toast to the year (and wave it a relieved goodbye) the Viaduct Harbour stalwart’s coveted outdoor tables. Here, the destination is the epitome of a celebratory long lunch — where under the guidance of new Bar Manager Katie Cramphorn, celebrations are guaranteed to be lively. Bookings can be made here, or for 15 or more, call the restaurant on 09 356 7249.

Onemata
Park Hyatt Auckland’s Onemata restaurant isn’t just the place for an exceptional meal, it also plays host to discerning private groups, be it for business or pleasure. Choose from a set menu to suit your crew of up to 12 people, including a selection of small, large and dessert dishes. Email [email protected] to book or call 09 366 2500.

Non Solo Pizza.

Non Solo Pizza
Book into this Parnell institution for a well-deserved Italian-style long lunch. The ivy-covered courtyard is always a coveted spot for end-of-year soirées. Enquire here.

Jervois Steak House
Our favourite steakhouse is taking bookings for up to eight people in its restaurant, and also has a private dining room upstairs suitable for twelve seated guests. Its famous menu and cosy environment, complete with rustic brick walls, ensure guests will settle in and feel right at home. Enquire here.

Amano
With a passion for local produce with provenance and Italian-inspired plates, Amano is the place to be any time of day — and especially for a long lunch or festive dinner. Book for up to eight people online and choose between the restaurant’s quay or city sides, or contact the team via email for larger groups. Enquire here.

Mumbaiwala.

Mumbaiwala
Here’s a delightful destination with plenty of space for festive cheer. Since bringing its elevated take on authentic Indian cuisine to Ponsonby earlier this year, we’ve been utterly impressed with the experience. Here, the function room can fit around 20 people seated, or up to 55. For parties larger than eight, email reservations are essential at [email protected].

MoVida
Up above the harbour in Seafarers, MoVida will be serving its delectable menu all December long. Bookings have been a hot commodity since opening, but with enough notice, you’ll be able to celebrate the season under Chef Frank Camorra’s Midas touch. Choose from a selection of Ostro classics alongside seasonally inspired dishes. Book online here or for larger groups call 09 302 9888 or email [email protected].

Masu
The outstanding inner-city Japanese restaurant offers a couple of different options if you’re after a group experience. The Chef’s Kotastu Table is more intimate, backdropped by the large Japanese Dragon created by calligraphy master artist Ushio Sekiguchi, suitable for eight to ten people. Otherwise, for up to 18, book the Masu Obi room. Enquire here.

Azabu Mission Bay.

Azabu Mission Bay
For those who appreciate a sea breeze as they enjoy chilled wine and contemporary fusion fare, we recommend booking into Azabu Mission Bay as soon as possible, and asking for a spot in the Roku Gin Garden where there are always good times to be had. Enquire here.

Prego
Paying a visit to Prego is delightful with any group size, whether in the main restaurant or seated at its iconic giant table, suitable for ten to 16 people. While away the hours at a long lunch or celebratory dinner and bask in Prego’s famed hospitality. Enquire here.

Pōni
Commercial Bay’s resident all-day eatery makes sure to bring the fun alongside Asian fusion fare. Book in for up to six in the main restaurant space, or more in one of Pōni’s intimate areas. Book online here, or for group bookings of 10 or more, email [email protected].

From left: Kingi; The Blue Breeze Inn.

Kingi
This Britomart belle has had some renovations in the last year for an even more comfortable dining experience. Not just taking bookings in the usual restaurant, Kingi also offers an inspired take on festive dining, curated to your needs. Enquire here.

The Tasting Shed
Take a day trip to Kumeu, where The Tasting Shed will see you well taken care of for a group shindig. Book The Grotto, for lunch or dinner with up to 30 others, or The Cabana for its semi-open-air setting and enjoy great food with impeccable ambience. Enquire here.

The Blue Breeze Inn
Visiting Blue Breeze is always a good time, and for groups of eight or more a set menu of the Inn’s most popular dishes takes any hassle out of ordering for the table — or you can order à la carte. If you’re after a more discreet dining experience we recommend booking the exclusive dining booth, secluded enough while still feeling like you’re part of the fun. Suitable for a minimum of eight and up to ten people. Email [email protected].

From left: Beau; Cotto

Beau
Three Lamps wine bar Beau reserves most of its cosy space for walk-ins, but it does take bookings for six people or more in its upstairs private dining room. It also caters for group bookings in the sweet courtyard, which is primed for a sunny lunch or an al fresco evening meal under heaters. Enquire here.

Cotto
While handmade pasta haven Cotto caters well to groups in its Karangahape Road space, thanks to a plethora of large tables, those after a more intimate experience would do well to book the restaurant’s upstairs dining room. With light streaming onto its cosy red walls and central city location, it’s the perfect space for a special event and is suitable for up to 50, seated. Enquire here.

Roses Dining Room
Having officially opened last week to its first chef-in-residence dinner, and swiftly selling out the next, Roses is the intimate dining room we’re hoping to hold plenty of festive celebrations at all summer long. Designed to reflect a cosy dinner with your closest friends, this private 24-seater dining room on Karangahape Road can be hired with or without the Cooked Plates catering talents in the kitchen. Private reservations can be made here.

Gastronomy

Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop
Ahi is raising the bar with the introduction of its new, alcohol-free wild sodas