Ember Bistro

Meet Ember and The Aviary — the impressive new restaurant and bar that have just opened in the city

Auckland’s dining landscape has just welcomed two exciting additions to its vibrant scene with the unveiling of Ember bistro and The Aviary cocktail bar. Taking up coveted positions within the Grand Millennium Auckland Hotel on Mayoral Drive, these venues promise an elevated experience for both food enthusiasts and cocktail connoisseurs alike, and are the perfect spots at which to park up for a pre-theatre drink or bite. 

Left: Fig, labne & prosciutto

Ember sets the stage as a relaxed and welcoming bistro, drawing inspiration from an array of culinary influences designed to celebrate the spirit of travel that is so inherently tied to its setting. Spearheaded by esteemed New Zealand Chef James Kenny, Ember’s menu is a testament to his diverse culinary experience spanning from Paris to Greece to London (where he worked at Gordon Ramsay’s The Boxwood) to Copenhagen (which included a stint at the legendary Noma) and beyond. Here, Kenny and his team, led by Head Chef Aaron Hyett, aim to captivate diners with a fusion of technique, indulgence and flavour. 

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Standout small dishes include a scampi toast topped with pineapple hot sauce, a fried potato terrine with salt and vinegar kiwi onion dip, some ricotta and spinach dumplings with goats cheese and some corn ribs served with kombu salt and lime. Those seeking something more substantial, however, will be hard-pressed to pass up the Matangi beef with green peppercorn and beef-fat chimichurri, or the half spatchcock chicken served with chicken gravy and jalapeno cornbread, or the shoulder of lamb covered in a delectable burnt honey glaze.

Conveniently located just a five-minute stroll from Auckland’s theatre district, Ember offers theatre- and movie-goers an ideal spot for pre or post-show food and drinks. Designed by the renowned Izzard Design, the bistro boasts a spacious 144-seat setting, perfect for all-day dining experiences, whether indulging in a leisurely breakfast, a long lunch, or savouring some pre-show delights. True to its name, Ember exudes an ambience of warmth and conviviality, and has quickly established itself as an inviting place where all are welcome to bask in the glow of shared meals and animated conversations. It is the kind of venue one might imagine creating many happy memories with loved ones or friends over some seriously delicious food. 

Right: Crudo fish

Adjacent to Ember sits The Aviary Cocktail Bar, which invites patrons into a world of elegance and sophistication. Set within the Grand Millenium’s atrium, this lobby bar (also designed by Izzard Design), offers a relaxed setting for solo sippers and groups alike. With an array of creative cocktails featuring ingredients like butterfly pea tea, The Aviary is more than your typical cocktail bar; it offers a sensory journey through the art of mixology. Noteworthy libations include the Me’n’u cocktail, a finalist at the 2023 Campari Red Hands competition, which tantalises the palate with coffee and white chocolate, the Furesshu Fizi, where cucumber and mint are presented in an effervescent melange that was inspired by Japanese zen gardens, and the Rosalita, a bold and invigorating cocktail that combines chilli and zesty elements with sweet mango.

The Aviary Cocktail Bar

Helmed by an Irish bartender, Thomas Shortt, The Aviary also offers a touch of Celtic charm with Guinness on tap and a line-up of Irish dessert-style cocktails (like the Caife Atha Cliath, a rich combination of whiskey with vanilla, salt and coffee).

Now that Ember and The Aviary have joined the esteemed culinary offerings within The Grand Millennium Auckland Hotel, (alongside Katsura Japanese Cuisine and sensory dining experience Dans le Noir), Auckland’s discerning diners would do well to pay this Mayoral Drive gem a visit. There, discover impeccable design, great service, creative and sophisticated menus and an unwavering commitment to hospitality.

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Ember bistro & The Aviary Cocktail Bar

Grand Millennium Auckland Hotel
71 Mayoral Drive



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