A bright star in the busy Commercial Bay dining hub that delivers a menu with a strong contemporary New Zealand food focus, expertly prepared and presented.


Ahi is the ideal restaurant for those of us who enjoy innovation and creativity but also expect refined technique, carefully curated menus and a satisfying night out. It is also an upbeat, cleverly designed dining room that takes advantage of views of the Auckland waterfront.


There’s a strong clue to the Ahi food philosophy alongside each of the main course descriptions on the menu. There, in keeping with Ben Bayly’s promise, the regional origin of the primary ingredient is proudly stated. This fidelity to purpose shines through in every single dish. Tahr from the South Island high country is given the tartare treatment and it’s phenomenal. So, too, is the crayfish soup – rich and flavourful and tasting strongly of crayfish, just as we might expect. The Pukekohe quail with its brown-sugar glaze is outstanding and is presented beautifully butterflied to enable boneless eating. When others are satisfied to live off wagyu’s reputation for flavour, Bayly has found a way to enhance his rendition. Sourced from Canterbury, the short rib in its pan juices is tender to the point of melting, while the fillet and tendon shine in the company of the zucchini purée and young leek sushi. Not only is this technically strong food executed with admirable precision, but it is hearty, tasty and memorable, too.


The first time we experienced Ben Bayly’s food at The Grove, we recognised how skilful he is at producing dishes that are built around expert technique, look good and eat well. Since then we have watched him further refine and take greater risks with his creations at The Grove, Baduzzi, The Grounds and Aosta. In each of these restaurants we have enjoyed observing him fine-tune his food philosophy and seen his confidence grow. Ahi is another important step in his developing reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest kitchen craftsmen and an opportunity to experience first-hand the flourish of Bayly’s significant talent.


The Ahi team adds considerable value to the experience. In the kitchen a vastly experienced brigade lead by the phenomenal Mike Shatura provides creative input and valuable support. Out front, the highly regarded Chris Martin manages the floor seamlessly, bringing polished service that ensures needs are anticipated and expectations are well met.


The Ahi dining room offers fantastic views over the inner city. Tables are well spaced and the world-class bar is reason enough to make a visit. The service is provided by a team forged from some of Auckland’s most knowledgeable and highly experienced service professionals.