ADDRESS: 854 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland
DINNER: Tue – Sat
CONTACT: 09 620 8730
SCORE: 17 / 20
Cazador is Spanish for ‘to hunt game’ and it’s the ethos at the heart of this family-run restaurant. Going back 30 years to where it began, founder Tony Lolaiy, a hunter/gatherer turned chef, would catch and skilfully prepare game to serve to meat- loving patrons in his restaurant. He has since handed over the reins to his equally capable son and daughter-in-law, Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt (pictured), who take pride in sourcing wild, premium-quality sustainable meats. The food is well cooked with a strong bent towards Middle Eastern and Italian influences, well suited to the gamey meats on offer. The pan-roasted venison fillet is served with a Pedro Ximénez marinade offset by a bitter witlof and glazed with pinenuts and raisins. There are also seafood and vegetarian options if meaty artisan fare is not your thing. Have a wine or, even better, a sherry from their small but perfectly formed drinks list.