A small restaurant with big flavours and a brave heart.


Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday to Sunday – and with an evening menu from 2pm – this is a clever, casual restaurant that is sharp, current and for people who really love good food.


There are snacks, plus smaller and larger dishes, and seriously good sides. If the doughnuts with creamed pāua and horseradish mayo weren’t being fried to order we would have ordered extra so as to continue to indulge at home. If the specials board offers chef Jordi’s much-applauded tempura-fried prawn- and-crayfish-stuffed courgette flowers, we suggest you don’t pass them by. The lamb ribs are packed with flavour beneath their smoky coat of char and they’re splendid even without the lip-smacking apple glaze and olive gremolata. If ever there were a good reason to share your food it is the duo of duck frites: a super-generous platter showcasing two duck breasts rolled and stuffed with a superb duck sausage, sliced and splayed – like a juicy deck of edible cards – around a mountain of garlic and pecorino duck-fat fries. A side salad of crunchita leaves was outstanding with its pristine crisp leaves fabulously drenched in a fresh herb and citrus vinaigrette and, if you go in for the big finish, the pear tarte tatin is also best shared – but only if you really have to.


Co-owner Jordan MacDonald will be familiar to Culprit, Lowbrow and Nook fans – you may even remember him back in the day at Fed Deli and Depot – and he has given Auckland’s CBD some vital injections of innovation and fun across the years. Now at Duo he is comfortable in his craft, cooking with vigour and great depth and he is clearly a chef with terrific form. His ability to deliver exciting plates packed with fresh vibrant colours, smells and tastes has him changing the menu often and chalking up a specials blackboard that is generous and interesting.


Duo’s co-owner Sarah MacDonald is undeniably a hospitality pro and leads a team that is the epitome of everything you will want and need in a small owner/ operator establishment that is designed to celebrate the everyday. Much of the wine list is available by the glass and everyone on the floor can confidently suggest your perfect choice to pair with their big-flavoured menu.

ADDRESS: 138 Hinemoa Street, Birkenhead, Auckland
Check website for opening hours
MAINS: $37 – $42
CONTACT: 027 213 8591