At last Auckland can boast a true brasserie in the style of New York’s famed Balthazar, or maybe the grand La Coupole in Paris.


An experience as glamorous as you’d wish or as casual as you might choose, stretching right through the day and into the evening. One thing’s for sure, the food is deceptively simple with loads of flavour, plenty of imagination and inspired by a contemporary interpretation of classic dining in top brasseries around the globe.


Whether you choose to snack at the bar with a crayfish club sandwich over excellent cocktails (highly recommended), lunch lightly with a glass of wine or order a feast fit for a king, there’s a concise but clever menu. Sicilian crudo, with fresh tuna, salmon and kingfish, expertly dressed with capers, lemon and olive oil is hard to go past. Other smart choices are the classic seafood cocktail with perfectly spiced marie rose sauce, a triple cheese soufflé and maybe the best rendition of baked oysters in the entire world. Especially noteworthy is the choice of salads – only Glen File would care enough to plate the fresh Gilt Cobb salad so well, and every diner should order one or two of his tomato schnitzel dish. Of the three brilliant pasta dishes the crab pappardelle is sublime, and the casarecce of pork and duck is tasty and satisfying. Traditional brasserie mains bear a playful touch: orange roast duck with frites is almost defyingly huge and the crumbed lamb cutlets are accompanied by an almondy yoghurt sauce with the savoury touch of fried sage leaves. For the meat choices, the rib eye on the bone, minute steak or grilled pork scotch all come cooked perfectly.



The star executive chef Glen File oversees both Onslow and Gilt restaurants and has one of the best and most imaginative palates in the city. Taste rules in a good kitchen and with head chef Jamie Hogg Wharekawa at the helm there are plenty of excellent tastes that are spot-on made with the finest ingredients they can source.


Owners Helen and Josh Emett (Onslow and Waiheke’s Oyster Inn) have put together a brilliant team for both service and the kitchen. Expect slick service from experienced professionals, good advice on food and the vast wine list, and prompt delivery from a kitchen that’s well-coordinated and perfectly in sync with dining room and bar.


If you can, finish with a donut sandwich with dulce de leche or rum baba, but you may be tempted by some sweet dessert wine from Gilt’s extensive wine list. Wine, like everything offered at Gilt, is bound to please those on a restricted spend with a good selection of wines by the glass or carafe or, at the other end of the dining spectrum, some beauties by the bottle from around the world that might raise eyebrows at more than $600 for the sought after Gaja Barbaresco, or a California Silver Oak cab sav.

ADDRESS: 2 Chancery St, Auckland
Check website for opening hours
MAINS: $36 – $72
CONTACT: 09 300 3126