Good Food Awards Reviews

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WINNERS

Palate

HAMILTON. Palate is a restaurant that consistently produces well-thought-out and executed dishes matched perfectly with thoughtful, knowledgeable service, a fabulous wine list and a beautiful riverside setting.

Elephant Hill

HAWKE'S BAY. The modernist winery building captures stupendous views, your eyes sweeping down through rows of vines to the cliffs and ocean beyond.

Charley Noble

WELLINGTON. This classy bistro is doing what it does very well. And what it does is hearty fare prepared in a trad, uncomplicated manner, using quality ingredients.

Amisfield Bistro

Vaughan Mabee invents New Zealand haute cuisine with an accent that speaks of the Central Otago landscape and lifestyle.

Noble Rot

WELLINGTON. The wine list, overseen by sommelier Maciej Zimny, is Noble Rot’s pièce de résistance ... it has no peer, and rightly wins a lot of plaudits.

Cocoro

AUCKLAND. The Cocoro experience verges on faultless. From the moment you arrive at their door you are enveloped in a calmness and a serenity that extends from the charming welcome from co-owner Ricky Lee, and continues with understated service throughout the meal.

Depot

AUCKLAND. Depot has become a great fixture on Federal Street and, judging by the consistent number of diners, its popularity hasn’t waned.

Gemmayze St

AUCKLAND. Something exciting happens at the back of K’ Road’s atmospheric St Kevin’s Arcade of an evening, with a street-dining-meets-palm-court ambience and superb Lebanese home cooking.

Logan Brown

WELLINGTON. Beautiful bold colours of apple-cured Ōra King salmon with rhubarb kimchi and salmon caviar. Local Kāpiti crab with crispy-skinned line-caught gurnard.

CLOONEY

AUCKLAND. Clooney has always been an elegant and atmospheric venue, particularly for special occasion dining.

CASSIA

AUCKLAND. Cassia continues to win accolades for bringing casual and contemporary Indian cooking to the table, for its exemplary service and delivering satisfaction with flair but without gimmicks or artifice. It’s a quirky space, with low ceilings and a mod-industrial vibe.

3 HATS

Kazuya

AUCKLAND. It’s a rare thing to dine out and come away feeling utterly content. Yet put yourself in the hands of chef-owner Kazuya Yamauchi and you’re in for a degustation, every mouthful of which is utterly delicious.

Cocoro

AUCKLAND. The Cocoro experience verges on faultless. From the moment you arrive at their door you are enveloped in a calmness and a serenity that extends from the charming welcome from co-owner Ricky Lee, and continues with understated service throughout the meal.

CLOONEY

AUCKLAND. Clooney has always been an elegant and atmospheric venue, particularly for special occasion dining.

2 HATS

Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery

The energy and interest exhibited by head chef Riki Day at Urban Eatery is a delight, his willingness to share his ideas with customers is evident as he presents each dish from the well-resolved fusion menu.

Palate

HAMILTON. Palate is a restaurant that consistently produces well-thought-out and executed dishes matched perfectly with thoughtful, knowledgeable service, a fabulous wine list and a beautiful riverside setting.

Elephant Hill

HAWKE'S BAY. The modernist winery building captures stupendous views, your eyes sweeping down through rows of vines to the cliffs and ocean beyond.

Amisfield Bistro

Vaughan Mabee invents New Zealand haute cuisine with an accent that speaks of the Central Otago landscape and lifestyle.

Noble Rot

WELLINGTON. The wine list, overseen by sommelier Maciej Zimny, is Noble Rot’s pièce de résistance ... it has no peer, and rightly wins a lot of plaudits.

Logan Brown

WELLINGTON. Beautiful bold colours of apple-cured Ōra King salmon with rhubarb kimchi and salmon caviar. Local Kāpiti crab with crispy-skinned line-caught gurnard.

Sidart

AUCKLAND. Each year the status of Sid Sahrawat (pictured) increases exponentially. His creativity flourishes, his menus continue to draw high praise, his mastery of innovative cooking is undeniable and his propensity for delivering stunningly beautiful and thoughtful food shows no sign of abating.

The Grill by Sean Connolly

AUCKLAND. Dining at The Grill can be a seamless and rewarding experience, from the neat-as-a-pin service to the excellent quality of the food.

The Sugar Club

AUCKLAND. Restaurants at top-of-the-tower tourist sights rarely excite, but thankfully The Sugar Club wows for so much more than the view.

APÉRO

AUCKLAND. Walk into the welcoming brick-walled, wooden-floored space of Apéro and let the trials of the day slip away – you feel like you are getting a big warming hug as co-owner Mo Koski looks after you.

CASSIA

AUCKLAND. Cassia continues to win accolades for bringing casual and contemporary Indian cooking to the table, for its exemplary service and delivering satisfaction with flair but without gimmicks or artifice. It’s a quirky space, with low ceilings and a mod-industrial vibe.

Pescatore

When dining out, it always makes you feel good to be in the hands of staff who are friendly and professional; at Pescatore they have this down to a tee, but they are also enthusiastic and quietly proud of the food.

Ortega Fish Shack

WELLINGTON. It’s no wonder that Ortega is busy most nights; the food is excellent without being too fancy, the drinks list is worthy of serious exploration and you know you will be well looked after.

Craggy Range Restaurant

HAWKE'S BAY. Under the helm of Casey McDonald, the kitchen turns out well-presented dishes loaded with home-grown vegetables, salad ingredients, herbs and other locally sourced Hawke’s Bay produce.

Pacifica

HAWKE'S BAY. Don’t be fooled by the low-key, laid-back beach villa exterior.

Bistronomy

HAWKE'S BAY. Chef-owner James Beck crafts complex dishes, layering many intricate components into a seamless whole.

1 HATS

BRACU

AUCKLAND. This elegant old villa sits serenely in an olive grove on the Simunovich Estate, just 40 minutes south of Auckland in the Bombays.

CAZADOR

AUCKLAND. Meat lovers rejoice. At Cazador game is a speciality so expect to see a menu bursting with the likes of hare, venison, quail and goat (though there’s usually a fish and vegetarian option, too). 

Charley Noble

WELLINGTON. This classy bistro is doing what it does very well. And what it does is hearty fare prepared in a trad, uncomplicated manner, using quality ingredients.

Depot

AUCKLAND. Depot has become a great fixture on Federal Street and, judging by the consistent number of diners, its popularity hasn’t waned.

Gemmayze St

AUCKLAND. Something exciting happens at the back of K’ Road’s atmospheric St Kevin’s Arcade of an evening, with a street-dining-meets-palm-court ambience and superb Lebanese home cooking.

Culprit

AUCKLAND. A commitment to less-loved cuts and a strong emphasis on Kiwi produce are the principles guiding chef-owners Jordan MacDonald and Kyle Street (pictured).

Gusto at the Grand

AUCKLAND. A bar, cafe and hotel-lobby restaurant space all in one, Gusto caters for all occasions and all times of day.

Masu by Nic Watt

AUCKLAND. Knowledgeable waitstaff welcome diners to the classy, no-expense-spared dining room at Masu, a sophisticated, Japanese robata restaurant in the SkyCity dining precinct.

O’Connell St Bistro

AUCKLAND. After more than 20 years service O’Connell St Bistro truly deserves the kudos of an Auckland icon – a favourite that consistently serves up just what you want with a gentle surprise to keep your interest.

Pasta & Coure

AUCKLAND. You won’t get fresher pasta than this, made right in front of you while you check out the menu and consider a glass of wine.

The Engine Room

AUCKLAND. Since 2006, Natalia Schamroth and Carl Koppenhagen have been giving us a quintessential neighbourhood bistro – classic dishes done well in a warm and welcoming environment.

The Bistro

Make a beeline for this small restaurant sitting comfortably in the heart of the central shopping centre.

Chim Choo Ree

HAMILTON. Chim Choo Ree has been a popular Hamilton eatery for a while, with many customers returning time and architecture is complemented by unfussy décor.

Salty Pidgin

WELLINGTON. Occupying a beautiful spot on a north-facing slope in Brooklyn, Salty Pidgin straddles the line between neighbourhood drinking hole (albeit a rather stylish one) and chic eatery.

Rita

WELLINGTON. At Rita they have thrown away the menu, leaving diners with little to debate – all you decide is whether to plump for vegetarian or not, if you want to add a side or two and what you’d like to drink.

WBC

WELLINGTON. The industrial bones of this former boot factory show through in the high stud and floor-to-ceiling windows of the vibrant, hip room, now enhanced by banquette seating, large blackboards and an open kitchen.

Shepherd

WELLINGTON. Shepherd performs that neat trick – unprepossessing from the outside, exciting within.

BADUZZI

AUCKLAND. At Baduzzi they serve up rustic Italian New York-inspired food of traditional dishes executed in brilliant modern style.

Azabu

AUCKLAND. At buzzy, sophisticated Azabu the Japanese-Peruvian (Nikkei) food is inspired and beautifully executed, with chef Yukio Ozeki delivering a fun and interesting menu.

Chillingworth Road

Leave behind the unassuming upper Cranford Street strip mall, and sidle through the bistro and bar to reach a dramatic, glamourous dining space with ruched wall coverings, black cord room dividers and glittery chandeliers.

Arbour

Owners Liz Buttimore and Bradley Hornby continue to champion the themes of foraging, seasonal ingredients and distinctly regional fare, now offering a new iteration of three-, four- or seven-course fixed menus.

Gatherings

Alex Davies passionately believes in food that is sustainable, local and seasonal, and here he tells the story behind each menu item.

Botswana Butchery – QT

Velvet-upholstered armchairs, quirky, meat cleaver door handles, lush wallpaper and lots of fireplaces – great for an Otago winter – make Botswana Butchery a very welcoming spot on the Queenstown waterfront.

Rata

Rata oozes the essence of New Zealand: warm and relaxed, yet elegant and served with a pinch of fun.

Loretta

WELLINGTON. Loretta, born from the partnership that brought Floriditas to Wellington, is now fully under the management and creative talent of Chef Marc Weir.

Field & Green

WELLINGTON. Step into this gallery-like space in Wellington’s self-styled ‘arts precinct’ and you’ll appreciate the skill of Raechal Ferguson and Laura Greenfield (pictured left to right).

Chameleon

WELLINGTON. Chameleon is the perfect place to shake off the aura of dining in a hotel restaurant.

Capitol

WELLINGTON. Capitol offers seasonally based, comforting European-inspired food, cooked with skill.

Amayjen

The pared-back black-and-white restaurant exterior doesn’t begin to hint at the warmth of the welcome inside this well-respected fine-dining restaurant.

Te Awa Winery Restaurant

HAWKE'S BAY. So many chefs chant the fresh, locally sourced produce mantra, but Stephen Tindall (pictured) and Leyton Ashley genuinely serve up the goods, with a hefty dollop of originality and innovation.

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