Somewhere stylishly grand and sophisticated to while away a few hours. Start with cocktails from a creative line-up, sit back and be wowed by the expertly considered dishes from one of Aotearoa’s most celebrated chefs.


Michelin- starred chef-patron Josh Emett has a formidable reputation built on experience in highly regarded kitchens around the world. He already has a hand in many restaurants here but Onslow is the first he has fully owned and operated outside of his long- time business partnership with Fleur  Caulton. Arguably Onslow reveals where Emett’s food direction is heading.


There’s something on the Onslow menu to suit every preference. An abundance of fish includes a marvellous play on the traditional éclair, this rendition filled with Fiordland crayfish, which brings an instant smile. There is a perfectly formed trevally crudo in a pool of grapeseed oil and a flotsam of candied ginger. Fried chicken makes an appearance with caviar getting a cameo and there is a rather succulent slow-cooked pork belly served with a cleverly executed roll of Swiss chard.

A highlight for me was the playful lamb’s tongue schnitzel with capers and fennel and I would happily order the roasted Cambridge duck breast again. Dessert on this night was a picturesque cannelé de Bordeaux of poached pear with sea-salt caramel. All in all, a menu of familiar ingredients given a twist; some uncommon, others more exotic but all executed to a very high standard.


There is no disputing the credentials of chef Josh Emett. It’s unlikely you would be asked to judge a high-profile cooking show if there was any doubt over your credibility. And you wouldn’t secure the backing required to open numerous eateries simultaneously if reliability or competency were an issue. Yet, in a world of self-aggrandisement, Emett stands out as one of the good guys, a gentler, more modest culinary giant without unnecessary chutzpah. He clearly enjoys classic combinations, is passionate about local produce and has an eye for detail.


One key player on the Onslow team is Helen Emett, co- owner and wife of Josh. Helen has clear  views about the nature of the dining experience she wants her guests to have, and has listed service and attention to detail as key to ensuring Onslow diners take home good memories that go beyond just food and drink. Head chef Glen File has a wealth of experience overseas and in high-profile local kitchens such as Baduzzi and Boulcott St Bistro, and is well placed to support Emett. File lists his style as ‘classic comfort food full of flavour, simple and stylish’.


A stunning dining room that speaks of high-class Asian décor, touches of Scandi simplicity and a brooding private-club ambience – it is spacious, comfortable and classy. Second, is the bravery of the salmon gravadlax trolley. Serving food from a tray wheeled to your table is a ritual previously found in the upmarket formal eateries of old where if it wasn’t pretentious, it wasn’t worth a visit. At Onslow it is a charming and appealing point of difference, an extra talking point that is perfectly suited to the guest- focussed mantra they have created.