There is a new owner and new menu at Sidart with new owner/executive chef Lesley Chandra at the helm – while the team and the format of the menu remain the same, the Indian-inspired flavours are married with contemporary cooking techniques and a Fijian-Indian twist, in a nod to chef Chandra’s heritage. As if you really needed another excuse to head to the beach, newcomer The Muriwai Deli – inside the 99-year- old Muriwai Lodge – has sandwiches, toasties and sweets brought to you by the folk behind two awesome truck faves, Double Shot and Double Parked. Chancery Lane is home to a micro ice-cream parlour/bar, Hawte (Have a Wonderful Time Every Time), home of slow-churned boozy flavours such as Nutella and spiced rum, ice-cream milkshakes and soda pops. Taco Medic is already legendary in Queenstown and it’s set to uphold its reputation in Ponsonby – described as a craft taqueria, it has not only freshly-made-to-order tacos but nachos and sides to load up on, too. The Fox is a London-inspired gastropub in the heart of the Viaduct – not your usual grubby boozer though, the cocktails are on point and worth a visit in themselves. The Poni Room in Commercial Bay has been relaunched as Pōni with a new elegant interior, an all-day offering of mainly Japanese and Chinese plates and a top wine list. Kélian Monteil and Alexis Petit (of Amber and Wander) have a new venture Atelier in the heart of K Rd (in the old post office), which focusses on French techniques and dishes showcasing New Zealand’s top-quality produce. We look forward to seeing what’s coming on the rooftop of the Sudima Hotel on Nelson St: we’ve heard whispers of Palm Springs styling, a plant-based menu and cocktails as special as the forever views. When you’re heading to Botany look out for Blend, a café that turns the usual cabinet selection on its head and fuels you up for anything. One of Auckland’s favourite bakers, Maya Handley – formerly known for her sourdough delivery service specialising in sustainably produced loaves made from wholegrain, organic and chemical- free flour – has new premises in Grey Lynn now known as Florets. Take a classic Kiwi pie married with soft, buttery roti paratha and South Asian and Indian flavours and you get Roti Bros pies, now serving in Commercial Bay – get there for the Red Thai Duck Curry and you won’t regret it. Formerly in the CBD, No. 1 Pancake has shifted its Korean- style pancakes or ‘hotteok’ to Airborne Rd, Rosedale. Frat’s Pizza is the new-ish joint on New North Road by Guil Bezerra, offering fancy dancy sourdough slices with flavour twists to keep you coming back.

From Tejas Nikam of Paddock to Plate Waikato, Bull & Bear is a new restaurant based on the Wall Street Stock Exchange with the prices of food and beverage shifting up and down according to demand.

A new taphouse has opened its doors as The Beer Engine brings its local brews to Titahi Bay.

Orchard Wine Bar in Carterton is a wee spot with a great vibe and just the ticket to drop in for a drink and a bite. On the square in Martinborough (in the lovely building where Wine Bank used to be), say hi to Karahui Wine Bar & Eatery. The owners of Pinocchio in Greytown have already brought us the Aperitif Wine Shop and next up is the soon- to-open Aperitif Wine Bar – we look forward to raising a glass with you.

If you’ve noticed the shutters go down at Evil Twins Café in Vivian St, don’t despair, your favourite caffeine slingers have moved to new digs in Willis St. Coming soon to Tory St is Mabel’s, for Burmese eats and culture, good vibes, full bellies and yum drinks. A part of the recent ‘brain gain’, Marcus Verberne is returning to Dunedin after 20 years in London and will take up the post as head chef at Nova – with a resume that includes Le Caprice, The Ivy and Brown’s Hotel we’re super- excited to see what’s coming up. It’s back to Gran’s for a drink at Kuikui Lane, no not a sweet sherry or a nice cup of tea, but the capital’s newest gin and cocktails inspired by the warmth, quiet and strength the owners drew from their nanas. Shaun Clouston and Steve Logan put their considerable talents to good use with their venture Liberty in Cuba Street, and we’re raring to go try it. Watch out for the vintage Airstream in the hub of Paraparaumu Beach and you’ll find Salty’s Diner, the new spot from the Food Folk. Over in Miramar, there’s a second branch of Swimsuit Coffee continuing to bring us the coffee we love (and need).

Aussie Tex-Mex chain El Camino Cantina has its first Kiwi joint in the rapidly developing Upper Village hub at the foot of the gondola – with a margarita list to wow you to the top and back, it’s big and banging, so party on.