AUCKLAND

For a fix of Rome you need to try Romulus & Remus, now settling in on Richmond Road for aperitivi, espresso, brunch and dinner. Farewell and good luck to Kira Ghidoni who finishes up after 2½ years at The Grove, latterly as head chef, and welcome to Ryan Moore who takes over the reins. Besos Latinos ‘Latin Kisses’ has just opened its second city centre eatery on on Halsey Street in Wynyard Quarter; see out the summer with delicious seafood and ceviche from chef Luis Cabrera. Stretch your legs and head to Whau Café located inside a heritage  building high on Mount Eden.

Enjoy eye- stretching views alongside contemporary  kai, showcasing Māori influence and traditional Māori ingredients. Williams Eatery says hi to new head chef Elie Assaf, known as the man behind  the extremely successful burger pop- up, Five Boroughs. Hugo Baird of Grey  Lynn favourite Honey Bones has a new venture just a few doors down Richmond Road. Lilian hits the spot of welcoming neighbourhood wine bar and osteria, offering authentic, no-frills European cuisine. For your next coffee stop in Auckland’s CBD, scoot along to Morsel, a tiny spot tucked away down Durham Lane. Make your way to the lower level of Orakei Bay Village to find Copia, a new eatery owned by chefs Ken O’Connell and Sam Sykes. The folk from Riverhead’s Hallertau brewery have opened a second site in Clevedon, on the site of the old  Clevedon Hotel & Pub. There’s a family- friendly biergarten and, from April, a  new brewhouse focussing on seasonal and experimental beers. Look out for the bright red shack at the Auckland Fish Market: Lobster & Tap specialises in Canadian wild-caught lobster stuffed liberally into a buttered bun. Ponsonby Road’s Scandal sports pan-Asian dishes, with influences spanning Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand. Catch VT Station in Newmarket – by the people behind 1947 the menu promises authentic flavours from across India. Parnell favourite Barulho has expanded into larger premises next door on Faraday Street, with the old site now operating as Fonda, a Mexican dining bar. Authentic South African street food is the mainstay at D’urban Delites up on Oteha Valley Road in Albany. We’re told the bunny chow is the best.

WELLINGTON

We’re delighted to hear that El Matador has reopened following a kitchen fire in November. Shepherd‘s Burger Wellington pop up sensation Goldburger is back and serving it’s famous cheeseburgers from a brand new food truck in Hannahs Laneway from Wednesday to Sunday. New Zealand’s first dedicated mac (of mac ‘n’ cheese fame) eatery in Petone, Wholy Mac has a menu featuring nine different types of macaroni dishes. Mockingbird, on the site formerly housing Basque, serves sangria, an impressive craft beer and cider range and a very impressive plant-based menu.

NELSON

For Nelson’s newest sushi, try Kimchi & Wasabi on Trafalgar St. Also have a taste of their selection of Japanese and Korean-inspired hot food.

CHRISTCHURCH

Castro’s Tapas is perched on the top floor of Riverside Market, offering tapas, paella and sangria among other Spanish-inspired dishes. New to Fitzgerald Ave is roastery and cafe C4, moving from their former place on Tuam St. There’s a second branch of successful Christchurch sushi restaurant Nori Table; now also in Kaiapoi they’ll still be serving plenty of sushi rolls in unusual flavour combinations. Expert coffee roaster Bink Bowler, is roasting all the beans onsite at his new cafe, Belle, on the corner of Armagh St and New Regent Sts.

WANAKA

With seating for 100 people and boasting Wanaka’s largest tap selection with 16 beers, b.social in Anderson Heights is the new venture from James Hay of b.effect brewing company.

X