AUCKLAND

The second outpost of Lowbrow is now in full swing in the heart of St Kevin’s Arcade, dishing up our favourite wings and the tastiest hot sandwiches in town. Formerly the Northern Steamship, but now relaunched as The Brit gastro-pub with six big screens and pool tables – so dine-and-dash or make a night of it. Grocery store Sprout the Grocer has opened in Birkenhead with fill-your-own foodstuffs plus household essentials that promote a plastic-free lifestyle. Fijian-born Bertrand Jang has opened his first permanent space in Onehunga, Sweet & Me, offering home-baked sweets inspired by the Islands. We’ll watch Nic Watt’s new venture Akarana Eatery with keen interest. Tucked away within a marina setting, this all-day spot is full of promise. Also from Nic is new Peruvian-style Inca at Westfield Newmarket. Scoot along to day-time café Rebel Rebel on Fanshawe St for Spanish all-day brunch and Sicilian tapas-style dishes. Ponsonby’s Maloca specialises in Brazilian coffee, filter brewed and beautifully presented in a peaceful space away from the hustle and bustle. Hamilton’s doughnut divas, Mama’s Donuts, are now at Hillcrest on the North Shore and we’ve heard a whisper that there will be a South Auckland branch coming soon, too. 

 

Hamilton’s doughnut divas, Mama’s Donuts, are now at Hillcrest on the North Shore and we’ve heard a whisper that there will be a South Auckland branch coming soon, too. Favourite food truck, The Rolling Pin, has found permanent digs in Wynyard Quarter, bringing us not only their famous dumplings but bao buns and noodles, too. Whether you’re after brunch, a bite at lunchtime or a late-night snack, Takapuna’s new Mortar and Pestle has all the classics with a few fun Indian touches. For a short stay only, The Greenhouse on Williamson Ave, is a spacious, airy and bustling branch of Daily Bread, with all the top-notch pastries and loaves that we’ve come to love. Mt Wellington Highway isn’t high on the radar for good eats, but Rebecca McRobie of Epsom’s Flour Mill, is set to change that with her new neon and pastel-hued café, Lola. Japanese Lantern Street Bar is new in Kingsland, serving street-style dishes and aburi, the flame-seared speciality cooked using burning straw.

WELLINGTON

Tucked away off Ghuznee Street, The Puffin is an intimate, classy wine bar from Sean Golding (Golding’s Free Dive, Shepherd) and Hannah Wells. Tauranga brewery Funk Estate is returning to the capital, where it all started. Its Vivian St fillery can sort you out with keg-only seasonal releases for takeaway in riggers as well as the top-brew favourites in cans.

CANTERBURY

Fiddler’s Green Vineyard in Waipara now has a bistro headed by Viv van den Bosch formerly of Koura Bay Lodge, Kaikoura. Josh Rogal and Valentina Velidchenko have taken the reins as the new owners of Akaroa’s The Little Bistro.

CHRISTCHURCH

The new Riverside Market complex is all set and among the new hires are Empire Chicken of food-truck fame, and Cluck Cluck Slurp, billed as one part rotisserie, one part ramen house. Vices and Virtues, at the new Sudima hotel in the central city, offers sustainable fare and local wines. After satisfying the appetite of the good folks of Sumner, Bohemian Bakery now has a new city pad on High St.