Foodies, start getting hungry - Auckland's Restaurant Month is back in August and it's bigger than ever.
It's the 10th anniversary of the month-long event, which showcases the best of the city's dining scene with carefully selected set menus at various eateries.
Over 175 different restaurants are set to take part, with menus at $15, $25, $20 and $55+ price points. A Chef's Table event series is also planned.
Over four weeks, eight chefs and restaurateurs including Sid Sahrawat, Michael Dearth, Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald will be hosting intimate events held in a private section of their restaurants.
Viv Beck, Heart of the City's chief executive, says it's a great way to experience some great gastronomy, as well as support local business after a tough period for the hospitality industry.
"We might not be able to travel but our taste buds can - so it's a fantastic way to celebrate our tenth birthday," said Beck.
Here are Heart of the City's top menu picks around the city, fit for every price point and any occasion:
$15 or less
Kai Eatery | $15 for a dinner & lunch
Auckland's original Taiwanese XL fried chicken destination, Kai Eatery is inspired by the Night Street Markets of Taipei and is famous for its authentic Taiwanese street food and drinks. Their $15 Restaurant Month menu offer includes tasty chicken bites with shoestring fries and a can of coke.
All the $15 or less menu offers can be viewed online.
Scarecrow | $25 for a 2 course dinner & lunch
For Scarecrow, great food isn't just about the ingredients; it's about where it comes from, who makes it, how it makes its way to the plate, and finally, how it's enjoyed. Check out their $25 three-course lunch menu which includes a black chia and vegetable kofte entrée as well as a poached tamarillo dessert with muscovado, black sesame glass and vanilla coconut labneh.
XuXu Dumpling Bar | $25 for a two-course dinner & lunch
Xuxu (say "Su-su") is one of the city's gems, boasting a cosy table-service bar in the heart of Britomart. This Restaurant Month menu offer is great if you're a fan of (you guessed it!) dumplings and are keen for a casual lunch or catch up after work with friends. The menu offer includes a main mixed basket of dumplings followed by their famous Banoffee dessert dumplings with salted caramel & banana.
The Good Luck Coconut | $25 for a three course dinner & lunch
Foodies are invited to come, kick back and relax down at The Good Luck Coconut, where they've got a tasty sharing menu packed full of dishes influenced by the Pacific and Asian cuisines as well as a fantastic menu of cocktails to try. For $25 customers will get a three-course dinner or lunch with options including market fish ika mata with coconut, lime, melon and mint; smoked pork ribs with pineapple BBQ sauce, puffed rice and sansho; and a steamed banana pudding with rum caramel and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
All the $25 menu offers can be viewed online.
Cafe Hanoi | $40 for a 2 course dinner & lunch
Britomart's Cafe Hanoi is a modern Vietnamese restaurant inspired by the flavours and faded elegance of Hanoi's Old Quarter. Its $40 Restaurant Month menu includes crispy coconut & shrimpmni pancakes; lemongrass roasted squid stuffed with pork and a roasted duck salad - delicious!
Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar | $40 for a two course dinner & lunch + drink
Described as the perfect place to drop in and refuel, this is chef Al Brown's place and reflects his attitude towards food: in season, beautifully cooked, to be enjoyed with friends. Most of the cooking is over charcoal or hardwood so there's a real succulence to the flavours. We love the sound of their Restaurant Month menu options - braised lamb neck with labneh, pickled red onion and sourdough flatbreads for your main and mulled wine tamarillo with gingerbread, custard & mascarpone cream, matched with a glass of Man O' War red.
Ortolana | $40 for a two-course dinner and lunch
Ortolana is a contemporary bistro set within an elegant, sun-filled conservatory in the Pavilions at Britomart. The menu has a distinctive Italian and wider European flavour with a strong emphasis on perfectly fresh produce, much of it from the restaurant's own market garden. Customers are invited to dine under the sparkling fairy lights and try their $40 special menu this August, which features delicious options like blue cheese gnudi with pmkin, sage and pmkin kernels and a panna cotta dessert with rhubarb, vincotto and walnut crumble.
All the $40 menu offers can be viewed online.
$55 or more
The Grove | $85 for a three-course lunch
Fine dining that marries exquisite modern New Zealand cuisine with a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere. The next time you are looking to celebrate a special occasion or feel like a treat of a meal, consider booking a table at The Grove - doing so in August you'll make the most of the Restaurant Month special menu. Course options include a duck liver parfait entrée, a choice of a classic English roast and their notorious sticky toffee pudding to finish.
Hugo's Bistro | $60 for a three-course dinner & lunch
An all-day bistro that brings a sophisticated European vibe to the heart of the city, Hugo's Bistro offers all-day dining - a place to perch at the bar and grab the morning coffee, meet friends for an afternoon Aperitivo, or enjoy a delicious meal in their welcoming dining room. Restaurant Month is all about expanding your flavour repertoire and trying new things, which makes this special menu a must-try. Some of the options include pig's head croquettes and celeriac remoulade; kingfish carpaccio; grilled yellowbelly founder; and an olive oil & sea salt semifreddo for dessert.
Ebisu | $65 for a 4 course dinner & lunch
Occupying a historic building in Auckland's Britomart precinct, Ebisu serves up contemporary Japanese fare, drawing on a combination of classic Japanese and European techniques to present an outstanding mix of new-style sushi and sashimi as well as traditional Japanese dishes. The dishes on their special menu for August look incredible - options include seared beef tataki with garlic onion dressing and black truffle paste, prawn dumplings, teriyaki chicken and their famous Ebisu Bombe Alaska to finish.
All the $55+ menu offers can be viewed online.