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A New Bistro and Cafe Has Opened Inside Auckland Museum

You can now sit down at the Museum for woodfired pizza, lamb with rēwena bread and Kiwi-style high tea.
By Stephen Heard
December 09, 2020
By Stephen Heard
December 09, 2020

Visitors to Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira now have the choice of sit-down bistro dining with the opening of Tuitui Museum Bistro & Café in the new Te Ao Mārama South Atrium.

The renovated southern entrance marks the most significant change to the building in over a decade. Auckland Museum commissioned several new artworks — all of them by Māori and Pacific artists — for the foyer. Architect Noel Lane's huge timber centrepiece, Talitali 'Au Moana, is now fully exposed. The 'Tanoa' serves as an impression of a Fijian kava bowl and features its own looping animated audio-visual experience.

Opened in collaboration with local restauranteurs Brian and Sali Sewell, bistro-style restaurant and cafe Tuitui is found on the fringe of the atrium and offers views across Auckland Domain. The name means 'to stitch together' te reo Māori, but it can also refer to the meeting of friends and whanau over good kai and kōrero.

Richard Ng.

The pair's Kiwiana-inspired menu showcases native ingredients and influences from Aotearoa. It features modern interpretations of classic comfort food like fish and chips and slow roast lamb — here served with rēwena bread. The Cook Island's traditional raw fish ika mata salad makes an appearance, too, and buttermilk chicken or buffalo cauliflower is served with karengo and piripiri. Elsewhere, there's duck fat skins with Kiwi dip, corned beef and kumara croquettes and four woodfired pizzas.

Visitors can also sit down for Kiwi-style high tea, which stacks ham club sandwiches, alongside devilled eggs, Southland cheese rolls, sausage rolls, lamingtons, lollie cake and date scones. Wash it all down with coffee by way of Allpress Espresso.

New Zealand vineyards take pride of place on the wine list but there's still room for a couple of full-bodied Aussie reds. Beer comes from Waipu's McLeods Brewery, with an exclusive Tuitui cloudy IPA available on tap.

In addition to Tuitui and the 1929 Espresso Bar, the South Atrium is now home to the Kai Room, a space equipped with tables, chairs and some kitchen facilities where visitors can sit down and eat their own food.

Tuitui Museum Bistro & Café is open daily from 9am–5pm and after hours for select Museum events. For more information, visit

Image: Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Richard Ng.

Published on December 09, 2020 by Stephen Heard
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