The time is nigh to put your diet on hold and dust off those stretchy pants. The seventh outing of Restaurant Month returns to Auckland's city centre next month with over 100 special menus, 25 intriguing dining events, a host of visiting international chefs, and a whole lot more reasons to simply go out and eat.
The Chef Dining Series is a staple feature of the month-long food celebration. Every Wednesday of the month international chefs — spanning Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Malaysia and Queensland —will team up with local talent to deliver collaborative dining experiences.
Flying in this year will be the chefs behind LA restaurant Animal as they serve up 'meat-centric dude food'; Monique Fiso and Morgan McGlone will join forces with The Sugar Club's Neil Brazier for a showcase of Maori fine dining; O'Connell Street Bistro's Mark Southon will reunite with his former mentor Ryan Clift to bring cuisine from one of Asia's top 50 restaurants; Ben Devlin from Queensland's Paper Daisy will create a dinner full of wild and foraged ingredients; and Federal Street's newest opening Huami will present a five-course feast showcasing the cuisine of Canton, Sichuan, Huaiyang and Beijing.
Further events making their return include three-course free-wheeling feast Dinner by Bike, giant street food gathering Street Eats and Britomart's Progressive Dinner. New to this year is a wholefood degustation breakfast at Simon Gault's new restaurant Giraffe; a truffle-infused feast at The Grill; a trolley takeover at Culprit by Wellington restaurant Shepherd; and a mash-up of theatre and dining at Food to Die For.
The special menus feature of Restaurant Month has something for all persuasions and wallet sizes. Available everywhere from Xuxu Dumpling Bar to Depot and Clooney, the 100 menus on offer will be set at three special price points: $25, $40 and $55+.