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By Stephen Heard
May 31, 2017
By Stephen Heard
May 31, 2017

Cuisine of the South Pacific is the latest trend sweeping through Auckland, with the second themed establishment opening its doors in as many months. The first was Mount Eden's Kai Pasifika, a contemporary Pacific Island restaurant operated by celebrity chef and longtime Island advocate, Robert Oliver.

Now, The Lula Inn arrives at 149 Quay Street on the Viaduct Harbour following the closure of The Crew Club — the nautical beach club where the water practically lapped at your ankles. The harbour still laps and the theme has been tweaked to celebrate New Zealand's Pacific heritage.

The menu at Lula's isn't squarely focussed on traditional Pacific cuisine — on paper it reads more like a gastro-bistro than a snapshot of Polynesia. Rather, it's described as 'playful Kiwi cuisine', honing in on the dining philosophy of family-style sharing. You'll find things like the classic Fijian fish kokoda and tuna confit sitting alongside six kinds of pizza, lamb shoulder, ricotta dumplings, and a nostalgic chicken snitty. Local produce is abundant with head chef Sam Clark sourcing fish from Leigh and beef from Cambridge Angus stud, Takapoto.

A drinkery in equal measure, Lula's is something of a gin sanctuary, offering 40 boutique and mainstream varieties from Australasia, Britain, and the US. Pair any with the four kinds of tonic on hand or leave it to the bar staff with the three styles of G&T.

The venue also moonlights as an entertainment venue from Thursday to Saturday, with soul and funk night Live at Lula's filling the space. The Lula Inn will be open at 149 Quay Street from June 1, 10am til late weekdays and 9am til late weekends.

Published on May 31, 2017 by Stephen Heard


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