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Walk through a former convent to find this Italian-inspired gem and be transported straight to Tuscany.
By Sarah Templeton
September 13, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
September 13, 2022

Found in a once-thriving nunnery which is now a convent-inspired hotel, Ada wows before you even mosey through to the eatery. With easily one of the best interior fit-outs of any restaurant in Auckland, the high ceilings, glass windows and relaxed vibe will have you feeling like you've been whisked away to Tuscany for the afternoon.

Set in the Spanish-Mission style, this gorgeous churns out modern Italian food with the very best local produce. Ex-Cotto chef Hayden Phiskie and Johnny Price (Rita, Clay) are in the kitchen — or you might see one of them hand-rolling pasta along one of the long dining tables if you're there during lunch service.

The menu is made for mixing, matching and sharing, but do yourself a favour and get one of the deep-fried pizza frittas ($22) to yourself. The one topped with 'nduja is a personal fave, but they're all fairly faultless. Follow that with a pork, fennel and chilli ragù on homemade tagliatelle ($26) — and sure, add a side of something green, like the rocket salad ($10) if you want to freshen things up.

Our pick? Make a (well-in-advance) booking for the long Sunday lunch service. You'll be welcomed with a glass of Prosecco before enjoying a five-course shared banquet. There's no need to rush away afterwards — park up on the patio to enjoy a few warm-down bevs.

Don't just take our word for it — Ada is also a fave of the country's own Jordan 'The Caker' Rondel, who handpicked it as one of her favourite places to treat herself in Auckland.

"The ever-changing pasta dishes, pizza fritta and duck fat potatoes are standouts — and I always finish with a cannoli."

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